Wednesday, October 8, 2008

OS Kushin

YS is tied up while KWF is going through major changes, which is very exciting and refreshing. Tonight Ohtsuka Sensei (OS from now on in) took us through a nice ham and eggs workout- see my post of a few days ago, for Kihon- the default 50x patterns except for keage/ kekomi/ mawashi-geri.

KWF Mawashigeri
One of the things that particularly interests OS, and what he is constantly working on is KWF mawashigeri. My gosh, what a kick! I'm very agnostic about mawashigeri, basically because its a kick I can't do. Well, only to a chudan, just above the hips, I guess, keeping my posture straight. It's easy- and fatal- to lean back. OS was showing how his mawashigeri is developing compared to the Zenkuren style he had before he started. With the KWF mawashigeri, you really have the knee up and you blast into your opponent, going forward, kicking from the hip. OS showed us that his newly minted mawashigeri is slightly slower but much more powerful.

Time to Reflect
Last night's session had a lot of time to reflect. OS looked at each of our techniques and found things to improve. With me with maegeri it's the continual problem of lack of snap back. I have no problem driving forward, but that bloody snap. Making a great maegeri is a real challenge for me. If it's not one thing its another- if I go for scale and length I may lean back...if I go for snap...the length and scale collapses. I am still only satisfied with 2 in 10 of my kicks, and's a disaster. But the crucial thing I am starting to figure out is lower those hips. And when is does work, it feels great.

200 Kushin: Focus forward
Last night OS decided it was Kushin nite, which was just great: the temperature is off now so while the dogi is soaked through, its no longer like swimming pool, and the mirrors haven't fogged up for months!

The shizentai into stretched oi-zuki into forward focused kushin are great...but the first trick is keeping the kime alive on the oi-zuki, and for me, kokyu-ho is really important, as well as remembering to drive from the hips.

Today we focused on our own blocks (age or soto or uchi or gedan or shuto) and kushin and really powerful gyaku-zuki. Somehow I've always had trouble with soto-uke so I decided to do a lot of those because they trouble me, especially making sure the shoulders are relaxed, using the elbow as a whip, and closing up all the muscles on kime, and getting all that distance in...phew. Anyway, more than driving off the rear foot and trusting the hips forward, almost forgetting the upper body, during gyaku-zuki, the whole thing falls apart if your weight isn't forward when you are at maximum compression. Two centimers forward can make all the difference, right!
Next time we are going to do this, I am going to go for the maniac choice-shuto all the time. That's really brutal- after about 20 of those my rear leg feels like a pillar of pain. Mind you on gasshuku the students have to a mimum of 500. But they are YOUNG!

Merihari Bassai Dai...
OS focused on the beginning uchi-ukes, which always trouble me no end...I became traumatised with them after YS made me Bassai Dai something like 20 times in front of everyone during the "fix the most eggregious bits" up to my dan grading. Charles in particular enjoyed this- "Paul, I am so happy you are taking your black belt. While you are suffering, we can all take a break, thank you." Then about the third time YS did this to me, it was just great- you know, working harder and harder as fewer points of criticism are found.

Merihari= contrast
Today the focus was on holding hanmi to the very, very last instant and keep the block chambered until the last moment, making the uchi-uke blocks whip out- great fun. I always imagine trying to smash down a door in the very opening move (well, knock through a polystyrene ceiling tile in my case) but with those four uchi-uke blocks psychologically I am in attack mode, and the blood is really up for the about face and soto-uke..."Take that, you cad!"

Following from YS, OS emphasised that making those blocks powerful and dynamic is incredibly important for Bassai- dai, and who am I to disagree.

We also focused on the final blocks at the end of the kata before the final shuto- in KWF the fist should be in gedan, i.e. below the hieght of the elbow.


1 comment:

Muhammad said...

Dear Karate practitioners,
Could someone address the topic of Kushin?
Thank you.