Last night was a great workout, especially the conditioning drills. I thought I’d be banged up but not one bruise in sight. J Conditioning in Uechi-ryu karate is another facet of training that leads to better protection from attacks and may help keep you in a fight longer to win or to get a chance to run away.
It’s important not to abuse your partner during these drills because you only work on conditioning certain areas of the body, and strike/kick in specific ways. It also keeps the “conditioner” from hurting their wrists, legs or feet. My technique in this drill was good at first (we exchange alternating strikes and kicks with rotating partners) but worsened as we went on. Apparently after my kicks to the thighs I was steadily moving closer to my partner instead of getting back into Sanchin. My Maai (spacing) was way off and I was using the wrong part of my leg to use to condition my partner. Luckily my partner was Master Folta so I got a good lesson out of it.
My issue with Maai was a product of me not having control over the first battle in Sanchin. I was so focused on kicking to the correct part of the body that I lost sight of my overall focus. I’ve still got a lot of work to do on my Mushin.
I couldn't find a good picture to demonstrate this so here is a picture of Elvis Presley doing some sparring. Is that a shoken? :-)
Picture found at: Keith Matthews Kenpo Karate.