This article is the class notes for 10/19/2011. It contains:
2) Shin Conditioning
3) Two Handed Touch Game
4) Single Handed Touch Game
5) Seiza Game
I spent a bit of time in the last class notes article explaining what the makiwara is and how to condition on it, so I am not going to repeat that here. The thing I wanted to mention is that today we started doing some knife hand strikes (Shuto Zuki) on the practice target to build up the ridge of our hands. Also did some work on conditioning the back fist (Uraken). As with punches, start slow and work your way up.
Once again we did some quick shin conditioning with the kendo sticks. For some of the newer people, I gave them a smaller bundle of bamboo (about two fingers thick) to start with. For all of us older guys (crazies), we went back to using a Kendo Sword (Shinai). Three to Five strikes against the shins was more than enough for all of us. Starts slow and don’t hurt yourself!
My plan for today and Friday was to do a handful of games meant to condition the body, build eye-hand coordination, and make sparring a bit easier. Since we were doing the same games on both days, I have split the explanations in to two posts. Today’s post will mention three of the games and Friday’s will mention the others.
Two Handed Touch Game
The first game we did was the two handed touch game. Two people stand facing each other. One is designated the attacker and the other the defender. The defender places his/her hands against the attackers. The attackers goal is to touch the defender (not strike) on the face or body. The defender’s goal is to not let this happen. Start out by keeping constant contact and going slow. As you get comfortable with it, pick up the speed and then have the attacker start pulling away and “striking” rather than pushing. In all cases, the goal is not to hit anyone, but rather touch. This seemed really helpful for newer people to anticipate followup punches and combinations. For the experienced guys, it was a lot of fun to practice their moves at a fast rate without getting hit hard like in sparring.
Single Handed Touch Game
The next game we played was the single handed touch game (for those of you wondering, I did not spend much time on naming these). Two people stand in horse stance (relax – this is not meant to build leg muscle) with either their right or left hands stretched out. Place the back of the hands against each other. This game also has an attacker and a defender. The attacker tries to touch the face of the defender. The defender tries to stop them. Both students are only allowed to use the outstretched hand and should keep foot movement to a minimum (but you can move). This builds reflexes and helps students see the potential in blocking the elbow rather than always aiming for the wrist or forearm when blocking.
The final game I will mention today was the formal seated position (Seiza) game. This one was a suggestion of one of the other black belts in the club, Ryan. Two people (Reoccurring theme?) sit in the formal seated position facing each other. Both grab the top of the bicep with their right hands and the bottom of the arm with their left arms. The goal is to flip the other person onto their back while not sitting up in the formal seated position. You can move around, but need to stay as close to sitting as possible. This teaches balances and leverage among other things. You can obviously change which hand is on top and which is on the bottom. Excellent game.