Monday 13 July 2009

No excuses, just train!

Here's my updated self-training routine. Presently in Japan the boiling heat, and especially the humidity, is very draining, so often fatigue presents itself much faster than usual. However, the ease of warming up and deep-stretching is a great trade-off. There is nothing I hate more than lame excuses to avoid keiko! In the cold, karate warms us up, and in the extreme heat, our suppleness can be more readily be increased. My advice to everyone is to focus on the positive, and better oneself via karate-do, regardless of environmental factors. NO EXCUSES - JUST TRAIN! All the best from sweaty Nippon, André Bertel.

A. Stationary kihon
My stationary kihon at the moment comprises of a vast array of different foundational techniques. Each day is dependent on what I feel I have to work on. For example high knee lift and compression for keriwaza, timing of hip action in punches, strikes, blocks and kicks and so forth. Regardless of what I do, it is always "as simple as it gets", the "basics of the basics". Nevertheless, I'm challenged to the maximum physically (by the high repetitions & humidity) and technically (by the numerous weaknesses that I have to correct)...

B. Ido-Kihon
Keeping inline with my current stationary kihon-keiko and previous routine, my line-work is equally as raw. In saying that I'm only doing limited repetitions, typically 8-20 repetitions of each ido-kihonwaza ('aiming' for top-level execution at all times). Here's my routine: (1) Chudan oi zuki; (2) Chudan gyaku zuki; (3) Gedan barai kara chudan gyaku zuki; (4) Jodan age uke kara chudan gyaku zuki; (5) Chudan soto uke kara chudan gyaku zuki; (6) Chudan uchi uke kara chudan gyaku zuki; (7) Chudan shuto uke {kokutusu-dachi} kara chudan tateshihon nukite gyaku zuki; (8) Chudan mae geri; (9) Yoko keage {kiba-dachi}; (10) Yoko kekomi {kiba-dachi}; (11) Mawashi geri; and (12) Ushiro geri.

C. Kata
(a) Jion or Kankudai.
(b) Empi.
(c) Unsu.
(d) Another Jiyu kata (Shotokan-ryuha or Asai-ryuha) based on my daily feeling/personal training focus.

D. Kumite: Goshin-jutsu
My present focus is on practical/street effective goshin-jutsu (self-defense) techniques. The source of these waza are the kihon, and kata, that I’m currently refining.

E. Supplementary training
To supplement my technical training I'm following Asai Sensei's special strength and flexibility routine (which he often included in his morning practices). I'm also sitting in the full splits for extended periods to relax my muscles (at the end of practice) whilst getting rehydrated.



© André Bertel, Japan (2009).

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