Technique of the Week (January 14th, 2008)
From Sensei Steve Lott,
Karate Dojo at St Barts- NYC
Do not re-adjust the upper body when finalizing down blocks.
There is a mistake made by some beginners when performing forward leaning down block. This mistake is permitting the entire upper body and head to pull back or rise slightly just as the down block is completed.
This is how the error looks.
The first photo is the position of the upper body and head just a split second before completing the block:
The second photo is the position of the upper body and head as the block is completed:
Notice the change in the position of the upper body and head. This should not occur.
Beginners, use the mirror to see if this is happening in your down block. You can do this by performing the block with the mirror on your side. When you drop, chamber, and block, keep an eye on the mirror. If you perform the block properly the upper body and head will not change in position. If the upper body and head adjusts by pulling back as you complete the block then you are performing the technique improperly.
Instructors note - beginners may not be skilled enough to see this error. Thats your job to catch it early and have them correct it before it becomes a bad habit in every kata. Once that happens they will find this bad habit very difficult to break.