This blog discusses karate, jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts (MMA), nutrition, and fitness at the Meriden Martial Arts Club in Meriden, CT.

Meriden Martial Arts Club Karate Dojo Visit 1.25.18

posted Feb 11, 2018, 9:22 AM by Bill Antonitis   [ updated Feb 11, 2018, 9:31 AM ]


Hojo undo

When in doubt, look at count leader to determine front foot


Get off heels when turning, be on balls of feet

Keep elbows in

Don't be too low, don't bend back leg too much

Slow down

Keep hand flat before sanchin strike, don't curl it up

Keep back foot square toes toward target.

Move feet first then do block/strike

Stay loose then get tight at end

Before doubles, pause in sanchin stance first after last single strike

Emphasize the grab, little finger first, during doubles

First strike in sanchin, aim at belt with both hands...not too low


Keep hands in sanchin position, not too far out

Work on popping the back fist

Pull wauke blocks back with your back. Hit with knuckle of thumb, curve fingers on top hand

Stance shoulder width apart

Keep hands up


Don't turn on heels

Use an x with arms, palm facing in, down with left hand and away with right for last part after 2 cat stances

Widen up space of feet

Haraken block, deflect it using arm at angle rather than pushing up.


Out more with initial break, not up, out in deflection, more like a punch

Use left hand to push when “breaking arm”

Pick up knee a little faster and put it down a little slower, cat stances

Hands too close, make blocks bigger, think looser is better…


Same as above for cat stance

Slow down

Knee break, keep center of body more instead of over knee

Don't just go up and down on silly finger strike, add finesse

Kanshiwa bunkai

Push block then do more of a windmill with blocking hand

tuck elbow in (sanchin) and pull arm down

Don't announce kata before doing it for bunkai


Step initiates punch

Finish the blocks first before striking.

Drill #6 blocks...should get low kick with bottom arm only, don't bend...keep arms away from body but move arms toward kick to intercept, but move body back while arms receive kick, keep back straight

#7- move hip and deflect inside with 1st 2 blocks...not so much a down block

Seisan bunkai

Keep thinking about spacing during bunkai

Pinch striking hands together and strike temples not cheeks when defending first attack

Pull down and control after stick attacks, tuck elbow in (sanchin) and pull arm down

Be sure to push down during leg attack…

Toe down in crane...

Karate vs. Muay Thai Elbow Strikes

posted Oct 31, 2017, 8:05 AM by Bill Antonitis

Here are some thoughts on the similarities and differences between the two.

Karate vs. Muay Thai Elbow Strikes

Uechi-Ryu Karate Road Trip 10.19.17

posted Oct 31, 2017, 8:01 AM by Bill Antonitis

The Meriden Martial Arts club visited Ed DeCosta's dojo on 10.19.17 and we practiced karate.  Here are our notes.

Karate Dojo Notes


  1. Etiquette, say the kata confidently

  2. Slow down, trust form.

  3. Don't anticipate.

  4. Start and end with the most emphasis in katas.

Hojo undo

  1. Keep hands up don't drop them

  2. Keep blocks away from body

  3. Keep back foot and belt pointed toward opponent when striking


  1. Keep fingers even with shoulders

  2. Position arms a bit more away from body, not so close...a fist away from body

  3. Keep back foot straight.

  4. Keep legs separated a bit more

  5. At very beginning, lift arms inward to outward, curved, not straight up. Strike down and grab into a fist and then lift up and open hands after that.

  6. After first waueke block, go to horse stance for a second without moving right foot, then move left and do second waueke block

  7. Have toes pointed slightly apart when bowing.

  8. Keep lat down when striking. Don't throw shoulder out, keep lat taught, power comes from ground up, synchronize hips with that motion.

  9. Keep fingers out strike with thumbs for waueke blocks.

  10. Don't have hands and arms so close to chest, be looser up to, not so tight in upper body.

Kanshiwa bunkai

  1. Don't reach for club block, trust form and don't lean in. Drill this!

  2. Keep fist pointed toward opponent when chambered before elbow strike. Make point of elbow the striking point. Punch other shoulder, don't lean in, keep back straight.

  3. Eye contact. Give a cue before punches.

  4. Put punches on target, make them


  1. Move side to side a bit when blocking.

  2. Chamber strike after striking.

  3. Stay loose and get powerful at the end.

  4. Crescent kicks, lift knee first and think about striking with toe, don't just throw leg out there. Work on hip mobility.

  5. In general when striking or defending,  keep other hand up, even when not using it.

  6. DON'T ANTICIPATE. Try to block things last minute, not as they are being thrown.

Sei Ryu (Derek)

  1. Lift knee up same time as arm on same side goes into circle block…. Work on finding a focus point after that when landing on toe. Drill this, repetition.

  2. At the end, don't blend so much, keep as separate strikes with blocks

  3. Keep fingers to side for waueke block, strike with thumbs not fingers.

Kanshu (Enzo)

  1. Double harakans toward end is both offensive and defensive.  More outward, less upward.

Kanshiwa (Dante)

  1. Keep shoken more compact, finger shouldn't jut out so much.

Sanseiryu (Bill)

  1. Slow down.

  2. Keep right arm by side for knee break, slide along ribs.


  1. Pause in beginning.

Drill ideas

  1. Change up speeds in yako and react to strikes

  2. 50 club blocks don't reach at it otherwise do burpees or knuckle pushups

Uechi-Ryu Karate Road Trip 8.8.17

posted Aug 12, 2017, 7:36 PM by Bill Antonitis

The Meriden Martial Arts Club made it out to Ed DeCosta's Okinawan Karate school for a great class.  Here's what we learned!

Hojo undo

Return the leg for kick

Don't be very upright, be lower, strike with bottom half of body


Watch back heel, keep it square

Push your leg through...remember eds drill, step on our back foot while we slide it forward

Turn front foot in for stance, more angle with hip

Move eyes, look where you are going when turning.

Waueke block, keep lower hand on the belt not below it.

Turn hand over at very end, remember eds drill push on hand while we throw strike, this will check stance for balance


Bunkai, keep shoulders square and good sanchin, don't collapse upper body when blocked after striking, keep square

Block heavy with other arm before circle block at beginning part of bunkai

For bunkai keep blocks closer to me, end block in sanchin don't reach -- especially for hammer strike block


At end before jumpback, for spearheads and stepping, keep blocks small inside body not super wide, keep elbows in sanchin

Sei Ryu

Use legs and strike with clenched fists at beginning. Keep fists clenched when sliding back and when doing armbar thing

Keep double shokens together when turning before cat stance

For cat stance thing, keg comes up first,  then circle block, be mindful of protecting ribs

Keep upper body loose before big strike at end, exhale first before striking to help this.

For circle block spearhand stepping striking drill, make a small circle block around the strikes and step to the side and in to cut the angle while controlling arm and distance


Just do the block, don't reach

Try to not telegraph

Memorial Day Murph 2017!

posted May 31, 2017, 11:10 AM by Bill Antonitis

Here's a pic of the aftermath of our second annual Murph workout.  Our group time was 1:17:05, though some of us finished much earlier than that.  The trophy goes to our newest member, Dante, for completing his first Murph.  Congrats!

Our First Club Black Belt!

posted May 25, 2017, 6:56 PM by Bill Antonitis

Derek is our first Uechi-Ryu karate black belt at the Meriden Martial Arts Club!  After years of hard work and dedication, he definitely earned it.  Here are some pics from the test at the DeCosta dojo.  We're proud of you!  CONGRATS! 

Our picture with Ed and Jean

Derek and Bill

The obligatory Sleepy Bear Picture

And all the hard work that made it happen!

Karate Roadtrip 5.11.17

posted May 25, 2017, 6:39 PM by Bill Antonitis

Here are notes from another Meriden Martial Arts Club road trip to the DeCosta dojo.


Doubles arms tight to body

Strike with thumbs for waueke in same spot as spear hand but with thumb

Keep wrist straight in sanchin

Bring strike all the way back, have palm touch pec, have some stretch in your shoulder, look for gap between shoulder joint and pec

Keep back straight for closed gate and hands a bit higher.

Loosen up feet a bit more for sanchin, don't be so tight.


Bring knee up in kicks


Move to side but keep feet in sanchin and keep distance close.

Move lower half with upper half, don't lunge. Make up distance through footwork not through leaning upper body.

Don't drop foot down, return it and then place it down

Be careful to keep fist in ready position, tucked under pec and drawn back after blocks...don't drop hand to waist

Seisan bunkai

Put strikes where they need to be on offense and defense,  try to just miss the person by an inch or two rather than a foot or more.

Pull arm down to gain control when blocking

Spear hands, move to the side and stay closer, kind of like yakosuko.


Before jumpback, it's like a horse stance with hands in sanchin, then you turn your torso 90 degrees to the right.

Reverse doggy paddle  (reverse hand cycling) with curved hands not straight.

Keep hand loose for back fist and whip it and tighten on impact.

Hand a bit closer when finishing kata, not so wide

Keep back more straight (maybe) when doing elbow strike

For hammer fist, keep right hand in sanchin first then strike after block.

Spear hand should be slightly angled

Meriden Martial Arts Club Karate Road Trip 4.11.17

posted May 2, 2017, 11:04 AM by Bill Antonitis   [ updated May 2, 2017, 11:06 AM ]

Notes from our karate class at Ed DeCosta's dojo on April 11 2017

Osoto geri - how to counter step under counter?

Single leg sweep seisan bunkai

Shomen haji keep lead leg strong when sliding in.

90 degree hands groin strike

Pull in first before turn n throw seisan

Keep elbows in sanchin for waueke blocks. Move hand down and then over, dont wind up. Blend push block across with circle block rather than doing one then the other.

Lower hand travels in a straight line from hip during waueke blocks.

Keep high hand right below pec for waueke blocks.

Sanchin strike keep hand higher before strike, right below pec.

Yakosuko, keep stance short and square.

Finish the block get control then show the full strike.

When kicking legs for kotekote bring knee up first and then leg with side of leg like a baseball bat swing, not the front of leg.

Yeah...we need to update our martial arts training logs more often!

Meriden Martial Arts Club Video Updates 1.10.17

posted Jan 10, 2017, 9:28 PM by Bill Antonitis

Here are some new karate and training videos from the Meriden Martial Arts Club.  Take a look and let us know what you think.  Karate and jiu-jitsu training logs are soon to follow.

Forearm and Grip Training

Bil Seisan Practice

Derek Seisan Practice 1.10.17

Derek Sanchin Practice

Meriden Martial Arts Club Fall 2016 Training Highlights

posted Nov 5, 2016, 5:58 PM by Bill Antonitis

Jiu-Jitsu Class

closed guard passes

  1. stacking pass
  2. knee slide pass
  3. leg rope pass
  4. standing biceps pass

open guard passes

  1. torreando and variations
  2. knee slide
  3. double under
side control escapes
1. frame and shrimp
2. "bump and squirt"

drill these in gi and no gi

Karate Class
hojo undo and movement drills

MMA Class
sparring drills
pad work
out-door conditioning

Self-Defense Class
hooded box drill

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