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.

Archive for yoko geri

Put your bodyweight into it!

We spent a lot of time working with the impact pads on Tuesday night at training. I always enjoy a good session on the pads. It feels great to be able to put everything into a technique and get the physical feedback of feeling it strike the pad.

One thing that really came through was the extra power that is realised when you make sure you’re moving your bodyweight in the right way. While my reverse punches, gyaku zukis, felt a bit off par to begin with (note to self to work on those) I could really feel the difference in the impact of the stepping punches, oi zuki.

Getting the push off the ball of my back foot to get that acceleration, a bit like a sprinter (note the use of ‘a bit like’ in my case 😉 ), and really propel my bodyweight towards the pad and focus it’s impact through my arm onto the pad. It reaffirmed the value of maintaining the same height level throughout the technique so all the power is moving straight forward and not rising and falling as you step through.

Trying to get that same explosive movement and thrusting impact came into play for both the front kick, mae geri, and side kick, yoko geri.

It felt like another of those moments when the principles of karate just came together in a really tangible way and you realise this is why you’ve be learning techniques a certain way.


Me, myself and I…Day 1

I read Moving Zen by CW Nicol recently and there was a little bit of envy in the situation he’d found himself in. Him being in Japan and being able to train every day. Well I’ve got a few days off work this week and I got myself in my garage this morning before breakfast to have half an hour on my bag. I’m going to aim to train every day this week, if there isn’t a Day 2 post you’ll be able to gauge my commitment to this exercise!!! Now having read other martial artists blogs and social media posts I know fellow martial artists put in some serious training time on a weekly basis and I know I’m more of a slow and steady kind of guy but for me my training needs to sit in balance with all the other aspects of my life.

It was really great to work through a few different things in just thirty minutes or so.

To warm up a bit I started by blocking an imaginary attack and then moving through landing some counter attacking moves on the bag at half speed. Just working on finding some counter attacks that worked for me in response to an attack. One thing I tried to incorporate was evasive movement as well as the blocking and countering. I know all too often my path of evasion is straight back rather by moving inside or outside and keeping in a better striking range.

Then I worked on some attacking combinations. Using quicker half steps with feinting punches to tee a strong technique to land on the bag. I always feel pretty clumsy because unless I work it up from a slow speed when I try it fast I lose the flow after the first couple of steps. After getting the steps and punches sorted I worked on making sure I was starting to really use the hip rotation to bring more power. It felt good to make the realisation that I could bring that in and get more power. It made me realise I could bring in an extra feinting strike through using that body rotation.

Then I ran through some basic strikes and kicks. I positioned myself side on for the yoko geris and that got me thinking about using an ushiro geri in response to an oncoming attack from the side as it would be far more powerful so I practised a few of those.

So it felt really energising to not just practise quite a few different things but to spot some improvements and have some extra ideas popping into my head.

Who knows maybe there’s something in this everyday thing :-).