The black belt group in the dojo meets on Wednesday night. The group has been working on kata, 2 person weapon forms, tegumi drills and kobudo. At the end of the session, each person demonstrated Chinto kata for the group. We analyzed our individual kata, observed the kata of others and made general comments. My overall comment to the group was "Take up more space".
I looked over at the newest black belt in the group. His hand went to his chin and he had the look of wanting to ask a question. His question:
What did I mean by "Take up more space"? I am glad he asked the question because it forced me to break down what I was seeing. It could be one or more of the following.
1. Stance. When moving through a kata, it is important to maintain stance. There are times when stances become shorter as a practitioner moves through kata.
2. Incomplete techniques. This happens more often with beginners. Students who are trying to keep up may shortcut a technique and rush to the next one. A full punch may only make it half way to the finish point before the next technique is started. It shortens up the movement and makes the technique smaller.
3. Arm movements close to body. Arm movements that collapse and move close to the body. I see this in Nai Hanchi punches. The arm practically rests on the mid section rather than being in the punch position. It is important to maintain your frame and keep arm positions in a functional position.
4. Presence. This is the hardest one. Have you ever seen someone demonstrate kata and seem larger than life regardless of their physical size? They take up space with their presence.
In regards to this particular night and the specific kata Chinto, I was referring to stance... moving on a diagonal, shifting from kosa to seisan and back again, 360 degree turns, scooting and shifting.