Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Training with a strong, sweaty partner

This week's training in Shorinji Kempo seemed difficult. It was a hot evening and I'd made the mistake of eating quite close to our training times and I had an upset stomach. All of these things contributed to my state of mind and the approach I had to the session the other night, but another factor made for an interesting session also: a strong, sweaty partner!

After kihon training we grouped up and started working on a wrist grab and release: yori nuki.

So we started off pacing through it but very soon my partner wanted to execute this technique much quicker, but the effect of the sweat and the fact that he is much stronger (with bigger hands) meant that he just popped out of it easily each time! To his credit he realised this and backtracked which I felt was important. Getting to grips (pardon the pun) with the true essence of the technique is the only route to mastery. Skip those subtle elements now and your technique will develop a shallowness which may not stand up to pressure.

Take for example a simple kick: front kick. Beginners tend to scoop their foot straight up in order to kick skipping the intermediary bent knee position. Even some more experienced karateka have the tendancy to execute a good kick outward but pose the foot straight back down without coming back to this halfway 'cocked' position.

So I'm endeavouring to get to the heart of the technique right from the outset otherwise I'll get into bad habits.

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