Smash, Bash, Crash

Padwork. It’s the most simple but often satisfying part of Bushin training. On the whole I tend to find people are interested in basics and techniques, love sparring, and plod along with the other stuff. However, the pure mindless, Neanderthal approach to hitting pads what really seems to drive people on. Great for a work out, great for stress-relief and very satisfying.

Pads are actually an essential part of training for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it helps conditioning you to contact. It important to condition your wrist and knuckles when hitting. Hitting someone is a lot more painful than you think and if you’ve spent all your training hitting air, you can expect nothing less than a bust wrist and bruised knuckles.

Secondly, it helps you with power. Increasing it and controlling it. You need to be able to hit and hit hard at times…especially if your opponent is twice your size. When doing padwork, many make the mistake of slapping them. Its important to make sure you bang them. Hard. It should sound like a cannon firing not like you’re dusting their jacket. Padwork also helps you control your power so you can understand it better and know how much to use…especially when you are hitting certain weak points. It also improves your ki (internal energy) so you can explore your hidden power and be explosive.

Thirdly, reaction and speed. Reacting quickly to the pad holders commands or movements. The better the reactions the more chance you have of winning the fight. If the pad goes up, that’s your opponent dropping his guard so move in and capitalise. You need to move in fast and move back out fast again. React fast and move faster.

Stance, distancing, footwork. Keep your hands up at all times and return them back quickly after throwing the shots, especially the cross. Checking the guard is the best to make sure your doing this. You need to keep a good distance at all times as well. Follow the pad holder around and stick to them glue. Keep your heels up and light on your feet. Just because you are hitting hard don’t root yourself to the floor so you can’t escape. Be ready to attack and defend at all times.

Technique is really where its at. When you are finished getting all the aggression and tension out, you should actually settle down into a rhythm and start to improve your technique. Tighter hits, keeping your elbows in and throwing from the body and not the arms. Make sure you keep your structure and engage your gluts and traps. Shoulders relaxed and chin down. Work through simple combinations and build up. If its too complicated and your rhythm goes, then change the gear down to pick it up again. Usually 2 to 4 combos are the best. Anymore is not practical in fighting.

Holding the pads is just as important as hitting them. You need to make sure your elbows are in, you push back to provide more resistance (and save your wrists). Plus you need to hold them properly: in a proper fighting stance in close proximity to your face. You need to be clear with instructions and positions so you don’t break the hitters flow. You need to make it challenging: throwing in guard checks, tackles, kicks and moving all around. You are not a pad holder. You are their trainer, so keep them motivated, make them work hard and make them sweat.

Usually 10 mins is more than enough for a workout. However a good 20-30 mins with some technical work is a great way to improve your training dramatically. Try to keep doing it regularly otherwise you quickly lose your conditioning. Just remember, keep focused, don’t lose the pace and work hard…you will reap the benefits.

New Fees & Offer

I’m delighted to say that we have adjusted our fees to a monthly based system. This will work out much cheaper for regulars….now only £60 per month (£35 concessions), a saving of up to £20! This also includes all special seminars as an added bonus. For those that train less frequently it should work out more or less the same. This will help with budgeting and make administration much easier all round for everyone…giving more time to concentrate on training. Hopefully it will also encourage regular attendance so we can all improve the standard.

Please go to the Info page for more details. There are some forms you can download. It is payable by standing order, with no contract or lock-in. Its very simple to do. If you can fill out and return to me as soon as possible it would be very much appreciated.

We are also introducing a “Bring a Buddy” offer. Bring a friend along and, if they sign up, you both get 1 month’s training free! (worth up to £60 each!). Check out the info page for more details.

Thank you for your ongoing support and looking forward to fantastic year of training together where we can all improve and develop.

Happy New Year! Osu!

Happy New Year!

Akemshite Omedeto – Happy new year! Into 2012 and another fresh start. I hope you all have a great year! As usual we follow the Japanese celebration of kagami biraki (“opening the mirror ceremony”), where you reflect on the past year and enter a new period of your life to try and achieve a perfect self-reflection.

Have you set your new year resolutions? How did you do on the last ones? This was one of the toughest years of my life: family loss, debilitating injury, challenging economic times and constant personal challenges to overcome. My tantra of 2011 was “focus and stay strong”. I needed it a lot and it was exceptional useful. A couple of key phrases in fighting helps a lot. A couple of key phrases in life can be invaluable. I am reminded constantly how Bushin helps your everyday life…usually without you knowing it.

So how about 2012…what’s the tantra?

This year we are going to start using the Japanese word “osu” in the class. It is pronounced “uss” (although correctly would be pronounced “oss”). It’s a very traditional Japanese word, originally used in mainly karate and now widely used in BJJ and MMA. It’s originally thought to come from an abbreviation of the phrase ohayo gozaimasu (“good morning”) or onegaishimasu (“please”). It’s made up of two kanji (Japanese characters): osu, “to push”, and shinobu, “to endure”. i.e. it means persevering when pushed, or in other words never give up no matter how hard or arduous. The true inner strength and Bushin martial spirit.

Let’s kick off the year with renewed spirit and energy. We are back at it on Thurs 5th Jan for some trademark turkey busting. Be there to start with a bang!

Sore dewa gambarimasho. Osu!