Monday, February 22, 2016

Abstract Karate

The nature of karate is very abstract. People don't like the abstract. They want simple answers for complicated problems. They want lines, borders and categories that divide and classify things into easy to understand pieces. They want truth, when there is a very big possibility that there is no such thing and never has and never will be. What answers there are are vague shadows on the wall.

Kata is movement. There are many labels that can be put on this action ranging from combat exercise to meditation to ritual, but it is merely movement. It does not need a label or a meaning apart from this. It makes it harder to discuss in our modern times, but for a time of illiterates from where it was formed, they may have intuitively understood this better than we do.

I raise and lower my hand. A simple action, a movement, which can take on the shape of many things. A greeting, a handshake, shooing flies. It is all these things and none of them. I raise and lower my hand. We do this every day without needing to know the why or how. The intention and the results speak for themselves. I use the motion, which fits the context and nothing more. There are infinite context and one motion. Simple? Complicated? Both?

It doesn't matter. It's only movement. Nothing more, nothing less.