The final Friday class of the intensive defiantly wasn’t any easier than the previous week.
The morning class started off with partner training. Will and I were together which was great as he pushes me to my limits every single time with his great encouragement and dedication to training. We had two tasks as partners, one person had to jump in a square motion over 3 bags that were placed in a T formation. This was physically exhausting as there were no breaks for what felt like 5 minutes. the second activity was holding a low shikodachi while holding a bo vertical with your shoulders. While this is a physical challenge I found it so much more mental as you had to just keep feeding yourself positive encouraging thoughts. After completing this once I was proud as I completed it and then we got told to do it again. This time all I could think about was the fact we were directly in the sun, at least it took my mind away from the pain. At the end of this physically challenging class we finished it off with laps. Bailey was my partner which was also great because at this stage I needed a bit of encouragement. We had to do 10 push ups and then sprint up the dojo about 4 laps each. Followed by 10 tuck jumps and a sprint. Finally we did 3 laps of army crawling before seiza.
In the kids class there were many obstacle courses that challenged us. Speed training is still my enemy but we are slowly getting better.
Like this mornings class and the previous morning as well, we began to punch, and punch, and punch some more. I forgot to count how many we did but it was a lot. Not only in one stance but also in shikodachi and sonkyou dachi. We can all agree our legs felt like lead after this but there was more! No longer fatiguing our arms we got a partner and did squat kicks. Faith chose to do 60 squat kicks but we ended up getting up to 100 in the time limit. Once the time was up we got told we had to reach that number again but this time when we squat we had to touch a bag on the floor so that we weren’t taking shortcuts. Was definitely a feel good moment once we finished it as a team.
My favourite part of this class was the final drill. We did a more kumite based drill where somebody had to apply restraint against a person that is punching. We did many laps of this and eventually the jnr belts were doing this drill aswell. I have stolen a picture off of sami as I didn’t get any photos!
That was all for Friday nights training as squad training commences in February but I’m glad we all pushed through!
This mornings class wasn’t super physical. In the little champions class, us doing the intensive took on a leadership role. Sensei Martin and Tim (one of the little champion black belts) set up an obstacle course with jumping, kicking and punching. I got to hold the bag where the kids were doing jumping kicks! I think I got the best bag, was pretty good getting them to kiai and jump higher each time.
In the next karate kids class the seniors were took aside and did some bag work in groups of three. We did laps of rinten, kaeshi and oshi zuki. We were working towards speed and accuracy which isn’t as easy as it seems. I have been focusing on posture lately and found that when I raised my eyes instead of looking at the target it was easier to balance therefore hitting the correct target.
The adult class took a less physical approach and had my mind ticking. Bailey, Savannah, Sami and I spent the lesson working on bunkai. We began with niseishidai bunkai, the first one was a slow bunkai, then one as if we were performing it at a grading, and then finally after a short talk with our partner about one thing we wanted to work on, we did one with full spirit. We did this 3x with each partner. I benefitted heaps from this as it was interesting knowing what other people were focusing on so that I could also try to implement it into my training.
After doing bunkai we focused on throwing, but with no arms. I couldn’t quite grasp the hang of it until I got told my posture wasn’t quite up enough. Once I lifted my eyes it worked a little better. Also going back to one of my earlier blogs (about day 3) I spoke about entering when throwing somebody, so turning the back foot towards the target instead of away. This also helped with entering the hips and taking my partners centre. I still didn’t quite get it 100% by the end of the lesson but I was a lot closer than where I was at the beginning of class.
Congratulations Everybody for officially finishing the intensive!