Saturday, March 15, 2014

Working the kata or am I?

Some interesting things have been happening in my training lately. For a long time I thought I worked the kata but lately I am beginning to think the kata also work me. Let me explain.
There is a sword kata where I am dropping down into my front leg. However, there is no drop when done correctly. After talking this through with sensei it has become apparent that my hips are not square from the beginning and to perform the technique with the right structure I am dropping into my front leg which results in me squaring my hips.
Another example is during batto (sword drawing). Near the end of each kata the hips should be square and for a long time I was straining my left ankle during training. I finally realised that I needed to square my hips by moving my left foot out to allow room for the hips to open. No more pain in the ankle while I train.
A final example is during the taijutsu kata. Moving about the spine is important for TSYR movement and over time I am finally feeling when I am moving into a posture of imbalance so I self-correct.
In all of the examples above the constant repetition of the kata have changed my positioning or body posture along the way. As the principles of the art embed themselves in my psyche my body is automatically correcting small things I am doing wrong. It is exciting.

So I really feel the kata working me the more I try to work the kata. Weird.

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