Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Regardless of what some people might think about me as a martial artist, I don't go around beating people up on a regular basis! I do often work with a partner and this is essential for timing, distance and striking points (vital areas) and of course feeling the dynamic of different people. What you can't really do with your training partner is whack them really hard, as you might in a real fight or defence situation. So it was with some pleasure that the teacher got some focus mits and pads out the other night. I knew we were in for a punishing session as Master Campbell had a glint in his eye-lots of aerobic and lots of thwacking!
As well as a great feeling of energy I found that the bag work helped me focus on how I hit correctly. The parts of my hand (in this case) which made contact with the pad sort of worked itself out on its own! As I was half way through 30 kap kwon (back fist or uraken) strikes I realised I was connectnig with the wrong part of my hand. How did I know? The back of my hand was starting to smart and the hit felt 'flat' without a cutting sharpness I expected. I had to work on angling the fist outwards slightly in order to connect with the knuckles. This worked better and was less painful. I also had to check I wasn't damaging my elbow by over extending. All this together made for what I thought was a powerful back fist and I appreciated the feedback the bag gave me.
Of course just because it smarts a bit doesn't mean that you're striking with the wrong part! My knuckles did redden (you can also use bag mits for this sort of training and certainly juniors shouldn't attack bags without adequate protection on their hands and feet and then again only lightly: their bodies are still growing and forming!) but this coupled with my own knowledge of how to strike made for a good exercise.