Martial Arts Blogs A Journey to Shodan: Please don't strike me down.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Please don't strike me down.

This week was a funny one for me. I went to class on Sunday and practiced Hangetsu for a full hour and really started to get the hang of it. I left class feeling like this Kata really isn't as bad as I've been making it out to be. Then on Friday night I thought I'd ride this wave and continue where I'd left off, actually starting to enjoy this Kata - however, this time I became frustrated very quickly. Perhaps it was because Sensei was away on Sunday, so I had the hour to foolishly let myself think I was actually getting the hang of it and in reality I wasn't. I was probably making up some of my own moves and throwing them in here and there - no wonder it was feeling so good!

It's the stance, plain and simple. I'll probably be struck down by the Karate Gods for saying this, but I seriously dislike this Kata. The form itself and my feelings toward it should be improving by now but they aren't. I've thought about this long and hard - why is this Kata still my nemesis after so long? Is it because I've told myself I don't like it so many times that my mind and body resist learning it? I've really tried to like it, really I have. But when you don't like something, you don't. I've tried to like Brussels Sprouts in the past too, and have never developed a taste for them - perhaps this is the same.

This Kata just isn't for me.


  1. Don't give up on Hangetsu just yet.

    I consider Hangetsu the Tai Chi kata of Shotokan. It is a very powerful, internal kata.

    Most of the Shotokan katas are very external with short muscle contractions,fast breaths and high speed movements where as Hangetsu is all about long muscle contractions, deep, long breaths, and very slow movements. It's also and incredible kata for creating that connection between the upper and lower body.

    I will be honest, I have katas that I am not too fond of either, like Kanku Dai for example, but I still do it and even though it is not my best kata, I can still do it with good energy and confidence.


  2. ...and Kanku Dai ranks amongst the top for me, funny how opinions can be so varied.

    It is that upper and lower body connection you mention that eludes me - I'm so busy concentrating on that darned stance, that my upper body loses all form.

    I appreciate your encouragement - somehow I just need to embrace this kata.