When I was a kyu rank, my class instructor was talking to me about roundhouse kicks. He said "Your husband is good at roundhouse kicks...so I guess you are too." I still wonder why he thought there would be a correlation between my husbands kicks and my own. My husband's best kicks are the hook kick and the roundhouse kick while mine is the heel kick to the chin.
Every body is different. We all bring with us unique physical attributes. I am 5' 7" with a reconstructed ACL, two shoulders and a hip that occasionally pop out of joint, and double-jointed elbows. My husband is 5' 8" with a repaired knee, shoulder, thumb, ulnar nerve transposition, cervical fusion in the neck and back problems. This changes over time due to injury, recovery and aging. In addition to our physical attributes, we all bring a set of experiences, goals and beliefs to our training.
Students often express "I want to look like X" or "Why don't I look like X"? My response is always the same. I tell the student that "You should look like you." This is one of the beautiful things about martial arts. Okinawa Kenpo is a traditional martial art. We strive to keep the kata the same. I teach the form as I was taught it by my instructor. However, each practitioner should strive to make the kata their own.
We were working on the kata Gojushiho Ni in class. In the one sequence, the right hand executes a mid-level outside block, left hand posts at the mid fore arm of the right hand, right hand re-establishes under left, then move into the throw. There were two black belts in the class. A student asked me to go over that move because the black belts did not look the same. The other black belt and I review the technique and yes, we were doing the move the same. Why did we look different? It was due to the bunkai. We each were throwing our opponent but he was using an arm lock while I was throwing at the elbow. Our bunkai manifested itself in our kata. Our technique was the same but our interpretation was different.
As we navigate through our martial arts journey, it is important to remember to be true to ourselves. It is not necessary to look like someone else. Do the kata to the best of your ability. Don't compare yourself to others.
Look like you.