Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Invisible Enemy

It's easy to get sucked into the idea that the imaginary enemy in kata is at the end of your fist. Many techniques are demonstrated at the very edge of your sphere of control, the imaginary space around you which you can impact. It's because our limbs move in a continuous fashion in most kata. We assume that because there is no re-positioning of ourselves to circumvent our opponents body or limbs that they must not be there. They must be on the very borders of our technique because we don't reset. We have to remember though that sometimes kata has no punctuation. The beginning portion of one technique can be the ending portion of another technique. The kata can be compressed to remove all the spaces and unnecessary movement. It's what helps us squeeze an entire fighting system into our brain without memorizing a textbook full of technique variations.

The next time you practice kata think about all the different places your opponent could be. Are they arms length, or are they so close you can smell what they had for lunch. Are you standing face to face, or are you behind them. Also think about what techniques you could use effectively in those situations. A technique isn't very effective if you're close enough to count their eyelashes.