There are many different parts to a typical class. The following outlines breaks down some of the different components of an average class that a student can expect. As illustrated below,there is much to cover in a short amount of time.
Starting with the feet and working up to the top of the head, the point is to stretch and strengthen the body. This is accomplished through a multitude of different exercises.
This time is used to calm the body as well as mentally calm and focus the mind. This is important instruction; however, there is not enough time in a class to meditate properly. The student, if so inclined, should practice on their own time.
This time is spent learning the origins of the art, and the people in the bloodline. Each student should spend the time to know the history and be able to talk about it in front of the rest of the class.
The character for this word means “form”. The point of a Kata is to do a set of techniques put together in a “choreography” over and over again. The purpose of doing this is to creating muscle memory and the mind does not need to think about what it is doing, but rather do it on it own.
The definition of the two characters that make up this word is “dismantle, disassemble and analyze”. The set attacks are intended to show and reinforce one possible application of the techniques located in the Katas. It is done in slow motion with the intent being that the “choreography” now has definition.
This time is spent having each student demonstrate at least one Kata in front of the class. The entire class watches, then each student critiques on what they did well and what they need to focus on in the future. This helps the student demonstrating to hear from the class on how they are progressing and for the rest of the class to see how different body types move and how to interpret those movements.
ARM RUBBING / ARM POUNDING / ARM CHOPS:
The point of Iron Body training is to slowly condition the body to become able to endure the rigors of the martial art. The training is done over a very long period of time, allowing for a gradual increase in the bodies defenses without creating debilitating damage.
Arm rubbing is the first step that a student makes into Iron Body training. Like the layers of an onion, the student will have, over time, the different aspects of what this exercise is doing for them be reveled. At the onset, it is used to demonstrate why it is important to practice proper stance, and to learn about both the way that their body functions, and the way that other body types work.
Arm pounding is the next steps in Iron Body training. This exercise is done to increase the ability to block with one of the body’s major defenses. As a student increases in Kyu’s, they are introduced to different levels of arm pounding. There are three different types of arm pounding that a student will encounter: One Point, Three Point and Five Point Arm Pounding. Each start soft and slow at first and are made more intense as the student progresses in the art.
Arm Chops are the last form of Iron body condoning that a student works on. They are the most difficult and require understanding of footwork, strikes and timing so as to not hurt one another.
ONE POINTS / CONTINUOUS / SPARING:
This is important to practice real world application of the Katas. The rules are important and should be reinforced so the students do not go astray.
One Points is done with lower Kyus. It is not fighting, but the foundation for what is being learned in the Katas. Two students face each other, the lower Kyu “attacks” the upper Kyu in slow motion, then the higher ranking Kyu blocks and retaliate in slow motion using technique from the Katas. At this point the action stops, and the two students change rolls. All students are given the opportunity to work together to see how different body types work and how different people react to similar situations.
Continuous is for upper ranking Kyus and is the evolution of One Points. The rules are similar, but the exchange of techniques continues, one block and strike then the next student does the same. Again this is done in slow motion until the students, after much practice, become conferrable and are allowed to speed up little by little.
Sparing is the last evolution of the real world usage of the art. This is saved for the highest Kyus, and must be done in a very controlled manor. All that the students has been practicing at this point can be brought to bear, but must not result in injuring another student.
This training is used to strengthen the hands slowly over time. It allows a student to get use to the idea of hitting, makes the hands stronger without damaging them, and allows the students to better understand the strikes located in the Katas.
Nigiri Game, or Gripping Jars, are held with the fingertips, and used to increase the strength of the fingers, hands, and wrist. They are held up while the students practice stepping in SanChin Dachi. They passively work out the upper part of the body as the lower half is actively exercising.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
This should be done throughout class and is very important.