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The workouts consist of several parts:

  • Warming up
  • The kihon
  • The kumite
  • The katas

The kihon

Basic Kihon

Kihon's training consists of the repetition of basic movements and postures in order to establish habits. In addition to the correct technique, the habits created by this type of training must include body action, muscle tension, position, speed, resistance, etc. Appropriate.

Each student must perfect the technical aspects of each movement, since repeated training of incorrect positions also leads to the establishment of bad habits. Kihon training must be done initially slowly and with maximum concentration so that the body's memorization mechanisms of the various movements are triggered. The speed can then be increased, while maintaining the same level of concentration and a strong ability to self-critical to always seek to "polish" the movement and make a technique in the simplest way possible without parasitic movements.

The execution of any technique must by this training become so usual that no reflection is required afterwards. This will leave the mind free to deal with combat situations where you have to be vigilant.

Personal training at makiwara

A makiwara is a wooden plank mostly covered with a block of moss or straw used for striking against an obstacle. Makiwara training is used by some to simply condition hands and skin to hit repeatedly. Others use makiwara training to get used to actually hitting a hard target with body action and proper connections (an understanding that is not easily possible to obtain with a training partner or risk not having partners very quickly…). As with other forms of training, makiwara study should be started slowly and slowly to avoid injury.

Bag training

As with makiwara training, the bag is useful for learning how to hit properly.

The free rotations and oscillations of a bag make it more difficult to hit a shot. In addition, a bag is more similar in shape and feel to human (soft) tissues, while still providing the real sensation of impact and forcing the student to become more precise in his techniques. The bag can also be swung or turned before a technique is performed to train to hit a moving target.

As with makiwara, the most common mistake made in bag training is to try to hit too hard too early. This often results in injuries to the joints, skin and leads to the execution of a bad technique because one is afraid of getting hurt. Students should start practicing as they do by practicing without impact. The technique must be done slowly and the very surface of the bag should only be reached at the full extension of the technique. When the student has become accustomed, he or she may approach slightly so that the impact occurs just before full extension.

At this point, one should not try to develop power against the bag, but should work the form of the technique. You can work in this way until you perform a correct and powerful technique from any distance.


Sanbon Kumite (attack on 3 steps)

Sanbon kumite is one of the basic fights (and at least the basic fight for beginners at least…) in our school.

He pits two partners, one attacking and the other defending and then counter-attacking after the third attack.

The three attacks are made by advancing, it is the same attack at the level that was defined by the instructor beforehand (either level chudan ie above the stomach or jodan level ie the face). For beginners, all three attacks/blockages are carried out following the teacher's account. Subsequently the three attacks are done with real strike while respecting the attack and level indicated by the teacher, there are no other indications than "hadjime" to begin and "yame" to stop.

Ippon kumite (attack on one step)

It is also a basic form for fighting. Ippon kumite is substantially identical to sanbon kumite except that the attacker performs a single technique by advancing on a step and therefore the counter-attack is carried out by the defender after the block.

The attack is made from the "zenkutsu-dachi" position (front slot) while the defender remains in the "yoi" position (waiting).

Jiyu-Ippon kumite (semi-free combat with an attack)

Jiyu-ippon kumite may be considered by some as an introduction to free combat but it is above all a real fight where the attacker has only one and only one chance to defeat his opponent with the attack of his choice. The defender must of course block or dodge the attack and then counter-attack before the end of the movement.

For beginners and to avoid injury, the attacker indicates the technique and level chosen before starting the movement. After that, the only known element is the person who attacks!

The fight is stopped after each partner has attacked once or twice each.

Jiyu kumite (free combat)

The kumite jiyu can be considered "a game" where two opponents compete. In this case, each partner attacks when and how he wishes (a single attack, a sequence…)

The blows are totally controlled and the risks are minimized.

The katas

There are 15 essential katas in the Shotokan Ohshima school(click here to see the list of katas).

In a kata, all movements are performed as if there were real opponents. There must be a real fighting feeling.

The katas allow to practice certain techniques that would be too dangerous to perform on the training partners and to teach defenses against multiple opponents.

In general, learning katas begins with Heian Shodan. It is the first kata in the Heian order and contains basic movements. Before we approach it we can also learn Taikyoku katas.

As we progress, we will study different katas.

However, it is essential to learn each kata completely and perfectly before moving on to the next one.

The complete knowledge of a single kata is very important both on the form and on the substance. And this requires a much greater amount of work than the superficial knowledge of all katas.

Depending on the katas, a good understanding can be achieved only after tens of thousands of serious repetitions.

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