Thursday 1 October 2009

Jugatsu no keiko

Some reflections on my karate-do… Recently my Shotokan karate practice has been further simplified, yet again… This is undoubtedly due to my lacking of skill, in so many aspects of karate-do. Day in and day out I convince myself that “my thinking is a result of my ability to see deep into techniques” {perhaps not true, but it works...}. In actuality this ‘way’ has been my key to motivation throughout my karate career. I’m highly motivated because I’m never fully satisfied by my waza, there’s always bundles of physically 'seemingly unsolvable jigsaws', which I'm determined to solve (I believe I can, otherwise how could I go on?). Seriously, for me karate is a constant uphill battle... As a healthy balance, I try to recognize when I do something well, that is, when I do something technically superior, to my ‘previously perceived bests’. Such times are my biggest rewards, along with the daily pleasure of keeping in shape, and the satisfaction of completing hard workout with sweat oozing, perhaps some blisters popped, and plenty of knocks. Of course the other rewarding aspect is the mental benefits of karate training, which are too numerous to list here!

Anyway, here is my latest training schedule… All the best from Japan! – OSU.

Kihonwaza (Fundamental Techniques): The current numbers of repetitions are highly variable depending on my daily target/emphasis. (1) Chudan oi-zuki; (2) Chudan gyaku-zuki; (3) Chudan mae-geri; (4) Chudan yoko-keage; (5) Chudan yoko-kekomi; (6) Chudan mawashi-geri; (7) Chudan ushiro-geri; (8) Gedan-barai kara chudan gyaku-zuki; (9) Jodan age-uke kara chudan gyaku-zuki; (10) Chudan soto-uke kara chudan gyaku-zuki; (11) Chudan uchi-uke kara chudan gyaku-zuki; (12) Chudan shuto-uke kara tateshihon nukite gyaku zuki.

Kumite: Presently I’m doing lots of uchikomi Japanese style. Lunging down the line with nagashi-uke kara gyaku-zuki soshite gyaku-zuki and the like. High repetitions of explosive attacks emphasizing ‘reaching with the torso’ (colliding) as opposed to reaching with the limbs. This of course is largely concerned with transport of the torso via various forms of footwork. The beauty of this training is moving from your center, something which really connects one’s kihon, kata and kumite. Finding this, and keeping the limbs in a state of relaxation, further trains a key point which Asai Sensei stressed.

Kata: My kata training as of late has been primarily focused on Hangetsu (Half moon), Empi (Flying swallow), Unsu (Cloud Hands), Kakuyoku-Nidan (Crane’s Wings Second Level) and Tekki-Shodan (Iron Horse First Level). In saying that, I’ve been still practicing a wide range of kata, but only during the warm down portions of my self-training sessions.

© André Bertel, Japan (2009).

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