Students are back at school now. Back to new teachers, a new grade, new lessons to be learned but also back to homework, meeting new friends and unfortunately, back to intimidation by bullies. As a martial artist, training in regular consistent classes helps you learn to face new challenges with confidence and bravery.
For the beginning martial arts student it is a challenge to get up in front of the instructor and classmates and perform their kata. My suggestion is to take every opportunity to do your kata in front of people. Remember, all the instructors at the Port Credit Academy of Martial Arts wants only the best for you so going into class with the “Oh what the heck, go for it anyway attitude” will help you triumph over any fears and hesitations.
Let’s take a quick look at the kata shall we. When we asked what is a kata, the normal answer is, “a fight against multiple attackers”, which is, in a sense correct but there is so much more involved in doing a kata that imagining fighting against others. How about kata is a way we can become FEARLESS in the face of our challenges. When you do a kata there is not one spot in the kata in which you never lose.
Think about it, in the kata you block every attack, and stop the attacker!
One of the ‘Four L’s’ of the kata opening hand posture is longevity. Practicing kata helps you live longer. Kata practice is great for visualization, timing, speed, power, focus, distance, and doing the kata over and over is a great cardiovascular workout! Kata practice helps with memorization skills (neuroplasticity) since each kata has a diverse number of techniques blended in different sequences with the longest being over 108 moves in a row!
How many times in your life have you started something, like a book, and not finished it? The kata always has a start and a finish and we emphasize that you never stop in the kata.
Finally I would like to add that the kata develops proper breathing habits which are vital to our health. The type of breathing we use is called “IBUKI” (In-Ibuki and Yo-Ibuki are the two types we implement) which roughly translated means “the breath of a warrior” and everyone knows that staying calm in hyper stressful situations can be controlled with proper breath management.
To me, F.E.A.R. can be an acronym that can stand for a few things…
“False Expectations Appearing Real”
“False Evidence Appearing Real”
“Forget Everything and RUN”
But, as Martial Artists, the one we love the most is “FACE EVERYTHING AND RISE.”
As you can see by the short explanation above of why kata training is excellent for a martial artist especially when faced with a “life challenge” the habit of doing your kata will develop the courage needed to embrace and face challenges head on and rise up!
For the non-karate students I would like you to know that you also practice “kata” training during your classes. Every time you are doing a sequence of moves combined together with or without a partner you are doing the kata especially of you put everything you have into every move!
Life is always full of challenges and adversities and the best way to overcome being scared or overcoming our fears is to take massive action.
Yes, it means to get up and physically do something!