This article is the class notes for 04/29/2011. It contains:
1) Kihon Kata
2) Kihon Kata Bunkai
3) Naihanchi Shodan Bunkai
4) Naihanchi Shodan
5) Balance and Timing Games
I was debating the idea of starting back up with some simple class notes on the “Blog” section of the website. On the suggestion of one of our newest members, Hanif Robinson, I have decided it may be a good idea. Expect to see some quick notes on a regular basis of what I did that day in my class here at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Like every good Shorin-ryu class, Jeremiah and I went over Kihon Kata. He has been working with me for about 6 lessons now and I wanted to make sure he had the pattern down. When doing Ude Uke (Arm Block), he was over compensating by bending at the waist. I explained that this will put him off balance and open up his kidneys and ribs as a target. Other than that, no problems.
Kihon Kata and Naihanchi Shodan Bunkai
I have always been of the belief that karateka should start learning the bunkai (application) of the kata long before they get their black belts. It gives them perspective and helps them remember the katas by thinking “I am blocking his arm”, as opposed to, “This is the part where I do that thing with my arm.” Ben got down to class about this time so the three of us went through all of the moves in Kihon Kata and Naihanchi Shodan. I explained that with many of the blocks, you don’t perform them by stepping straight back, but rather taking an angle on your attacker to give you the advantage, both in doing the block and in being able to counter afterwards.
Ben had some trouble with making a solid fist. He likes to make this “Panther Fist”, which isn’t necessarily wrong, it just isn’t what I want him doing at the moment. I have been considering making him wear thin sparring gloves to fix the problem, but I don’t want it to come across as me looking down – his Karate is great, but he is learning a different style.
I focused on making sure everyone was stepping, then punching, as opposed to stepping and punching simultaneously. Also made sure when doing the opening move to Naihanchi Shodan – open handed “lay” – that they were pushing directly outward from the body, rather than trying to literally “lay” on top of the opponents arm.
After practicing all of the moves to Naihanchi Shodan, we did the kata itself. I told them to do as much as they remembered and when they got lost, I would show them the next part and they would start over. Jeremiah did this for the majority of class to help him learn the pattern (first time doing it). Ben knew the pattern almost perfectly, so we focused on his timing in combinations. “Block, hit, set. Pause. Block, Hit, Pause…” This makes the kata crisp, more like a fight, and far more likely to look like you know what you are doing. It looked awesome when he did it on his own at the end of class.
Balance and Timing Games
With about ten minutes left in class, we started to play some of my favorite games. The first one, two people stand about three feet from each other with the backs of one hand touching. The other hand is placed behind the back. One person is trying to touch the other person’s cheek (touch – not hit). The second person does nothing but smack the “attacker’s” hand in order to prevent him from touching their face.
The game is meant to build reaction time and coordination.
The second game, is for balance. Two people stand on one foot. The object is to make the other person touch the ground with both feet (or fall on their butt). It involves a lot of hoping and pushing each other. Great for building balance and teaching karateka to not over compensate.
The final game we played – just combined the two. It probably wasn’t as useful, but was a lot of fun.
That was the class for today. If I didn’t explain something well enough, please just ask and I will do my best to expand upon it.