Tuesday 9 March 2010

Kihon defines one's karate

Here is my current training routine. It is very simple this month with a high degree of focus on the most fundamental techniques. Kihon, kihon and more kihon! I've added some additional commentary, hopefully some food for thought.

I hope this post finds you well. All the very best in your karate-do training.

André Bertel

Stationary kihon:

(1) Chudan choku zuki (with both seiken and nakadaka ippon ken); (2) Hidari jodan kizami zuki kara migi chudan gyaku zuki; (3) Migi jodan kizami zuki kara hidari chudan gyaku zuki; (4) Hidari chudan mae ashi mae geri kara jodan mae geri; and (5) Migi chudan mae ashi mae geri kara hidari jodan mae geri.

Sanbon zuki; (2) Jodan age uke kara chudan gyaku zuki; (3) Chudan soto uke kara chudan gyaku zuki; (4) Chudan uchi uke kara chudan gyaku zuki; (5) Tenshin gyaku zuki ; (6) Chudan shuto uke (kokutsu dachi) kara nukite; (7) Chudan mae geri; (8) Mawashi geri; (9) Yoko keage (kiba dachi); (10) Yoko kekomi (kiba dachi); (11) Ushiro geri; and (12) Jodan shuto yokomawashi uchi kara jodan shuto uchimawashi uchi.

On the first three days of March I ran through all 26 of the standard Shotokan Kata, something that I haven’t done for a while. On Monday (March 1st): I did Heian-shodan, Heian-nidan, Heian-sandan, Heian-yondan, Heian-godan, Tekki-shodan, Tekki-nidan and Tekki-sandan. On Tuesday (March 2nd): Bassai-dai, Bassai-sho, Kanku-dai, Kanku-sho, Jion, Jitte Jiin, Empi and Gankaku. And on Wednesday (March 3rd): Hangetsu, Chinte, Sochin, Unsu, Nijushiho, Gojushiho-sho, Gojushiho-dai, Wankan and Meikyo. And over the last few days I've focused on numerous Asai karate kata.

As my routine is primarily focused on kihon this month, I will do any kata, standard Shotokan or Asai-ryu, based on my daily physical requirements/condition.

Oyo kumite is the focus this month. Oyo kumite is the most important form of kumite in Asai Karate as it is directly applicable in the real world. It is not for winning competitions or only for the dojo kumite (against other karateka). But again, like all forms of kumite, it is useless without effective kihon. That brings to mind all of the 'bunkai masters' out there... OK, whoops, I'm side tracked... Enough said! ;-)

I'd like to conclude by saying, kihon is karate. If you want to see a persons karate level regardless of dan rank, check their oi-zuki, gyaku-zuki, shuto-uke, kokutsu-dachi, yori-ashi or their mae-geri. These and other kihonwaza define a person's technical level. Looking at such things as these make us humble, and realise that we should never feel too proud about our karate.

© André Bertel, Japan (2010).

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