Some months ago, after mental blocking on a few katas during class, I decided that the only way I was going to really build them into my body memory was by practicing each kata once every morning. I envisioned myself soaring through kata, never stumbling, finally doing them with confidence and feeling, beginning to end, no mistakes - I would practice my heart out and reap the benefits. This sure sounded like a good idea at the time. Actually, it was a good idea, but have I done it? No. Well, I did a few times but then my early morning enthusiasm faltered. I liken it to a new years resolution; one has high hopes and all the heart in the world – for the first two or three weeks.
This utter resolution failure came to light last night when I had a mental block during Bassai Dai and Jion, both katas I know well. Or so I thought. As I stood there wondering what the heck comes next, I thought to myself – if only I’d stuck to my resolution and practiced my kata once every morning, I wouldn’t be in this position now. I hate that feeling, standing clueless in the middle of a kata - I get disappointed in myself and extremely frustrated. I was able to finish each kata on my own, after everyone else had finished, but you can bet your last dollar I went home and repeated each of those kata until I worked past my blocks. As it turns out, I was inventing a new kata: Bassai...Nidan. What???
This got me thinking: how does one stay committed to a resolution? What it really comes down to is self-discipline, so it's all up to me. I'll have to work through my excuses, the main one being that I don't have enough time...if I'm serious, I'll make the time.
So - I have two new resolutions:
- Arrive to class early enough to practice two kata of my choice, on my own.
- I will practice each kata once on Saturday and Sunday morning (caveat: morning = after I get up, if that happens to be noon, well then, that’s when I’ll do them).