Martial Arts Blogs A Journey to Shodan: Bring the darkness with you.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bring the darkness with you.

I talk a lot about Kata in my blog, and the reason is that I know it gives me a fair share of trouble. Rare is the class that I leave on a high note after doing Kata.

My body doesn't seem to have too much trouble with kicks or punches, and I think I do a good job of letting it take over through basics. I am able to maintain focus and make my way through without over-thinking everything – I dare say I feel somewhat relaxed with these elements.

Kata is different. I am so busy thinking 'don't lean on the next kick', and 'don't fall into another Kata', that I only go through the motions to reach the end. I don't put feeling into what I am doing. Perhaps this is because I'm not confident enough to really put emotion into it – throwing a lot of emotion into a Kata that is sure to be full of that would just look silly. Bassai Godan anyone? "But she looked like she really meant it...."

The most helpful piece of advice I have received regarding this obstacle, is to put on my Kata mask and bring the darkness with me. Not so much literally (although it helps for the purposes of a good demonstration, and makes for a class people wish they hadn't missed), but more figuratively. With my mask on I can transform myself into someone truly ready to kick ass. In the darkness I don't have to feel self-conscious and worry about making mistakes, I can do the Kata full of emotion, purpose and forward momentum.
The trick is to remember to bring my mask with me, and to mentally turn off the lights before each Kata. Tune everyone out and not care what they think, because they make mistakes too. 

Imagine how great it would look, if everyone did Kata with their masks on.

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