a followup on the karate criticism thing

Not so much “criticism I deal badly with” as a surfeit of riches: having three sensei and one senpai, in the span of three days, come up to offer me four different bits of advice on the same two kata moves.

To be fair, I brought it on myself. Having gotten that eye-opening pointer on Monday, I decided to practice it today — which meant I was repeating those moves when one of the sensei started watching me, so of course the pointer she offered had to do with them. Then I have two things to practice, which means I’m still working on those two moves when the senpai comes along, which means she gives me a pointer about them, and now I’m practicing three things when the other sensei decides to see how I’m doing . . .

So the bunkai is that it’s kind of a soto uke, and I need to open my hip out and then drop it forward for the double-punch, and make sure my zenkutsu dachi is wide enough, and think of my back when I chamber so the punch rebounds forward.

Or something like that.

Four different bits of advice, all of them good. But at this rate I’m going to spend the next month doing just those two movements, trying to assimilate all that good advice, and getting more piled on me every time somebody wanders by. <g>

0 Responses to “a followup on the karate criticism thing”

  1. icedrake

    I’d like to share a story.
    For almost four years, I studied (not always directly, mind) under this guy. He was, at that point, upwards of 60, and let me tell you — you did *not* want to catch a back kick from him, even during kihon kata practice.

    However, all the rest of the instructors were his direct students. So really, they were a mere two degrees away from Soke Sakagami.

    One day, Soke came to town from Japan, to teach an advanced workshop. And one thing he did was ask people (the black belts, mainly) questions about the intent and application of the various moves. There is an elbow strike in one of the black belt katas (same as at 0:32-35 here), and he asked what it was for. And it turned out that everyone — including the instructors (Shihan stayed out of the conversation) thought the palm slap was to symbolize grabbing the opponent by the back of the neck or head and pulling him into your strike.

    Soke laughed and laughed… And then explained that it was purely for stylistic purposes, to emphasize the sharpness of the strike to the audience/judges.

    • icedrake

      None of which really applies to your situation, so here’s something that might: Don’t worry overmuch about getting the move just right. The practice is structured in such a way that you reinforce things on one front while working on other techniques that aren’t directly related. Those high side kicks? Will do wonders for kiba dachi, for example.

      Most of it is about muscle memory anyway, but a good chunk is about having strength in the right muscle groups, too. What it comes down to is a whole lot of repetition. Not to say you shouldn’t make an effort to do it correctly, but don’t kill yourself trying to get it correctly *right then*.

      Hope that was at least somewhat helpful.

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