top 3: heian godan

'top 3' is a series of short videos aimed at highlighting common points that are often neglected when performing kata. after learning the sequence of each kata, make sure that these details are given particular attention.

1. direct double block. similar to yondan, the double x-block juji-uke comes from the side, rather than arms. this is an example of relative position preparation, where the body moves past the hands in situ, rather than the hands withdrawing and separating.

2. blurred combination. avoid blurring the combination from the juji-uke until the kiai; here there are focus points on the open hand block, the pulling down block, and both punches (choku tsuki then oi tsuki).

3. the eagle has landed. striving for lateral distance in the jump makes it difficult to land solidly, and as such the jump often blurs into the following morote uke. better to control the jump as more up/down than along, and focus the landing. a common point that differentiates good/bad kata in competition.

bonus point: nukite commitment. the ending sequence of heian godan is often the weakest part, and this is mainly due to lack of commitment and focus on the shuto/nukite. bouncing out of this stance straight to the next moves prevents full hip action into this strike, which should be the focal point.

bonus point: the unseen hand. in the manji uke, the back hand is often out of place simply because it cannot be seen. the forearm should be vertical, and not raised too high.

heian godan is a dynamic kata, and so it is imperative that the clarity of the moves be retained among the effort to move sharply.

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