Martial Arts Blogs A Journey to Shodan: Find the flow and paddle down the river.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Find the flow and paddle down the river.

Sigh. I love Empi. When I tested for my 3rd Kyu this was my grading kata, I practiced it endlessly and it quickly became my favourite, it has such great movement and flow. Of course, during the years of my 'Karate break' my body memory buried it deep and it is only in the last year I've asked it to recall this lovely Kata. I'm always told "don't think, just do" when it comes to Kata, and this is the one where I fully understand what that means. I don't think about it at all, from start to finish - it just comes to me and I do it, and it feels fantastic. Other Kata, not so much.

Since I was recently reminded to Touch the Ground once in awhile, I've again been making a point to practice all of my Heian Kata to keep the patterns front and centre. With relative confidence that they will no longer drop from my memory when I'm feeling pressure, my next challenges are to breathe properly and find the flow, my own flow, in each Kata. This can be difficult, as I begin with great intent to do this, and then before I know it I've finished the Kata. I'm left thinking: was there any flow? did I simply breeze through it from beginning to end without proper pauses and Kime? I don't remember. With time and practice this will become easier as I strive to make each Kata my own - one at a time, I'll find the flow. From there, I'll paddle down the river until I reach the end: when I reach rapids I'll 'give 'er', and when I reach calm water I'll slow down...breathe.
Simple as that.

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