Sunday 24 February 2008

Nito oumono wa itto omo ezu

"If you run after two hares, you will catch neither".

Presently I'm paying close attention to the Sentei kata (assigned forms) and their respective applications. And as always, what a collossal task this is! My technical focus has been once again to maintain 'standard' kihon technique (outward form), whilst utilizing Asai Sensei's principles in my movement (use of power/internal form - 'the edge'). Of course on top of this, there is also 'Andre style Shotokan', or my indivdual flavour, as Sensei always encouraged.

How many hares am I chasing?
In addition to the four sentei kata (Bassai-dai, Kanku-dai, Enpi and Jion), I'm also working on Tekki-shodan. You may be saying to yourself now "hey, that's five hares", however, I am merely doing one kata per day, then blasting them all out on Sunday. So really speaking, I'm trying to catch one rabbit each day... With Sunday being the day I try to catch all five at once! [An assessment, and/or 'review' of the weeks study, if you like.]

So what has been the result of my training? Well, as always it has been yet another really humbling experience. I KNOW NOTHING... I'm really just a beginner in karate, and need to keep seeking higher level technique. In saying that, this certainly spurs me on! The glitches I've found have given me my targets for 'at least' the next five days of practice (I have Tuesday off so that takes me back to Sunday).

Some personal advice: Whatever you are doing in karate, try not to divide your attention in training sessions. Catch one hare at a time! Chasing two never works, and even if it does, it results in mediocracy. This may take some self-discipline, but will reap great rewards (if your training reinforces exact JKA style kihon).

"... if you can't do a great Bassai, Kanku, Enpi and Jion, throw your black belt in the rubbish". - Asai Tetsuhiko (when Technical Director at the Japan Karate Association).

© André Bertel, Japan 2008

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