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7) Karate Training with Akamine Sensei - Okinawa 2019

Wednesday 9/25/2019:
Sensei came through today, not only bringing naihanchi back up, but also letting me swing around a little nunchaku when I first arrived. Mostly just for exercise, but he emphasized holding them in different grips and feeling their weight in different ways, and using different muscle groups to emphasize the training of the wrists, forearms, and shoulders. I hope I get to see his sai some day, he's apparently quite accomplished with it.


I asked him a question about the "double punch" strikes in passai sho and dai. Yes, they may look like it, but have you ever seen anyone use a double punch in a practical way? All of these moves aren't specifically prescribing a particular block or strike, just engraining movement into your body, which can be used in a variety of ways, but for the sake of "bi," many of them need to be performed on both sides to maintain "balance" in the kata. However, these "double" moves hide an even deeper meaning: one hand is always a block, and the other may be a strike. By putting out both hands at the same time, you are masking your intentions in the kata. "Kata contain all the answers" he repeated Soken sensei's maxim; you don't just practice the kata just to do specific moves perfectly, you use it to practice your kihon and general posture and movement, and do it over and over to explore its depths. Even if I were only taught the Pinan kata and kihon, that should be enough for me to develop on my own if I focus on my stances.


Speaking of which, deepen your stances and test your balance; if a movement feels too hard or unnatural, you may need to correct your balance. No cat stances, and no straight legs, you should be 50% on each foot at all times. Bringing me back to the wall, he had me square off and extend my fists as before. Now bend your knees and drop into a deep horse stance. Your posture should be no different, it should feel like the same stance. When your legs start to shake, that’s what it feels like to deepen your practice.

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nice gaijin
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