Karate Master: Part 8

This last training session was particularly interesting. I arrived a few minutes early, while the advanced training was still going on. The instructor called me over, and let me participate in the last few minutes while the other club members were arriving. It consisted of shuto practice, in particular it’s application in real combat. Until then I’d only considered the stance a fancy way to face your opponent, not something you’d really want to use against an opponent. In fact, it is quite an interesting block, that can easily be used to throw your opponent off balance.

The bulk of the practice consisted of training kicks. We introduced a new kick, the side kick (seriously, why can’t I remember these names?). Surprisingly I still had the proper muscle memory from four years ago, and picked it up again fairly quickly, while allowing for a few modifications dictated by the new style I’m practicing.

I think the most important thing that I learned was that you don’t block kicks. In Shotokan, at least in the school I learned it in, we were taught to block kicks, doing so with a low sweeping block. In Shotokai we’re taught that’s a good way of breaking your arms. There may be a few exceptions, but it’d involve us having to do some experimentation. Something that I’m not at the proper level to do yet.

All in all, a good training session, I enjoyed myself quite a bit. There was one incident during sparring, which involved a white belt getting kicked in the face by a green belt. Fortunately, the martial arts, especially this style it appears, attract a certain type of person, and the incident didn’t escalate beyond the white belt asking if he could keep the bloodstain on his Gi as a souvenir.

I’ve always thought to myself, you can’t do martial arts and expect not to get hurt. The training is made as safe as possible, most of the times, but you won’t get far expecting to be uninjured during training. Best to start considering each injury as a badge of honor or something of the like. If you’re bleeding, all the better.

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