September 26-27, 2015
Mark talked about pressing the opponent with your feeling. He backed off from saying it was a psychic energy that you are projecting, but clearly he believed it was, even as people talked about physical indicators of an imminent attack (what I call “tells”). He said looking for physical tells are too slow, and if you go by that alone you will be late. He said that as he pressed the opponent with his feeling, the opponent felt compelled to attack and that is when he would take them.
At Kata practice I was working on that feeling. He said in kata practice that we should visualize the opponent as right in front of us. The opposite of staring out into space or long range. The opponent is right in front of us.
In kata we worked on Heian Nidan and Tekki Shodan. In Heian Nidan he said that on the first kick we should have the feeling of going down and make sure the left elbow/shoulder did not go out but stayed connected to the attack. The stance should drop. We practiced in an interesting way. 1) step by step explaining each move. 2) by the count of the entire kata. 3) no count. 4) back to count. He said with this routine he learned all the kata at the Sunday practices with Caylor Atkins in one year between May and November.
My favorite was from the second practice on day one: lead hand miete while rear foot steps, then front foot does front kick.
On the first workout of day one we did mostly hand stuff. Workout number two included a lot of kicking:
- Yoriashi miete.
- Step up miete.
- Step up front kick, miete.
We did these in an ippon kumite format using gyakuzuki as a counter as well as yoriashi miete as counter. He talked about the feeling of pulling the opponent in. I think he was also referencing pushing them inwardly to make them react.
In the second workout we did a counter to someone performing an oizuki. Defender in a fighting stance would slip through and round kick to the ribs. We did a variation of the same slipping through but finishing with a groin kick from behind.
Mark’s kicking style is based on being upright so he can be in. His round kicks came up at various angles with the hip much more folded and tight to his body. He seemed unconcerned about the shin and thigh being horizontal on impact. It made the range of the kick much shorter yet the kick was right in front of him. He generates power without appearing to try. Probably the result of a lot of bag work.
I realized in the practice that visualizing the opponent close immediately made my counters better and more accurate.
I asked Mark about the downward shuto block in Gankaku. He said that according to the Kyohan the blocking hand went below the pulling hand before extending the block. He and some others realize the technique done this way was ineffective for attacking the opponent’s seizure of our right wrist. He started performing the block with the blocking hand above the pulling hand, much like a normal shuto block. When observing kata Mark said Mr. Ohshima would allow either method to pass without correction.