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Good Old-Fashioned Basics

So, there we were. Black belts only, on a cold, dark, wet, Wednesday in January. We had all made the effort to get ourselves to the dojo after a long and busy day in the office. But now here we were gis on and expectations high.

So what were we to do? Well, as it was senior grades of Shodan and above only, there was only one thing for it.

Hardcore basics for Dan grading training. So after a warm up of the Heian Kata with the emphasis on using good body dynamics to generate power in technique, as well as technically strong and deep stances, we all got stuck in.

Doing Kata to the count then with full speed and power, it did not take long to get the heart pumping and the sweat falling.

One of the things that I love about training in Karate is that it exercises not just the body and almost every muscle group contained within. But equally, it exercises the mind, or at least it should.

One exercise that I especially enjoy is simple enough, but it gets on occasions even the most experienced Karate-ka a tad confused, as we discovered recently at a well-attended black belt only session.

Three techniques only, but with the order jumbled up. It is surprising, how nimble the brain is but even this testing sequence in executing 3 punches only, kizami zuki, gyaku zuki, and good old uraken jodan, can cause sudden confusion in the brain box. Sometimes in Karate we expect things to happen and we react accordingly. This exercise challenges that logic and is very effective, as well as great fun, as you attempt to be quicker than the opponent you are facing.

And in my view, excellent and practical training for real protection, where your Karate instinct is the difference between you and someone not trained, but maybe very dangerous.

The truth is, you never know what you will do until it happens, but there is no doubt about it: the harder you train, the quicker your instincts, even if only to escape when you need to.

So, just to round a tiring session off, it was time for a full on no-nonsense Shodan grading for all. The complete syllabus from start to finish, no rest, beginning to end, and let me tell you: it felt great.

Keep training as hard as you can!


Sensei Austin

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