I've been a keen karate student for 16 years, Shukokai and Shotokan, but there still seems to be no shortage of things to learn and explore. I'm hoping this blog will allow me to share my experiences and hear other martial artists thoughts.

Sometimes it’s just good to move

As I’m keen to grade at the end of July most of my training at the moment is geared around the grading. Whether it’s working on practising combinations and kata, having sessions to work on my fitness or just having a good old stretch to keep as flexible as possible it’s all focused on the grading in some way.

Over the weekend I had a bit of spare time so I got into my training space I have set up in the garage. After warming up with a session on my Schwinn exercise bike, I had a stretch and then just enjoyed having a session on my punch and kickbag doing different strikes and kicks and combinations of the two.

It felt really good just to throw some front punches to head height (jodan zuki), then some roundhouse kicks (mawashi geri), then try a combination a bit like sanbon tsuki, then some crescent kicks (mikazuki geri). Just moving from technique to technique and just enjoying the feeling of the movement.

When I was a beginner mawashi geris always felt like a difficult technique to do. I always used to have a groan when it was time to practise them. Now it’s a technique I really enjoy doing against the bag when I have some time in the garage. I don’t know if I enjoy it because it hasn’t been an easy technique to learn how to do or simply because there’s just something in executing the movement that feels enjoyable.

It just felt good to spend some time doing the movements I’ve been learning for all this years. Nothing complicated just me, a surface to strike and the chance to do some different techniques without an agenda.



  Theo Tsalamandris wrote @

Just a question for you that has had me wracking my brains with for a long time (I too am a Shukokai student; I have been training for just under 2 years now): why is that other karate styles (like Shotokan) do their mawashi geris totally different to Shukokai karate? At our club we use our whole body into the action with the head, shoulder, hip and knee all in alignment when the leg impacts its target. (It is the same round house kick as in Muay Thai and it is very very powerful indeed). Other styles of karate have the knee jutting 45 degrees forward (the same alignment to a side kick) and kick with the ball of the foot.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this question. Please let me know if you require further explanation on the above; I will refer you to the relevant youtube sites if you don’t know what I mean.

All the very best,
and thanks so much for the website. It is truly informative and inspirational.


  nwukshukokai wrote @

Thank you for those kind words Theo, it’s nice to know what I’m writing is of value. And it’s always nice to meet another fellow Shukokai Karateka.

I must it’s difficult to know for sure if I’m interpreting your description correctly. Is your kick similar to how this kickboxer demonstrates his kick to the lower leg, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AYl66XPexY. In terms of your description of the other styles mawashi geri, did you mean something like the demonstration on this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARcslTlD9eg.

I’ve studied both Shukokai and Shotokan and at each of those clubs the approach to Mawashi Geri was the same, and that’s probadly most similar to the Shotokan video above. Though I wouldn’t have said I would have my knee bent and across the line of the body as you pivot round towards the target as it looks in that video, I’d like to think as my foot strikes the target head, through to leg would be in alignment if viewed from above. So the first move would be to bring the kicking leg, bent, up laterally. Then swinging the hip round and pivoting on your supporting leg, so the foot ends up pointing away from the target, bring the thigh with the lower leg still held back round in an arc. Then release the lower leg as pretty much the final action and strike with either the top of the foot, if we’re practising the technique, or the ball of the foot.

As I mentioned in my recent post, https://exploringkarate.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/what-might-not-be-for-today-may-be-for-tomorrow/, my mawashi geris have been a technique I have to and still do work on.

Hope all is well with you Theo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: