In The Dark Again
Funny how the pendulum swings isn’t it? We have been having really good attendance lately but for some reason or other we only had six students turn up on Tuesday 19th….perhaps there was a football match on the TV…England v Brazil perhaps? Anyhow, it happens so you just deal with it.
I had 1 purple/white belt, one brown/white belt, one brown/double white belt and three black belts. So we went through Kwanku-Sho and Ji’on again.
Then I got them to do some kicking practice with emphasis on yoko geri keage (side snap kick). I find that the side kicks are the kicks that most people have the most trouble with. Students tend to want to walk sideways, crab fashion, whilst trying to kick sideways. I doesn’t work unless you have amazing hip flexibility (like those Chinese acrobats who tie themselves in knots) which most of us don’t!! The secret is to turn the upper body towards your attacker which shifts your hip position and takes the strain out of the hip ball and socket joint. The other problem is the foot position because most people’s ankles are not very flexible and the kicking foot must be side on when it lands. However lots of feet turn at the last split second before impact and you end up doing a front kick to the side – THIS IS WRONG!
The best way you can practice getting some flexibility in your ankles is two-fold. First sit on the floor regularly (in front of the TV perhaps…..watching football??) and move your foot about the ankle joint, and Second, stand with both of your feet facing forward and wide apart (that’s WIDE apart) and practice swopping your weight from one foot to the other. It works! It is also good exercise for your quadriceps muscles in the top of your legs.
At the end of the lesson I turned all the lights out again (you recall from earlier blogs that I do this from time to time) and gave them one step sparring and then freestyle in the dark. If you are reading this from another club then make sure that you give your students ample time for their eyes to adjust to the darkness and ban all kicks and sweeps below belt height as well as banning strikes to the face (because you cannot see the opponents face clearly).