We were delighted to host Sensei Cristina Finta who taught our regular Wednesday class in Charlton. She has been busy recently having passed 4th Dan and having become kata champion at the KUGB National tournament. This was on top of her many other competition medals, some of which she kindly agreed to bring to the class to show the students and provide inspiration. And it worked: more students are keen to participate in competitions after her visit! Sensei Cristina also provided two firsts for us at Senshi Karate: she was our first guest instructor at our Charlton dojo (other than for gradings) and our first female external guest instructor at the club.
In this class, Sensei taught kumite. We all started with gohon and ippon kumite. We then practised this with partners, then adding kizami tsuki, gyaku tsuki with footwork. Sensei focused on several key points:
- deliver your technique quickly so it is realistic and your opponent has to react
- don’t aim to miss as your partner will never learn how to defend against a punch; and you’ll simply learn how to miss
- don’t hold back in fear you’ll get hit back, otherwise you won’t deliver your own technique properly
- work on your distancing to make sure you can deliver a counter punch
- get your speed and timing right to make the techniques work
Photos by Ann Li, Louise Pavey Monk and Frank Jennings