Wednesday, January 17, 2007

No to Gojushiho sho

Don't get me wrong: I love kata. I live for kata. I just do not wish to learn Gojushiho Sho right at this moment.

I'm mentally digging in my heels and saying "Enough!".

I have the movements of close to 20 Shotokan kata in my brain, and I'm only 4 years old in Martial arts. I do not want to learn another one no matter how wonderful it is. I want to understand some of the ones that I have amassed within me. I want to know why I put my hands in this direction, and why my hips turn over there, and what it does to my opponent. I do not want to just dance to the rhythm of another song. Sure.. I can understand that many of us start off mimicing movement, and later on we develop a deeper understanding of what we are doing. I'm not even up to the point of wanting to mimic movement.

I've got the rest of my life to learn the movements of the last 6 kata left in Shotokan. Why rush it? I can understand having pressure if I wanted to represent my dojo at a competition, or if I was aspiring to open a dojo of my own.. but I'm just a little old Mom who likes to do karate when I'm not washing dishes, doing laundry, or making meals.

There was a time when I hungered for the ability to do a higher kata.. but now, I feel overfilled. I have that "after a turkey feast" distended, bloated feeling within me as I face learning another kata. I can feel my spirit saying "No.. NO.. No to Gojushiho Sho." Let me work on the 15 mandatory kata for my rank of Shodan.. let me focus on the various things that I can learn from there...let me build up my basics so that I can grasp what the higher kata are saying.

But what do I do? When I show up in class.. there is this expectation that I'm supposed to want to learn more kata. How do I tell my Sensei that I'm not interested in learning this new kata? "Gee.. thanks for the opportunity to learn more, Sensei, but I just want to sit here in the lower levels a little longer?" That just doesn't sound right.


[Mat] said...

The joys of the imposed dictatorship in karate. Feel ready for a test? You don't pass it. Feel like learning more? You don't. Feel like enough's enough? There's more.

Maybe that new dance will make you understand another older dance.

20 katas. I know 3 katas, 9 kihons and I've got my hands full.
Going to blue and learning Bassai is not what I intend to do anytime soon. Yet, I'm not the one deciding... I feel like a lousy green belt. I just got past a plateau in chito-ryu - unlocking a few things here and there from time to time. I've had almost no time to do randori - which means I'm probably where I left last time, I haven't improved on throwing techniques or speed. I barely know this kata. Still receiving lots of corrections on it.

I guess it's pretty clear that I don't want to get to the next belt as I feel I have so much yet to learn. My mind knows, my body doesn't cooperate yet.

I totaly sympathize with you.

Indeed, where's the rush?

[Mat] said...

In my ramblings, I forgot to say :

I have no idea how to announce that. Maybe ask Colin?

MrX said...

I can relate because I feel that way sometimes. To much learning and not enough practicing what is already learned. It's kind of getting in new shoes all the time...

I will give you an advice you once gave me : Talk about it with your Sensei.

IMO, they think that the only way to keep us motivated is to give us new stuff to learn. I think that he will fully understand that you want to have a free spirit while doing the katas that you already know before learning a new one.

Don't try to think to much though. The body has a way of making the mind understand why we do such and such things while practicing the kata.

Take care,


[Mat] said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Becky said...

I went through something similar the first time Sensei tried to teach me Tokumine bo kata. I was a yellow belt, and it was just too much for my mind to take in at once. Everything within me balked at the idea of learning something else. Fortunatley for me, my sensei was sensitive enough to recognize this and backed off until I really was ready to learn.

supergroup7 said...

Yes.. I realize that I will need to express my own personal philosophy, mental position, and health goals to my Sensei.

It's the "When", "Where", and "How" that is involved which brings me to thinking.

I know that I do not want to collect kata like one collects baseball cards.

I know that I am dedicated towards training for a long time regardless of my rank. I do not seek advancement in rank as a goal.

I know that I do not seek to start up a dojo of my own, so there is no pressure within me to amass a deeper knowledge of everything.

Now.. communicating this in a respectful way is the key.