Saturday, July 5, 2014

2014/07/05 Choose your kata wisely

Muto-sensei, Kon-sensei

We got there an hour early and most of the club was already there.  It turns out they had all planned to come early to practice for the upcoming summer festival. My kids and I can't go because we have a family event we have to attend, one that we do every year.  Well, then, why is the club preparing for a summer festival?  They are going to do a demonstration at the festival in hopes that it will get more people interested in joining our club.  Muto-sensei really wanted me and my kids to be there for the demonstration because he believes that I, being a big foreigner, would have a positive effect on their efforts to get more members.  I don't know about that.

Some of the kids are going to do synchronized kata for the demonstration in two or three groups.  I think three groups, with each group doing a different kata.  Then they will break some boards and I think, Kon-sensei will break a baseball bat.  That would be cool to see.  It is too bad that we can't go.  It seems that there are always many different events on the same days and it is hard to choose which to go to.  However, this family event is one we can't miss, nor would we want to miss it.  I am feeling a bit frustrated that we haven't been able to join in any competitions yet.  I think having a competition up on the calendar would help to motivate the kids to train harder because they would have a goal to work for.  A always thinks that he is doing the moves right, when he is not, and he doesn't like me telling him that he's wrong.  I have to be very careful with how I give him advice. I will have to talk with my wife and see what we can do.  Maybe, at least, I can get a belt test up on the calendar.  Ah, but alas, even that may be difficult.  With any luck, my wife will finish being so busy this summer and we'll hopefully be able to get to some karate events in the fall or the winter.

I almost have all the Heian kata fully memorized.  I really ought to practice them once or twice more a week.  I am trying.  Sometimes I get a kata session in during one of my morning runs.

Choosing your kata

Muto-sensei was telling us that for kata and tournaments, you have to choose a kata that matches the tournament.  If you are going to a Shotokan tournament, choose a kata from a different style and not a Shotokan kata.  This will give you a better chance at winning because, he says, they won't know if you make a mistake, if you don't show it.  Also, he said to choose a kata that matches your body type.  Some kata are better for small people and some kata are better for big people.  For example, he said, Sochin (I think) is good for bigger people while Gankaku is better for smaller people.  So, me thinks, I'll start learning Sochin.  

The kids seemed to have a good time at this practice.  Like I said, we got there early and the rest of the club was there getting ready for the festa.  Just the fact that everyone was doing something together that was different that normal was enough to make it fun plus the fact that they were practicing breaking boards made it even more exciting.

Flower did the basic drills very well, almost all the way to the end.  She kind ran out of steam on the last drill.  After that she went off to the side of the gym and played around a little and then fell asleep on my gym bag and slept until the end of the practice.  I was very happy with her although A expected her to do more.

I have been so busy lately.  I am writing this several days after the practice so it is actually hard to remember everything.  I need to sit down each night after practice, no matter how late it gets, and write down my thoughts on the practice before what I got taught slips away from me.

Muto-sensei said that I had no problems with my Heian Nidan kata but scolded A for not working harder at practice.  I was worried about it.  He said something like "Look at your father! He is doing really well.  He'll surely get a new belt at the next testing but you won't if you don't try harder."  I need to figure out some way to help him.  He'll practice at home, but only for about 5 minutes.  But 5 minutes every once and a while at home will probably make a big difference.