Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Iron Triangle: KWF Style

Time for a Change

We had a great time on Tuesday as it was decided to do something different as Jody from SA is spending a week with us to get in some training: it was time for what I will call the Iron Triangle, and it was very natsukashii, reminding me of training many years ago under Richard Amos Sensei.

There's nothing like basics to get to grips with things, and after the past few weeks of glorious spinning, it was good to attack that basic problem, tucking the hips and basic posture.

The Iron Triangle
Those of you who are familiar with the cliche will know the Iron Triangle in Japan refers to the collusive kickbacks, comfy-zone "one hand washes the other" relationship between pols, conglomerates and senior bureaucrats in Japan. Archetypal example: notoriously corrupt Kensetsu-sho (Ministry of Construction), your local LHP politician, and NakaSumiMitsuTake Buildo Conglomorate decide to spread the concrete gains around a bit. The pol needs to buy votes for reelection so proposes Project X for which NakaSumiMitsuTakeBuildo gets a huge budget authorized by Kensetsucho director who is set to retire to the conglomorate the following year on huge compensation package for "consulting." Three months later, politician's buddies in Nowhere-mura are all busily subcontracting away with a big surge in local employment while NakaSumiMitsuTakeBuildo creams of a huge profit and a year later a gleaming 4-lane highway appears between Nowhere-Mura and Notsurewhereeither-Mura in Yamagata Prefecture appears, paid for out of my work, property, business, local, ward, pension and health insurance taxes.

Heian Shodan in Hanmi
After Kihon, we spent a long time going back to even more basics. If this all sounds like white belt stuff, great!
This was a nice surprise; first of all we did heian-shodan. Then we did heian shodan with only gedan-barai. Then we did it again. Get the picture- hanmi, hanmi and more hanmi!

THEN, to contrast, heian-shodan with gedan-barai followed by gyaku-zuki- bang-BANG making sure to avoid "breaking" the rhythm and using huge thrust off the back foot for the gyaku-zuki. Then again. The again, full power. Didn't we have fun, boys and girls?

The KWF Iron Triangle
Well, we all guessed basically that this exercise was just to get us in the mood for something a bit dizzy. Right? NO. After this we did even more basic basics- checking the three most basic stances after heisoku-dachi.

a) Zenkutsu-dachi from shizentai
First we just practiced oi-zuki, slowly and deliberately, checking for full go-tai-ichi and shomen.
Having realized that we couldn't do this properly we took a sideways approach to learning- literally because
b) Move into Kiba-dachi from zenkutsu...and those of you who know anything about Shotokan karate will guess what is coming next, let's call it backwards step in terms of movement, but a giant leap for humankind in terms of basics...
c) Kokutsu-dachi and then back to (a)...

The Zen-Kiba-Kokutsu combi was first practiced slowly and deliberately making sure to check the following

1. Correct breathing from the hara at all times
2. No movement up, movement starts from the heel through the koshi
3. Keep tight using inner muscles using sweeping arcs in and out (actually this ranks with #10 for importance, we were told)
4. Keep meisen focused on target
5. Make sure of fully locked kime
6. Weight stance to "feel like" 80% on REAR leg in zenkutsu
7. Weight stance to ACTUALLY be 90% or 95% (or 96.397?% ;-)) on the REAR leg in Kokutsu
9. Correct Kiba-dachi is much more important than wide or low Kiba-dachi...and

10. Keep the hips tucked in, butt in, pelvis thrust forward, and keep the hip held in the hanmi/ or shomen position right to the end for maximum rotation and kime!

All this was deliberately done without the punches and blocks "thrown in," and then later sets with the punches in this sequence
a) First sets- slowly and deliberately right leg and left leg
b) Second sets fast and powerful right leg and left leg
c) Repeat until "happy."

Add in punches and blocks- i.e. oi-zuku, uraken, shuto:
a) First sets- slowly and deliberately right leg and left leg
b) Second sets fast and powerful right leg and left leg
c) Repeat until "happy."

Just For Kicks- I don't think so...
The next stage was adding in the kicks: you guessed it; maegeri, yokogeri-keiage and then front leg maegeri from kokutsu
a) First sets- slowly and deliberately right leg and left leg
b) Second sets fast and powerful right leg and left leg
c) Repeat until "happy."

Everybody happy? As Isaka Sensei likes to say...."Eeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssyyyyyyyyyy" with a broad grin. The question is WHY?

And here, my friends, I will leave you in eager anticipation for The Iron Triangle: The Son of...which I will publish soon ;-) ....


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