Thursday, 28 January 2016


Primary focus was on kata, particularly heian yondan. We also practiced some throat punches. Naturally everyone pulls those punches when practicing but it's astonishing how even a light tap causes pain. It makes you realise how seriously powerful a proper karate punch is and how much damage one does in the right place.

Friday, 22 January 2016


Hard and technical. We focuse on perfecting gyakutsuki and oitsuki technique, with the late twist and stretching the stance.

Sensei showed us how the late twist keeps the punch parallel to the ground, whereas twisting early tends to pull the punch upwards at an angle, reducing the force.

I like that kind of lesson. You can feel your technique improving from start to finish. Sometimes variety comes at a cost.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016


This session ran the full gamut: tough exercise at first, then hard repetitions of techniques, then practising some kata, and then kumite. I was primarily matched against Jh during kumite and noticed that kid is seriously improving. We're ostensibly the same grade, but he's 13 years younger and it shows. He's simply quicker than me. Hopefully that notion that age brings wisdom and experience holds true... At one point he executed a soto-uke right on my elbow joint. Christ, that hurt.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016


A relaxed self-defence orientated lesson tonight, mainly I think for J, who was making an appearance after a long time (six months, I think) and a new student who is a black belt in wado-ryu but hasn't done anything karate related in 22 years.

It was good to see J and there was a nice atmosphere in class, but I do have to confess that I miss having a really tough workout - never thought I'd say that, but pain and torment can be addictive in the right doses, it seems.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

05/01/2015 and 07/01/2015

Fresh start to the year and two very contrasting sessions. The first session back was brutally hard (must have done at least 200 push ups during the course of the session, and Sensei has come up with a new method of torture: three punches, down into three push-ups, then up for another three punches....repeat times a billion). I definitely felt stronger for having the break, though. I think I'm right in saying I was the strongest/fittest performer.

The second session was still rigorous but much more of a 'karate' session - repeated practice of shuto uke and maegeri, and then numerous runs-through of the first four heian kata. About 45 minutes in there was a power failure at the gym, so we spent the last 15 minutes doing heian shodan over and over again in the darkness with our white dogis glowing slightly. Fun times.