Wednesday, January 16, 2008


The last few weeks we have been focusing on self-defense, bunkai and sparring. Tonight we worked on open hand kata. During the two hour session we ran through the first six kata. I have always loved practicing kata but since my ACL reconstruction I have an even greater appreciation of it. The movement and body mechanics have always fascinated me. It is amazing how a slight deviation in position makes the move functional or not. A slight change in position could open up new possibilities and discussions about bunkai. There have been so many times that a question about one move in a kata would lead to a two hour discussion on bunkai and function. It is important to study kata and dig deep for its meaning.

I used to drive my physical therapist crazy (not really). I would spend time watching myself walk in the dojo mirror. I would then go to my PT appointment and discuss my body movement. I would tell her what I saw in the mirror and ask her to help me fix it. My PT was familiar with the demands of karate, the stances and body movement because I taught her children for a few years. I would ask her to show me exercises that would help with certain karate stances or movements.

Kata still does not feel like it used to. I can feel the difference in my stance between my left and right leg. My center of balance has also changed. The most notable change for me is the way I maneuver through directional changes and transitional movements in kata. This is will require much more practicing. Overall, a great night of karate!


Hack Shaft said...

I LOVE kata!

It has such a powerful, centering, focusing effect, and one could get lost in it for hours focusing on this or that bit of minutiae in a movement.

If you still feel a difference in stances right-to-left, front or back, then perhaps that's the core challenge.

Seek out exercises that emphasize the transitions from stance to stance and re-balance yourself again.

Michele said...

Hack Shaft,

You are right ... kata is powerful. Too often people just look at the surface of a kata and never explore the possibilities. I train in traditional Okinawa Kenpo and our kata and kobudo lineage is passed down from the mid-1700's. I feel priviledged to study this style of karate.