When you are doing any kind of training that puts your wrists under load, such as grappling, heavy bag work, weapons or weight lifting, it is worth while to specifically warm your wrists up before beginning. These are a good simple set of exercises based on wrist locks which will stretch and prepare your wrists for action. Everybody will have differing degrees of flexibility, so the lock up points might vary, but the more you do these, the more flexibility you will gain over the long term.
Etiquette is a large part of karate. We often bow in karate as a means of showing courtesy and respect. We bow whenever we enter or exit a class. We bow to fellow students and instructors. We bow to training partners before and after an exercise. Although touching briefly on why, this video is more about how to perform the bow correctly, making it a clean, neat movement.
To become a deceptive fighter, you need to hide what you are doing while your opponent’s attention is completely focussed on you. There are all manner of ways do go about this, but in some form or another, most of them involve making sure you do not telegraph your movements or intentions. This is a neat little training exercise which shows your movements in an exaggerated form, and so helps you to reduce all extra body movement to a minimum.
Jodan uke, upper block, is one of the first things you learn in the curriculum. Primarily, it is designed to sweep techniques up and have them fall to the side, rather like the pitch of a roof. As with all techniques, once the basic move have been learned, it can be adapted to different uses and contexts, however, the basic form and principles remain.
The Taikyoku kata series are the first katas which students practice in the Goju Kai system. This is a simple and highly flexible pattern. The underlying pattern for each of the Taikyoku kata is always conceptually the same. Although there are set kata which fit the curriculum, any defence, and any attack can be substituted into this pattern for the purposes of practicing basic technique.
Chudan uke, the middle block, is one of the first things taught in the curriculum. As with all basic techniques, it looks very simplistic, however, the more you refine this basic move, the easier and more effective it will become, and the more you will be able to adapt it to a wide variety of contexts.
Sanbon kumite is the first of the yakusoku kumite sets. Yakusoku kumite are prearranged sparring drills. The sanbon series explores the three introductory stances, punches and blocks. They teach good form, effective technique, proper distancing and adjusting to a partner. Although designed as a two person drill set, they can just as easily be performed individually.
At the start of any training session, whether in the dojo or at home, it is important to do a set of warm ups, so that you do not injure yourself. This is a good basic set of simple movements which methodically warms up all major joints and muscle groups.
Seipei kata is the kata required for sandan grading. This kata is filmed as a record of a training session, rather than a performance piece. I am still learning this one, and clearly have a way to go yet before I am comfortable saying that I can perform it properly. Despite the many places where I could improve on this kata, it is good to be able to document the learning process. Doing this serves as both a tool for self reflection in the moment, and also to look back on in the future to assess your progress. Learning in karate never stops.
If your hobby is hitting things, you need to look after your hands. Making a decent fist is not quite so intuitive as it sounds, and it is surprisingly easy to injure yourself if you don’t understand these few important details.