Learning Kata is a process.

I keep hearing the words of my teachers escaping my mouth.

“When you practice your katas, always start at the beginning.” That was Sensei John Schrader, and every Sunday morning we began with Pinan Shodan. It is apparent when students are only practicing their “new” forms because simple mistakes will creep into their older katas.

“Chinto takes 6 months to learn.” I think they all said that one but it took so much more than that to really feel good about it.

It is just such a BIG kata. It happens on a diagonal with lots of crane stances, funky blocking and spinning turns. It is humbling and daunting and exhilarating to finally figure it out.

Perhaps we should say, “It takes 6 months to know Chinto.”

A person can learn the moves in 5 or 6 hours. First, the big picture comes into focus (1-2 hours), then the turns make sense (3 hours), new moves become familiar, patterns are recognized but not organized (hours 5-6), power comes and goes (6-9 months), until eventually an integrated flow of movement becomes natural (1-2 years).

The pursuit of mastery is one of the many beauties of kata. Continue to practice. Seek perfection, but never attain it.

Posted in This is Karate.

One Comment

  1. The most striking thought to me is the jump from 5-6 hours to 9 months.

    Getting the big picture and the mechanics of it and then the extended part is practicing and deepening and knowing.

    I love this and am taking it on in the areas of my life I want to master.

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