Monday, March 27, 2006

The one armed karate ka

I was having issues with my left arm, and shoulder so I went for some therapy. I was told to "lay off of the martial arts" for awhile to allow that shoulder to heal.

This gave me some concerns, since I enjoy martial arts, and that I didn't wish to allow the rest of my body to lose what I had gained. I managed to strike a bargain and placed my left arm in a sling to isolate it from training.

I performed all of my basics, and kata one-armed for my classes, and I learned SO much about karate.

a) I learned that I was capable of separating the goal from the technique. If I wanted to do a downward block, I could just as easilly use the opposite hand, or my knee.. it didn't have to always be the textbook version that I've been doing up until now.

b) I learned that you have to speed up the movements if you want to block/counter with only one arm. The block has to be more of a strong flicking feeling rather than a solid block to allow the time to pull your fist back for the counter.

c) I learned how important that pull back hand (Hikite) really is! There was no balance without the pull back hand. All of the power of my techniques suddenly had to come from hip vibration or rotation. I became exhausted very quickly.

d) I felt the open-ness of my left side, therefore I went into fighting stance with my right side forwards. It felt awkward.. the left has always been my preference. This alerted me to the fact that I might like to train so that both sides are comfortable when I defend myself.

I don't know how long I have to let my left arm recuperate, and heal, but I do know that I appreciate all the lessons that I have learned from this moment of my training.


[Mat] said...

Sensei encourages us to practice with such handicaps.

Closed eyes, arms in the back.

All these sessions are priceless. you don't realize how much you come to depend on all those senses.

Be strong, Mireille. I hope that arm helps up.

John Vesia said...

Hi Mireille...
It's good that you discovered different techniques to utilize in regards to your injury. We once had a guy in our school with one arm (he had a terrible accident as a young man), the disability made him become a proficient karate-ka. And I've always trained both sides (including kata and basics), you learn and develop faster.


Colin Wee said...

Did you discover that your arm has more than one weapon attached?

[Mat] said...

So, how's the one-armed karateka doing?

supergroup7 said...

Yes Colin... I was able to see how effective I could make one arm become as I attempted to fulfill the demands of a kata using only one side. Creativity became my strongpoint at this point in time.

supergroup7 said...

I like to try to train on both sides also, John. I wonder if most people have a weaker side, and a stronger side, unless they are ambidextrous.

supergroup7 said...

Hi Mat,

I would say that those sessions where you have to rely on your other senses must be enlightening, and even entertaining.

I tried to do my kata with my eyes closed, and when I opened them again, I found myself facing totally different from where I THOUGHT that I should be.

How am I doing? My arm is recuperating, now I have to rebuild my strength. I'm up to about 7 real push ups consequetively, and then another 5 push ups from my knees before the arm starts to whine.