Friday night was fight night and it was awesome! Interestingly, I was contemplating not going to the Dojo, because CPPS was acting up and I wanted my concentration for class, as things happen fast I didn’t want to be injured because I was distracted by pain. I decided to go anyway and it turned out to be my best fighting experience yet!
Before Kumite we went through conditioning and drills. One of the drills was super interesting. Sensei Fogarasi had us pair up with a partner and take turns pursuing and retreating. After a couple of rounds, one partner would pursue and the other counter with a punch/tsuki, and then switch after a round. It then moved to two strikes with the other pursuing, and so on and so on. Each time a strike would be added, including kicks, and blocks, until it became free form with pursue and retreating.
As Sensei Fogarasi explained, this was training us in proper distance, conditioning, correct stance and counter attacks and timing.
Because we started in a series of arranged movements, it was a great way to perfect technical execution of basic movements through repetitious practice with a partner. It helped us develop timing, distance control, accuracy, and self-control and as it became more complex, it helped with coordination, speed and fluidity.
Because we were practicing in light contact situation, control was a critical and thus when we would go more full out we were technically more proficient. As well, the repetitive practice movements with a partner was really helpful with range and angles of your kicks, punches and blocks. This knowledge can then be applied to developing accurate striking distances for kumite.
When it came time to fight I without a doubt had my best night yet. I don’t know if it was just a good night, or all of the training that Sensei Fogarasi has instilled, including what we did earlier in the night was paying off, but what ever it was it felt great! My conditioning was getting better, so I felt less gassed, and it seemed like I was accurately calculating how to correctly time defensive movement. My speed and fluidity had improved in the transitions between combination movements. I was actually doing things I had been visualizing in my mind! One of my favourtie fighter’s, which I have mentioned here before, is Hajime Kazumi. I have been watching a lot of his fight footage and really like the way he would stay relaxed and his low kicks would frustrate his opponent. I was trying to emulate this and it worked. Inside low kicks were working for me.
I was really taking Sensei Fogarasi’s teachings to heart. I tried to be more relaxed, less intense (even though my red Irish head doesn’t agree), and it seemed like things slowed down. For once I felt like I was choosing what do, instead of reacting. I could see the kick coming slower and react with my own inside gedan mawashi geri.
All in all I am very grateful that I attended class, and extremely grateful that I have an instructor who is always challenging us to be better every week. Both physically and mentally.