Saturday 26 September 2009

Kougemachi Training

Today marks two and half years since we arrived back in Japan, and for me as a karateka, this can only be defined by my daily teaching and training.

My local practice today in Kougemachi, Fukuoka-ken, was nothing out of the ordinary, however I thought I'd cover it here, and offer you some of my thoughts, as I rest my body.

Kihon: Today kihon was firstly focused on maximum hanmi for ukewaza or blocking/reception techniques (Depicted in the photo above - please note my bad rear foot position, slippery but no excuses). Secondly, (and very closely related to ukewaza and ude-gatame) I worked on hiji-ate, namely tate empi uchi, ushiro empi uchi, mae empi uchi, yoko empi uchi, yokomawashi empi uchi and otoshi empi uchi, but also on the other more obscure Asai-ryuha variations.

Kumite: Practical application of haito in various forms was the first aspect we addressed. Secondly, was inter-reversible blocks & counters with various forms of kakuto and teisho combined. In both cases, the over riding theme was kyusho-jutsu (best explained in English as pressure point techniques). Finally we worked on the application of the various forms of elbow strikes (this complimented the pin-point precision required for the kyusho techniques). These 'battering ram' strikes were applied against much more general targets such as the temple, jaw, chin, eye socket, solar plexus, and rib cage.

Kata: Three kata were practiced today, namely Kakuyoku-Nidan, Asai-ha Sochin, and Asai-ha Unsu. The over riding theme was 'large scale' techniques based on a full understanding of junansei (softness/relaxation); The other theme was the avoidance of excessive stance length to enable maximum/optimal expression of the hips. Translated: 'No good for winning tournaments but all good for practical application'.
© André Bertel, Japan (2009).

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