Tuesday 15 April 2014

Back to white belt

Tekki Shodan Kata.
Here’s my latest daily self-training routine. I hope it finds you well. Osu, André Bertel.

(A)  Stationary practice: 1. Chudan choku-zuki (shizentai or kiba-dachi); 2. Chudan gyaku-zuki (stationary punching in both hidari and migi zenkutsu-dachi); and 3. Chudan mae-geri (stationary kicking following the format of gyaku-zuki practice or from heisoku-dachi).

(B)   Ido-kihon: 1. Kizami-zuki (jiyu-dachi) kara sanbon ren-zuki; 2. Jodan age-uke kara chudan soto-uke soshite chudan gyaku-zuki (blocking with the same arm); 3. Chudan uchi-uke (kokutsu-dachi) kara kizami-zuki soshite chudan gyaku-zuki; 4. Chudan shuto-uke (kokutsu-dachi) kara nukite; 5. Chudan shuto-uke (kokutsu-dachi) kara kizami mae-geri soshite nukite; 6. Mae-geri kara yoko kekomi, mawashi-geri soshite chudan gyaku-zuki; 7. Chudan mae-geri kara yoko-kekomi soshite chudan gyaku-zuki (kicking with the same leg); and 8. Yoko-keage ashi o kaete yoko-kekomi (kiba-dachi).

·         Repetitions: At present I am working with considerably lower repetitions in my kihon practice. Typically, this includes ‘one warm-up set of 10 slow repetitions’ followed by `30 explosive repetitions’.
Chudan choku-zuki.

Moving on from Nijushiho: After several months of focusing on Nijushiho, and extracting numerous technical gems, I have finally decided to move on to another jiyu-gata (free-choice kata). As I have said before, this formal exercise has been “extremely challenging” for me (and, consequently, very hard to maximise my strengths). This, in turn, has forced me to face my many weaknesses and better understand ‘my bodily limitations’. In sum, I believe my time focusing on Nijushiho has been very valuable and will undoubtedly contribute towards my next phase of development
My kata training updated: Probably, needless to say, the shitei-gata (Heian and Tekki Shodan) and sentei-gata (Bassai Dai, Kanku Dai, Enpi and Jion) remain as the foundation of my kata practice. The new jiyu-gata I am focusing on are Bassai Sho and Unsu.

·         Repetitions: A minimum of three for each kata; however, depending on the session, I sometimes only work on two or three kata from this list and do them many times.
Tekki Nidan... A occasional "treat" is good!

My focus at present is back on Gohon Kumite (Five-step sparring), Kihon Ippon Kumite (Fundamental one-step sparring) and Jiyu Ippon Kumite (Free one-step sparring). In particular, I’m concentrating on: (a) shisei (posture) in attack, defence and counterattack; (b) kokyu (breathing); and (c)  tachikata (stance)—namely, “more subtle transitional actions”. Technique-wise all of these points are primarily relating to jodan and chudan jun-zuki (oi-zuki), jodan and chudan gyaku-zuki, chudan mae-geri, chudan yoko-kekomi, chudan mawashi-geri, jodan age-uke, chudan soto-uke, gedan-barai, shizentai (hachinoji-dachi) and zenkutsu-dachi (shomen/zenmi and hanmi).
On the whole, this really is the beginning of a new phase of training for me. As always, and as it always should be, it’s back to white belt.

© André Bertel. Aso-shi, Kumamoto. Japan (2014).

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