This is mostly calisthenics, involving some vigorous jumping (up/down, side-to-side, forward/backward/, etc.), neck rotations, arm exercises, leg extensions, torso/hip movement, and so on. For junior beginer classes, we frequently play active, fun games (Bulldog being one favourite). When weather is fine, we may train ouside (facilities permitting).
This is followed by basics. These are geared to the grades of the students; thus beginners will concentrate on individual techniques (such as Choku Zuki, Age Uke, Mae Geri, etc.), while more advanced students will cover combination techniques, starting with Age Uke / Gyaku Zuki, and progressing to more complex examples, like Mae Geri / Kekomi / Shuto Uchi / Gyaku Zuki / Gedan Barai.
This is almost always followd by Kata, and again, the Kata performed will (generally) reflect the grades of the students. Thus, for example, White belts and Blue belts will practice Taikyoku Shodan, Green belts will practice Taikyoku Shodan
plus all the Heian Katas
up to Heian Yondan. Bunkai
(application) will also usually feature.
(sparring) also has it's part, and numerous lessons will contain instruction in both the Kihon
Sets, and the Jiyu Ippon
Sets. Sometimes we look at Karate weapons, such as the Bo
When a grading is approaching, training naturally concentrates on the syllabus, but at other times, Sensei may decide to inroduce other martial arts techniques (from, for example, Judo), or self-defence moves, etc., to broaden the experience of the students.
Sometimes training is gruelling and tough, with much physical activity performed at high speed, non-stop.
We need this every now and then to ensure our physical edge is not lost. Other lessons, however, concentrate on honing techniques. Sensei might select a Kata, and concentrate on that for a whole lesson. This allows students to examine individual moves in detail, to practice those movements at slow speed, which helps the body develop a degree of muscle memory. Students can discuss with Sensei the benefits of these moves, and learn their application.