This Guest Post is by my friend and senior, Sensei Pat Nakata. Nakata Sensei is the head of the Okinawa Shorin-Ryu Karate Association in Hawaii. He was a student of Chosin (Choshin) Chibana in Shorin-Ryu, and also studied Ryukyu Kobudo under Sensei Fumio Nagaishi. When he was a young man, he studied Wado-Ryu Karate under Sensei Walter Nishioka.
Chibana Sensei's teachings are based on the application of power. Chibana Sensei's teachings are found in his Kata. We initially learn by watching, and initially a mirror may help. As we advance, we should discard the use of a mirror, because it will distract our focus. Using a mirror is looking outward, we must develop our "inner mirror", which is our "kimochi (feeling)". "Kimochi" cannot be taught or demonstrated and can be developed only by diligent training by keeping our focus.
Now the riddle: We refine our Kata with "kimochi", but as we start to reach the higher stages of refinement our "kimochi" starts to become imperceptible. Although the "kimochi" becomes imperceptible, it is still there. It is our "mind's eye" that keeps our focus. Again, we can only reach this stage through constant training. If we loose the spirit of repetition, we loose our focus and we loose our way.
So, go look into that "mirror".