Monday, April 6, 2009

Brushing Off The Dust

I attended an instructor's training session at the Honbu dojo on Saturday. We worked on the open hand (21) and weapon kata (30). There were a few kata that I have not practiced since last Summer. Shocking! How is it possible that over six months have passed and I neglected to practice several kata? Easy!

Most of my dojo time is spent as a class instructor. I teach beginner and advanced students. The highest kyu rank students are 2nd kyu brown. The students are working on Pinan Godan, Seisan, Odo No Tunfa Ni, Suiyoshi Nokun Ichi and Odo No Nunchaku. In addition to kata, we are working on bunkai, drills, and sparring. There never seems to be enough time. Every once in a while I take my kama, eiku or tekkos off the wall and practice.

Finding time for my own practice is challenging. Although I have immediate access to training space, I rarely get a chance for independent practice. The last kata we practiced on Saturday was Gojushiho Ichi. This kata needed more than a light dusting. Gojushiho Ichi is the kata I practice the least. It is a cool kata but it is one of those kata. I learned it at a training camp. I forgot it. I re-learned it. I forgot it...again. I had to know it for testing. I learned it and it went on a shelf to collect dust. We went through the kata a few times before it felt...o.k. Barely o.k.

Inevitably, I left the training session wanting to work harder.

Is their a kata/weapon/drill that you do not practice often? Do you have one of those kata? How do you find time for independent practice?


Dan Prager said...

Solo sets (kata) are not such a problem: I get up early in the morning, plus I try to practice my main set during my lunch break -- although work has moved and I need a new venue now that I no longer have a rooftop dojo (scroll down for photos). I also try to a brief practice prior to bed.

Judo katas are another matter. These are two person sets: You need a partner, and mats. So yes, I would like to practice nage no kata (kata of throws) and katame no kata (kata of groundwork) more than I currently do.

elizasmom said...

I was just joking with a fellow dojo member that our gojushiho (we only have one) is the red-headed-stepchild kata. Somehow, it feels stylistically at odds, a little, with the rest of the stuff we do, maybe that's why it doesn't sit quite right? I don't know. But I know what you mean!

Michele said...

Dan: Thank you for the comments. I love the rooftop dojo. Too bad your work has moved. Maybe you will find another interesting training spot. I should try practicing right before bed.

Elizasmom: I am glad to hear that I am not the only one! Thanks for the comment.

Sue C said...

If I don't physically have time to practice kata I sometimes practice them in my head. I call this mental kata or meditational kata and I often do this in bed if I can't get to sleep (very relaxing). It's no real substitute for physically doing the kata but it does help you to remember all the steps.

ronsan60 said...

It does seem hard to find time for kata work. Since I am 49 and want to spend time on conditioning work too (running biking). Still I have found time to do my kata's. Our system does have several two person Kata's and it is difficult to get those down since two of them are at the black belt and above level. Finding a fellow black belt to work on those can be challenging. I do spend most early Sunday mornings doing all my old kyu rank kata's - now that is a good cardio session. ;)

Michele said...

SueC: Thanks for your comment. I use visualization a lot in my personal practice. I think it is a great habit to get into.

RonSan60: Thanks for visiting. I know what you mean. The early kata are easy to keep polished especially when I am teaching. I rarely get to work on the two-person forms. You make a good point about the importance of conditioning work.