So to wrap things up, I also thought I’d share something about my new kata.
In the past, I’ve really struggled with learning the pattern of kata, but this year I’ve been trying to go about learning kata a bit differently. First up, I’m trying hard to apply much greater focus in class and keeping myself from getting distracted or relaxing or taking things too easy. When I first started learning my previous grade-kata, I experimented with this and found that I was able to pick up the kata much faster than I usually would. Following my last grading I’ve been working on my focus even more and am trying to make every session of regular training as intensive as possible, trying to match the same dedication and effort you typically put into a grading but in an everyday class scenario. And the same goes for my kata – focus-focus-focus.
And strangely enough, it appears to be very effective – last week was the first time learning my kata, and by the end of the lesson I’d managed to memorise the basic pattern. True, my form was pretty poor, but I was still managing to work on my breathing and put in focused energy into some of the techniques. It was actually kind of amazing, as I entered that tarnce-like state of awareness you can often get when performing kata despite the fact I was still very early on in my understanding of it.
As a result, I came away feeling really chuffed that I’d manage to make such a productive first step in learning my new kata. True, part of being able to pick it up relatively quickly can also be attributed to greater experience and being able to tune into the patterns in other Heian kata, but I also think my attention to detail and my focus were big parts of this, and it’s always nice to find that, despite what you may think sometimes, you are improving as time goes on, you are evolving as a martial artist… even if you habitually look a bit unco 😉
Now I have to hope that I’ll be in good form next week! Will have to put some time aside between classes to go through the sequences, I don’t want to put this good start to waste.