Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Training Diary January 2015

Just a few words regarding my own personal martial arts training as a reference for myself and others.
I hope to update this every few weeks at least with what Ive been up to. Possibly I will include some pictures and videos from time to time too.
For years I have trained in multiple styles either as a way to understand the theories in the Shotokan kata I train and teach or simply because I find the prospect of being a "Shotokan" ( or any single style for that matter ) very limiting and not really a progressive way of learning or training. Ill probably write more about that another time.

First training session back after the new year was my regular Monday night group session. Every Monday evening I teach an adults beginners session and straight after a few guys all get together for a training session. Most of the attendees are Dan grades in my club but a few others pop in from time to time but we always have a great little group there prepared to train. I started the sessions as a way to get martial artists of all styles together and share techniques, experiences, drills or whatever and would love to see more people turning up. The more varied the group becomes the greater the benefit for all involved and I'm pretty sure that regular training with a group like this will see everyone improve through greater knowledge and improved fitness. So, anyone reading that feels like coming along you are more than welcome. Sessions are every Monday in central Milton Keynes. Just get in touch with me for more details.
Anyway, last nights session saw a few people missing for whatever reason so there were just the 3 of us there. We worked on some punching drills to start, with the aim being to keep correct form and technique whilst generating speed and power. We drilled the reverse punch from 4 primary positions. First a traditional style reverse punch from a deep forward stance then we shorted the stance a little to make a more practical "free" stance but still chambered the punch all the way from the hip. Next we brought the hands in front of the body to create a shorter punch. The aim here was to still use hip movement and create good power from the shortened punch. Finally we did exactly the same but from a near standing position.
We then did very similar but for a round house kick. We aimed to kick the pads with a fully chambered kick and finish the kick. The idea for all of this was to keep our basic technique as close to what we tend to practise in our karate kihon but now use the technique to create power on impact.
Finally to finish off we did a few timed rounds on the heavy hanging bag. Nothing too crazy this week, just 10 secs on - 10 secs off repeated 3 times ( making a 1 minute round in total ) I think we did 3 rounds of this in total by the end.
Today I was at the gym doing a few massage treatments and happened to finish a bit early so I popped into the studio for a little private training. I started with a few sit ups, crunches and planks to get me going and then did some light bag work on the standing bag.
I then practised a little bit of conditioning kata. Recently I have been training with the Goju-Ryu kata "Seisan". This is a conditioning kata used to build core strength and train your breathing. I have learnt this kata about 3 different ways now and to be honest I am not interested in the form itself but find the conditioning aspect very appealing so I just train my own version ( which tends to change every time I do it!). I did a couple of reps of this kata and then I decided to try something new (to me). In Okinawan styles of karate they often train something known as "hoju undo" which basically means supplement training. This is usually done with traditional materials used as weights etc. What I did was I use 2 6kg dumb-bells and gripped one end with my fingers. I then practised movement in my seisan stance whilst clasping the weights. I tried to focus on using my core to keep the weights held high and not just rely on finger and hand strength. Done regularly this should improve core strength, grip strength and arm strength.
I then carried this theme on and used a 12kg kettle bell held out in front of my abdomen. I basically then worked my way through a few kata steps using the added weight to work my legs and core. I also tried similar using a 15kg bar on my shoulders and worked though a few kata. Anyone wishing to try similar I suggest you try a kata such as "Gankaku" for the one legged stances and the height changes. 

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