Saturday, January 23, 2016

Kata in the Cold

It's been snowing for the last two days and it's below freezing outside, but I went outside to practice anyway. I practiced the kata for about twenty minutes stamping down the snow and adjusting to the difference. Then I spent a few minutes striking the pounding post.

It's always good to practice in varying weather conditions and terrain. It's easy to say you have a stance locked in when your bare toes are gripping the dojo floor, but it's harder to say when your leg muscles have to lock in a stance while sliding on snow and ice to keep yourself from falling, while wearing boots. It's a different feeling. Different terrain calls for different stance depths and there needs to be a certain amount of adaptability when dealing with uneven footing. These are things most don't talk about in the rigid uniformity of the dojo.

It's also good to be uncomfortable. Can you practice with the wind throwing snow in your face? Can you stick it out until your body heat compensates for your thin clothing? Can you keep going after your shoes are soaked and your fingers are numb? Questions that need answering.