Karate Thoughts Blog

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Movements That Don't Make Sense

What do you do when there is a movement in a kata that does not make sense to you? Here is what I do (not in any order).

  1. Ask my sensei what it means.
  2. Ask my Karate friends in other styles what it means.
  3. Check out meanings in books, videos, DVDs, etc.
  4. Think about similar movements in our system in other kata or drills.
  5. Think about similar movements in other martial arts.
  6. Sleep on it.
By sleep on it, I mean that I sort of put the movement on the side and continue to practice it in the hope that it will one day make sense. There are many movements that did not make sense to me at one time, but did make sense later. This was particularly true when I started to learn the type of body dynamics taught by Sensei Katsuhiko Shinzato in the Kishaba Juku Shorin-Ryu system. With poor body dynamics, my understanding of movement was more limited. When I could move with more power and less effort, some movements became much more effective and useable.

My point is that our appreciation of movements grows as we do. Don't dismiss a movement too early, particularly when you have only trained for a few years. Give it time.

A movement might not look like a takedown, unless you realize that you are holding the attackers ears!


Charles C. Goodin