Saturday, March 14, 2009

Karate-Do 3/14/09

Today was my first official karate lesson with Pat. We've been talking about it for a long time, and finally got around to fitting it in. We're going to try 2 karate lessons per month - one in lieu of a Judo lesson and one in lieu of an Aikido lesson. I did miss doing Judo today, but I had a blast with karate. Even though I'm only going to be doing a couple lessons per month, I should be able to train extensively at home on my own time. Solo training in karate-do is easier to manage than in Judo or Aikido.

I'm pretty much brand new at karate. We started with a discussion on how to make a fist (seiken) and sword hand (shuto). Pat covered kiba-dachi (horse stance), zenjutsu (front stance), and kokutsu (back stance). Today we worked on the following kihon (both from a stationary horse stance and moving forward and backward with front and back stances, as appropriate):
Low block
High block
Outside block
Inside block
Middle punch
High punch
Hook punch
Sword/Spear hand strike

Next we practiced tennokata, followed by and introduction to the very simple taikyoku. Pat recommended I practice taikyoku gedan, chudan, and jodan (lower, middle, and upper levels block and attacks, respectively).

We ended the class by working on Heian Shodan and its bunkai. This was an introduction to bunkai for me, so I'm certain I'll need many reviews of this lesson before it all "clicks".

A few things I need to remember about kata: 1) I can experiment with "linking" some of the steps, like how we played with tegatana no kata in Aikido today. 2) The "yoi" position has a bunkai too! It can be used to create space if an attacker bear hugs you. 3) Kime makes kata look strong and cool, but there is debate as to whether it improves your kihon. Some people think it may actually weaken your kihon. 4) Bunkai: any fist in the kata could be a grasping hand. Any punch could be a push, any block could be a strike or a pull.

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