Sunday, May 13, 2007

Tired kata and the circle of love

Our instructor had us go through an intense opening of class Saturday. After going through our usual stretch/warmup routine, he first told us to go through Pinan 1 to 3 in a stretch. After that came 25 pushups and then he asked for Circle of the Tiger and Statue of the Crane, again without a break, followed by 25 more pushups. After that came Cat 1 and Cat 2 and another 25 pushups only to finish the run with Cat 3.

His intentions were simple: to show us what it is to have to deliver our katas when we're tired. You just can't concentrate on your tiredness or else you delivery of the kata goes by the wayside. We have to thank the three black belt hopefuls for that tough lesson. :)

And I can thank them for the pain I had in my arms today while vacuuming the swimming pool, ugh... What doesn't kill you makes you strong they say...

We then worked on some bo work but not really sushi no kon sho as a kata per se, but more on the basics of striking with a bo the traditional way. See, in open forms, when you start a strike with the bo next to your right ear, the left hand will go to your left hip and the right hand will slide up the bo to remain parallel to the floor. In traditional strikes, the left hands kind of extends forward when the bo is chambered close to the right ear and it will also go to the left hip, but then will be closer to the lower part of the bo. The right hand will then slide down as you strike, leaving you with a longer part of the bo available for a longer reach. I hope this is clear enough, but let me say that to me it's a big adjustment. I've been taking open bo classes for two years now and while I can spin and throw it a few different ways, I've never really taken much time to work on traditional bo strikes. I'm getting to it though... :)

We ended class with 6 of us forming a circle around one person which we ended up attacking alternatively and he/she would have to defend with anything he/she could think of, trying never to use the same defence twice and incorporating some locks and throws in there. To add to the challenge, our instructor distributed a couple clubs and a knife to some of the attackers. That simply added a bit to the love felt in that Circle of love. :)

Defending against weapons is a whole other though. You can back off against a knif, you have to block the arm at its highest point and always keep control of the arm that has the knife. We had a good example of what not to do when a tall 14yo kid, black belt hopeful, blocked the knife attacker at the forearm, stayed in control and all, until he decided to unarm his attacker and grab the knife as if it were a club, i.e. straight by the blade. Err, ooops. :D



supergroup7 said...

My Sensei onced asked the class "Are you tired?" after a kata warm up like the one you described.

I remember thinking to myself "My spirit isn't tired, but my body begs to differ."

I feel compassion for your soreness.

Benoit said...

This might be a good experience for you. However, doing kata tired don't neccessary teach you to be able to focus more on your form, this teach you how to do a kata without even thinking! If you can and you really understand what you are doing, that mean a part of the kata is inside of you :)

Take care

[Mat] said...

Wait, what's that on the floor?

Fingers? What?? Where?

LOL I did the same things countless times.