Thursday, February 16, 2017

Isolate Sections of Kata

If you want to understand a movement in a kata, you have to play with it. You need to isolate it from the rest of the kata and focus singularly on that action. Maybe for a few minutes, maybe for an hour or maybe for a month. Practice your whole kata at the beginning of practice and then pick a section, which you are going to work on without any preconceived idea of what you'll find and let your thoughts develop naturally on the movement. Practice outside of the lines of performance, move freely, repeat the movement in place, flow, go slow, go fast and go too fast.

When we practice the whole kata, we only get a short glimpse of each little part. Here and gone, here and gone. There is no time to "meditate" on each movement. There is literally no time to focus on the more important parts of the kata. Structure, body mechanics, power generation, force vectors. The parts of a movement that make it useful. The template for function. Without intimate knowledge of these aspects application is made much harder.

Structure, body mechanics, power generation, force vectors equal function. The formula. When we plug in the context, the position of you, the position of the other person and the environment, we get the application. Function plus context equals application. If we know the context, but don't know the function of movements we will fail. If we know function without context, we fail.

Breakdown the kata, breakdown the movement and study these different aspects until you don't need to think about them. This will come naturally like any learned skill. You think, think, think, think, and then you don't think. Think now, so you don't need to think later.

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