Kids night at the Dojo
The Winter school holidays happened this month so we invited the kids along to join our classes. Bruce’s kids, Luke and Amber came to training the same night Sam and Lucy (my two) were there.
Luke has been training for many years so it was a walk in the park for him. The others weren’t so familiar but gave it a good go.
Kihon was a bit confusing for them so we did plenty of line Kata as well as a bit of Bunkai. We did a simple bunkai for Gedan Barrai with a grab-punch entry point and everyone did a great job although the kids Bunkai descended into a rumble pretty quickly!
The focus of July was Heian Nidan and Heian Sandan. Both of these Kata are a significant step up from Heian Shodan and take some time to get right. In addition to the wider range of stances, like Kiba-Dachi, there are more complex and tricky transitions between moves. These transitions are hard to get right as they require great balance coupled with excellent timing and a strong stance.
The only sure-fire way to learn them is practice, practice, practice. So that’s what we did. Each of the turns and transitions were drilled in isolation. Focus was paid to the position of the feet before and after the turns as well as the stability of the resulting stances. We also performed the mirror image of each move for both balance and context.
Higher grades also worked on Heian Nidan Sho. We drilled each move in Kihon and then reinforced the technique with solid Bunkai before moving on the the next one. All in all, this month has seen great progress by all students in their Kata.