Above: Course Photo
Bex and I managed to arrange seeing some family down South yesterday with training at Danny's today. With Campbell, Langley and Koike Sensei attending it seemed like a good idea to take the day off work Friday, go and see some In-Laws and be within about a hours drive of Danny's this morning.
Sensei Scott started the session and the theme was contraction in Shomen without telegraphing a final technique. This allows you to have options on which technique you would finally choose to execute. Proper hip position was assisted by lifting the knee of the rear leg, high and tight into the chest. This also compressed the height of stance and allows the hips to drive forward and push from the supporting heel position.
For the last 6 months or so, I have personally being trying to focus on maintaining shomen for longer in techniques and allowing core muscles to cut the hips into hamni as late as possible. I found this session very helpful, now all I need to to is try and put it all into practice. Sensei also talked about the importance of staying fit as a karateka and core strength being probably one of the most important aspects for good technique. We conclude the session with a few special press-ups as a bit of a tool kit to improve core strength. Look forward to them coming to the dojo soon.
Sensei Yutaka's middle session was themed around natural body movement. Weight shifting from side to side, not escaping the attack but moving, flowing your defence in a typical Asai Ryu movement. Sensei did not describe it as such, but for me it had an almost Aikido feel of moving with the attacks and then suddenly changing the direction taking the attacker of balance.
Above : Bex and Koike Sensei
Sensei developed the defences with open hand techniques, strike, kicks, locks and breaks. I really enjoy this non-linear form of up close training. I can also adapt a few of the core principles of my Jiu-Jitsu background. Perhaps as I approach fifty I should be looking at what sort of techniques are going to work best within an ageing frame.
Sesnei Alan's final session of the day worked of first developing leg strength and movement in different stances and concluded with kata. Today's kata was Junro Godan, I have been instructed on Junro Godan a few times before but have never managed to retain it. Sensei did not rush through the kata teaching the sequence of moves but focused on correct movement and execution of each move. We probably spent, 10 minutes on the first move and a further 10 minutes on the second and third moves.
Time got the better of us in the end but we had managed to perform the kata a number of time all the way through and I feel relatively confident that I would be able to remember most of the key points in the correct execution of the kata.
Many thanks to all for the warm welcome and a great four hours training. Osu!
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