Over the last few weeks we have been preparing our katas and kumite skills for both the Soke Cup and upcoming gradings.  We have adopted a new set of drills to prepare us for kata.  It includes lots of leg strengthening work, followed by line drills focusing on the range of stances needed for all of our katas.  Though our katas range in complexity, every one of them relies on very strong stances to execute them well.  After completing the leg strengthening exercises it may seem that your legs are too tired to perform your kata well, however the tiredness in your legs ensures that you focus more keenly on executing your stances well. In all it is important to remember that our katas are not a choreographed set of movements, but a exhibition of intensity, meant to illustrate speed and power against multiple attackers. 

For kumite, we are all getting used to wearing the bogu kumite helmets.  While they offer protection for jodan techniques, they also take some getting used to.  They are very hot and tend to restrict peripheral vision.  But keep in mind – we are wearing them for 30 minutes at a time.  For your matches, you will have to wear them for only two to three minutes. The other thing to remember is that people fight differently while wearing them – participants tend to put themselves closer to their opponents and as a result, may get hit more often.  While the helmets offer protection, we all still have the responsibility to fight with control and not put ourselves in danger.   A really positive feature of sparring with helmets is that it helps you to understand scoring and defensive distances much better. 

The most important thing to remember in all of our preparations is intensity.  We cannot put in 50% effort here and there.  Particularly in kumite, if you aren’t prepared to give 100% to every drill and match, then you jeopardize your chances of learning the techniques effectively and put yourself at risk when you do compete.   

Finally – both kata and kumite will improve if we all strengthen our cores! Do extra core workouts for homework!

Announcements

  • Class cancellations: no classes on Thrusday March 24 to Thursday, March 31 inclusive for school use and spring break.  Classes are scheduled as usual on Friday, April 1.
  • For the Soke Cup participants – PLEASE BOOK YOUR OWN FLIGHT.  Intially we considered flying together, however with everyone having different plans, it will be easier to book our own flights.  As I mentioned earlier, for those of you who have expressed interest in the trip, a block of rooms is booked at the Riverside Hotel in Kumamoto from Monday August 1, with check-out on Tuesday August 9. 

“It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”

– Paul “Bear” Bryant

Enjoy your training!

Gary Sabean

Head Instructor