Martial Arts Blogs A Journey to Shodan: My Signature.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Signature.

When I first came back to Karate I was very unsure of myself, and rightfully so. I’d missed many years, and memories of what I’d learned in the past had all but faded. Relearning everything was difficult and Kata was certainly no exception; I used to know what I was doing, but now I was watching other students for queues on what came next. I soon learned that relying on other people was risky, because although everyone looked much more confident than I, they are human and make mistakes too. I wasn’t improving by following others.

Once I had learned all my Kata with a certain amount of confidence, I fell back into a similar pattern. When the class was asked to do Kata as a group, I would try to keep up, and finish with everyone; I didn’t want to finish last and have everyone watching me. My form was suffering. By trying to keep up, I was cheating my stances, shortening my blocks and not completing one move before moving on to the next. I needed to slow down, regardless of what everyone else was doing. I’ve come to learn that it isn’t a race.

Every kata is mine. Mine to learn and mine to interpret. Where I might pause after a sequence, others may continue right through. I might rip through the first five or six moves and then slow down, it all depends on where I think my attacker may be coming from. No longer does a pause in my kata mean ‘Crap, what’s next? Where was I? What kata am I doing???’ Although admittedly, that is exactly what it has meant in the past. Now, it’s my signature.

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