Outside the Strict Kata Mindset

Last night we did some Kata and some relevant Bunkai. One concept we were introduced to was changing something with a move, without changing the principle. For example, take moves 17-18 in Jion. We’re going from a right oi-tzuki, turning into the opponent with a gedan berai and a simultaneous high strike or block with the right arm. In this transition we are pivoting on the right foot.
JionNow, consider utilizing the technique by pivoting on the left foot. This gives you mobility options, including opening some space between you and the opponent, or a different opponent. Although we move in a different way, the principle in the Kata remains the same: using momentum, body weight and rotation to generate power for the defense or attack (after all, a gedan berai can be an attack as well as a defense, and in most instances should be both).
Nishiyama Sensei was once asked if, after more than 60 years of training in Karate, he had mastered it. His response was this: At this point, I feel I have a solid grasp of Karate.

No wonder we’re constantly learning something new in the Dojo.

Remember: mind open, fist closed…