top 3: heian shodan

'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. lifting the back heel. try to make the long turn by collapsing the back knee as the front foot pushes, to avoid lifting the hell of the back leg. there should be no sensation of moving forward from any part of the body.

2. tetsui hip action. the tetsui should have a clear withdrawal, using the pull of the hip, followed by a powerful return. eagerness to do this move quickly will result in a lack of connection of the hand to the core, and a purposeless lifting of the foot.

3. leaning away in back stance. although the weight distribution is more toward the back foot, the moves are performed forward and as such the body should not be left behind in a leaning position, but remain vertical.

building from kihon kata, heian shodan retains a dominant focus on fundamental movements and stances. even at this early stage, it is beneficial to see the core of the body as directing the movement, which will avoid problems with both the tetsui and the shuto-uke.

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