Bournemouth Karate Club (Wado Ryu)

Pinan Yondan kata

The point I was making for the third movement was not to forcefully pull the arms back before pushing them out to make the X. After the second move with arms high, take the tension away and let them drop towards the side of your body, whilst your body begins to move forward. They will end up in that double hikite position with no additional effort and then you can shot the arms forwards.

Concentrate on the fluid movement from Steps 2 to 3. Do not momentarily stop back in that central spot, in a squat position with both arms pulled back. Yes, it's useful in the early stages of teaching and remembering, but later on, drop it. As soon as you relax the arms from Step 2, your centre should be moving forward already. Your arms lag behind your body, but that's another forthcoming blog post.

The pair of kicks, they are Yoko Geri, not Mae Geri. try to keep your chest and hips facing the front whilst you kid to the side. Our flexibility may mean we do move, but the intention is not to turn the body to face the side and end up making mae geri, there is a difference.

After the Yoko Geri, the stance is gyakuzuki stance, with hips and chest square on whilst making the elbow strike. Sometimes a student ends up in junzuki leaning forward with the elbow strike as they haven't been able to get the body behind it.

In making "empi" do not make a wide circular strike. Start by making gyakuzuki instead, whilst keeping the elbow tight to the body until it passes the ribs. Once you get that action under control, bring the elbow into play.

To stand up with feet together in heisoku dachi, do so in a single continuous body movement, do not turn the left foot first and then draw the body back up. That's the easy route. This applies at the end of every kata as well.

From the second elbow strike we move onto the downward cover with the right hand. I spend a lot of time after the kata in the video on this one point. There's a lot to it in terms of body movement, shifting your weight, getting your left chest clear, the travel of the right hand, the synchronisation of the hand drop and body shift, the connected structure of the torso and arm as a single force, it's not a push (not in our approach anyway), the attitude that the sweeping hand should be able to react to an attack whatever the level on its way down, not to drop the right hand to then scoop up to name a few points.

The last two movements of Pinan Yondan is Kake Uke and that is translated as a hooking action. Far too often people don't manage the counter rotation of the body action along with the trajectory of the front hand. Instead of a looping hooking action right at the end, it ends up like a shuto uke action as if striking the opponent's arm away.