Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Dichotomy of the Single Kata

Single kata practice requires a different state of mind than other types of karate. The kata repetitions, the focus on particular movements and the hojo undo make up the completeness of your karate. It becomes where your karate both begins and ends. There are no other kata waiting in the wings to begin polishing, there's no upcoming belt test, no ranking, no sensei to give you a different application now and then for a movement. There is only you and your kata. Deeper understanding comes, but the movements remain the same. It becomes both the journey and the goal itself. If one never has to use their kata to defend themselves, which is the best of all possible scenarios than the practice of kata becomes the culmination of ones training. The practice, the repetitions, the movements and the hojo undo, will impact your life more, if a tragic event never occurs.

This means one must be both satisfied with their practice and unsatisfied as well. They must be satisfied completely with the kata as it stands. Whether it be the first time, or the 10,000th time the kata will be the same but each is also different, each is new. One must also be unsatisfied with the level of their knowledge. One must ask the question why? Every movement becomes a study, a riddle that needs to be uncovered, learned and then perfected.

It becomes moving meditation and violence together, one inseparable from each other and supporting each other.