Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Don't Be Hampered by Form

Being constrained by form does not just mean following the embusen or the order of movements. It also means being confined to an idea of there being a beginning and end to movements and a stylistic expectation of how they should look.

Kata movements are portrayed as having a definite beginning, middle and end. Punch comes in and I start the beginning of the movement, move to the middle portion and then end the person punching me. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but this ties us to the form, because there is no beginning in kata.

It should be understood that there is no beginning, middle or end to any kata movement. This implies that there is time. Time to move through these steps and the absence of resistance. The world is never this clean or clear cut. There is no time there is only now. There is no pause and reset to get into the right position, so you can begin your technique at the "beginning." There is only the position you are in and what you can do in that position.

Every little bit of kata should be seen as a snapshot in time. A snapshot in conflict. This is where the "technique" begins.

One should also not be hampered by the stylistic demonstration of movements in kata. What is important is the principles behind what make those movements work, anatomy, physiology, geometry and physics. A middle block doesn't need to follow a certain path. It can be fluid and adaptable to suit the needs of the situation.

One needs to give themselves permission not to be pretty, but to be effective.