By Sensei Grahame Hunter (4th Dan)
posted: 20 April 2017
There is no substitute for practising your karate. You won't improve if you don't keep reinforcing that muscle memory. Sometimes though, it's good to take a little bit of time to think rather than do.
Anyone who has been training for any length of time will know what I'm talking about when I describe karate as a journey. And a complicated one, at that. There are plenty of twists and turns and unexpected road-blocks to throw you off course. And you'll go down a blind alley more than once as well.
This is where thinking comes in - and you can think big or small: both are equally important.
The big picture is why you are learning karate in the first place and this can be a really good thing to explore as it might change the way you approach training.
For example - if your main aim is self-defence, you might swap partners more often when we work in pairs, or perhaps keep a notebook of what works for you so you can build on it over time."
Here's an exercise for you - think about your punch - one of the most basic things we do. Really analyse it. Where does it start? Where does it end? Where does the power come from? Do you use your hips? Are you rooted to the floor? What difference does a slight variation make? And what would you do after a punch? Follow it with another? Or a kick? Are you in the right stance to make that happen?
It doesn't matter if you think big or small, just spend some time thinking about karate. It will be time well spent.
Sensei Grahame Hunter (4th Dan)
3rd kyu student Matilda has some good advice to help with your training.