They all begin in a front stance and are done on both sides. So, assuming a left-foot forward front stance, the kata run as follows:
- Left rising block, right rising block, left punch to the face, right punch to the body
- Left outside block, right outside block, left punch to the face, right punch to the body
- Left downward block, right downward block, left punch to the face, right punch to the body
- Left forearm block, right forearm block, left punch to the face, right punch to the body
- Finally, perform all of them end to end
All of these are done with a hip switch for every technique, and it is quite a hip workout!
The kicking microkata are also performed on both sides, and assuming a left foot forward front stance, go like this:
- Right front snap kick, landing in a right foot forward front stance
- Step backward into the original left foot forward front stance, then left front (lead leg) snap kick
- Bring feet together and do a right side snap kick 90 degrees to your right, and land in a right foot forward front stance, facing that same 90 degrees to the right of the original direction
- Execute a right roundhouse kick toward the original direction you were facing, landing in a right foot forward front stance
- Execute a right back kick, landing in your original left foot forward front stance
Whew! I hope all that made sense. I'm going to try to get a lot of reps in over the next week.
Next we worked on heian nidan some more. We did some fine tuning on my side snap kick toward the beginning. I still need to increase my speed when moving from one step to the next (we figure I'm thinking about it too much). I need more kime in my techniques in general, and I need to punctuate the kiai techniques more.
This karate experience, in traditional Shotokan, has proven to be a much more precise approach than either judo or aikido. That's a mixed bag to me; I can see the drawbacks, but there's also something in me that loves it. Even if it can be frustrating at times. Sensei is constantly fine tuning my karate. While I do enjoy it, and know it will make me better, I can relate to a quote from Funakoshi from Karate-do, My Way of Life: "This constant repetition of a single kata was grueling, often exasperating, and on occasion humiliating." Ha! You said it, Gichin.
We ended the class looking at some sparring applications. Kind of a triple punch designed to cover a lot of distance and overwhelm an opponent. I am always amazed how my teacher can seem almost to teleport, haha. He will be way too far away to do anything to me, and next thing I know, he just lightly tapped me in the throat. I really look forward to getting better! Now that I'm not doing judo two nights per week, I hope to practice more at home.