One Of my recent karate workouts in the last few weeks is what I dub the basic 100, where I do a 100 reps of the three basic blocks, punches stances and kicks, but I added an extra one as well as roundhouse kicks to the thigh I added roundhouse kicks to the ribs focusing on technique for 100 reps it was a hard workout, really felt it in my core and hips.

I have been working on my kicking for the last 2 years (except from December to early march through injury) practicing long range, snap kicks, Sanchin kicking and my more recent brick-dynamic kicking stretches  working on the punch bag and trying some kick combos. My main problem is that I’m a puncher not a kicker, second is that I can’t time my range to make them work, and third we have in the last two years focused so much on blocking kicks that it hasn’t been worthwhile investing the time into them.

Well for me that finally changed last night. I was drilling with a mate and without trying I was easily kicking his ribs and aiming for his head, we were both in shock no one expects that from me as I don’t have the flexibility to do so. Then I did some light sparring with a mate (we have to tone it down for the grading, too close to afford injury) and first I let him get me with combos and me countering every now and then (he is a green and he needs to be comfortable going for combos against me and I need to time when to strike back if I’m not dominating the fight. Then we decided to go for a ratio of three kicks to two/one punches and it was like I was a kicker, without fearing of my kicks being blocked I went for rib kick, rib kick, head kick all flow and smooth. I was in shock, my mate was in shock and it was controlled straight to the head and back like a snap. He isn’t short we are roughly the same height at 5ft 11.

I have been learning recently that some areas of karate although I know that they are important I tend to ignore, but instead of thinking about adopting a kicking oriented style after my grading I realise that if I practice all of the areas of karate instead of just the ones that I like that my karate improves. By practicing my basic kicks (not moving which I have been doing) Its allowed me to focus on control, technique, high guard flexibility, strength and muscle memory. It is staggering to think a few weeks of practicing basic-100 workout now  and then when I feel like it that it has dramatically improved my kicking (albeit it was only in one session). To me this is important I have drilled sticky hands to become part of how I fight and kicking has been one of my banes. I still have so much to focus on but it seems a right step in the right direction.


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