"The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants." -- Gichin Funakoshi

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Confucious Say...

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." ~ Confucius

You can talk me through a kata I'm unfamiliar with all day long, and while you are talking, I can stumble my way through it. But then set me loose to run it completely alone, and I am lost.

You can run a kata I am unfamiliar with so that I can watch you, and I may be able to mimic as a parrot would with words, but it still is not permanently embedded in my mind.

If I'm really going to understand the techniques in the kata, run the kata beside me. Stop me at random points and show me the bunkai for a specific technique. Technique without application is pointless. Explain the why to me, and the how will stick forever.

This is one of the many things I love about our dojo. The why is explained. It's not just punch - kick - block repetition. We are allowed and encouraged to ask for an explanation of the why of any technique.

4 comments:

Becky said...

That is how I teach kata. I have the student stand beside me and we go over it together, over and over, as many times as it takes. As we learn each section of the kata, I'll stop from time to time and show him the bunkai for what we just did. It seems to work well.

frotoe said...

thats the only way i can learn, too- i have to completely understand the application or else i feel like i'm just doing "pretend" karate. and some students are ok just going thru the motions(usually the teens). it is obvious, though, when watching, who really understands what they are doing.

supergroup7 said...

Just remember that the bunkai that you THINK fits with that movement is only one way of looking at the sequence. Each movement in a kata can be applied in many, many ways. What you think is just a block/counter situation can also be other things.. keep your mind open for possibilities.

~ANA~ said...

becky - sounds like you're a pretty good teacher :)

frotoe - exactly. I don't want to just go through the motions. I'm in this to improve myself, and just going through the motions isn't gonna cut it.

supergroup7 - absolutely. That's a part of karate being a lifelong learning process...just when you think you completely understand a concept, you see it from a different perspective and learn something new.