March 2018 Issue #64
The Attributes: Co-ordination By Jim Riddell, Seaway Karate Club
n the previous four issues of Sports Energy we have been looking at the attributes that are important to the art of karate; areas that all serious practitioners of the sport should strive to improve. So far speed, power, timing, and balance have been discussed. In this issue we will add co-ordination to that list. Co-ordination is defined as “the ability to move two or more body parts smoothly and efficiently in a controlled manner”. In the early stages of karate training, a student that is trying to learn a skill will have opposing muscles work against each other producing unrefined movements. Co-ordination is one of the attributes or components that are a factor as a student moves up through the belt ranks. As co-ordination improves the student will develop the ability to make their muscles work together with precise timing using the exact amount of force to execute the technique smoothly and efficiently. There are several stages of development pertaining to co-ordination: 1) The beginning student tries to understand the basic task. There are several challenges at this point such as proper hand and foot placement, weight distribution, elbows in, shoulders back, head up - all while trying to remain focused. 2) The student now has an understanding of the required skills and is now refining them. The mistakes are fewer and further between and the students are sometimes able to identify and correct them without any instructor involvement. 3) At this point the skill is now well learned. The student is now able to perform a kata, bunkai, or self-defence drill automatically without having to focus on skill execution. At this point there are few, if any errors and if one does occur it is immediately corrected. Karate is an excellent means of developing co-ordination in all age groups. The more frequently a skill is practised the better one will become at it. Repetition, repetition, repetition, is the accepted means of skill development. There is an old saying in karate, that to master a skill, one must perform it ten thousand times. That seems like an unreasonable number, but if skill repetition could be tracked from beginner to black belt it may not be all that far off. Co-ordination, like each of the other attributes has various specific drills to help improve and develop students. One of the most effective is known as Te waza (hand techniques) which is a drill concentrating on upper body movements only. Te waza has long been a part of the Chito-ryu syllabus and is often used by clubs from other karate styles as well. Te waza consists of a specific series of blocks, punches and strikes, each one done with the left hand, then the right. Each of these moves are ones that are in kata and self-defence techniques en-route to that Black belt exam. This drill is always done from a low horse riding stance and is excellent for leg conditioning as well as co-ordination and technical skill development.
Skates, Skills, and Spins with Alessia MacDonald ByVictoria Klassen
t seven years old, Alessia MacDonald skated her way to a Skate Canada video shoot in Toronto. Skate Canada recruited Alessia to demonstrate the element standards for the CanSkate program’s stages five and six. CanSkate is the learn-to-skate program for beginners. When Alessia started skating two years ago with Skate Cornwall, she was in the CanSkate program. Now, she is part of the StarSkate program which is focused on figure skating. On Jan. 4, Alessia and her family travelled to Toronto for the video shoot at the Skate Canada Toronto National Performance Centre. Soon the videos will be posted to Skate Canada’s Skater Development Video Library online as a training tool for skaters, coaches, and officials. Pina Gilmour has been Alessia’s coach for the past two years. “Alessia is a real go-getter out on the ice. She’s a great listener, she works hard, and she has very strong work ethic,” said Gilmour. Throughout February, Alessia has been avidly following the Olympics.
Her favourite skaters are Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in ice dancing, Meghan Duhamel and Eric Radford in pairs, and Patrick Chan. She was cheering them on as they all brought home medals for Canada. Alessia has been attending her own competitions in figure skating this year. At a competition in Prescott, Alessia received silver standing on her Star 1 free skate. She has been working hard for her upcoming competition at the Elizabeth Manley Winter Classic in Gloucester where she will compete in free skate and ice dance.
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Athlete of the Month
Age: 15 Home town: Glen Walter School: Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School Grade: 10
“He’s been the most consistent player on our team,” says Holy Trinity Falcon’s boys’ hockey coach Matthew Manson of this Athlete of the Month, Stephane Simard. Stephane is the Holy Trinity Falcon’s goaltender, and he also minds the net for both Char-Lan Midget B teams. “My commitment as a goalie for three teams, with games, tournaments, and practices, has kept me extremely busy this season,” he says. During the summer, this athlete plays golf, tennis, and soccer. Stephane is a grade 10 student who takes school very seriously, and his favourite class is science. He’s described by his coaches as an extremely strong Honour Roll student. He is planning on turning his love of science into a career in either robotic engineering or quantum physics.
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Sports Energy News, Cornwall, Issue No 64, Mike Piquette