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One Movement -- One Hundred Movements

Last week, I showed our class how to generate more speed and power in a particular movement of Naihanchi Shodan. I was very happy to see that about 75% of the class could "catch" this way of moving.

But that was just one movement. So I tried to show the class how the same principle could be applied to another movement in the same kata, and to other movements in Naihanchi Nidan and Sandan.

The point is that learning a single movement (actually how to generate more speed and power in a particular movement) is good. But it is limited to that movement.

A hardworking and bright student will not be content with this. He will examine all the movements in all the kata he knows to see if the same principle can apply to any of them. Without exception, he will find that a single principle will apply to many movements. Thus the saying "one movement -- one hundred movements."

As an instructor, my job is to show that single movement (principle) and to show the student how to examine other movements to see if the same principle applies. But it is the student's job to actually review his movements -- to do the hard work. That is not my job. It would be wrong for me to say, "here is the principle and here are all the movements in all the kata to which this principle also applies." If I did that, I would make shallow students who can only learn what they are taught.

What I want are students who can take a little piece and figure out the whole.

Of course, the students will have to understand their kata well enough to be able to do this. At first, the job is for the student to simply memorize and duplicate the movements of the kata. It is a matter of being able to repeat what the instructor does. But when the student knows the kata pretty well, it is time for this movement template or form to "come alive." This is when the instructor can teach "one movement" that will enable the student to improve "one hundred movements," perhaps even more.


Charles C. Goodin