top 3: heian nidan

'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. upright back stance similar to heian nidan, the kokutsudachi is often performed leaning away from the technique's direction. in these moves, have the sense of attacking into an opponent, with the core sitting vertically on the stance.

2. short step up. for this move, the left foot comes underneath the body weight, which should be approximately 30% of the stance length given the correct weight distribution. the initial part of the move is a switch of direction on the spot, rather than a gross movement of the body.

3. off-centre nukite. similar to the chudan punch being allowed to creep up, the nukite is often performed off-centre - typically to the right, and too high. check that this is delivered to a suitable target, specifically the solar plexus in this instance.

bonus point: blocking wide. the gyaku-hanmi uchi-uke on the return stretch is prone to being too wide, where it should be no further than the outside line of the body in the return direction, with a focus forward as if striking uraken with the knuckles.

heian nidan is often a favourite within the heian katas; attention to fine detail will allow performance to become more dynamic, but also retain connection to the context of application.

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