Saturday 21 November 2009

Gyaku zuki

I'm sorry if this post bores most of you to tears, however I thought I'd answer a question in regards to "the 'standard training' of stationary gyaku-zuki" here in Nippon. Obviously I haven't trained everywhere, however, throughout my teens, 20's, and now 30's studying karate in Japan, I've found the following to be typical.

The basic routine

Please note that the repetitions I've listed below are 'pretty standard', however, it is not uncommon to do many more punches, literally hundreds. Also, tate shuto is often replaced by jodan kizami zuki. To keep things comprehensive, I have not added the many variations, such as tai no shinshuku from jiyu-dachi or Asai Sensei's many stationary routines (involving various pivots, turns, jumps) etc.

1. Migi chudan gyaku zuki followed by hidari tate shuto no kamae to a count of ten (a total of five chudan gyaku zuki). This is the warm up set, so everything is done slowly.

2. Same as previous, but with snap on the punches. Still slowly assume each tate shuto no kamae but in your own time (for a total of ten punches). Kiai on the final gyaku zuki.

3. Next, snap the gyaku zuki and tateshuto in one count (for a total of ten punches). Kiai on the final gyaku zuki.

4. Same as previous but kiai on every chudan gyaku zuki (for a total of ten punches).

Including the warm up, by now you will have executed 35 migi chudan gyaku zuki. For sets 5-8 repeat on the opposite side (with hidari gyaku zuki).


If this kihon training seems boring, your not doing it correctly! Anything technically incorrect, even slightly off, means that no matter how hard you train, you will be grooving bad technique. And obviously, the more you do such techniques, the harder it will be to change... This is why having an excellent instructor is crucial! If you've been taught properly, you'll literally have no time to get bored, especially when under the supervision of your sensei, but also when you are practicing in isolation. "Self-monitoring is consuming job, if being OK is desired, let alone attaining excellence."

I hope that answers the question fully! If you follow this by training mae geri (practiced in the same manner), you'll be doing the 'typical start' of a Shotokan class here in Japan.


© André Bertel, Japan (2009).

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