Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Those Darned Katas

Preparing for karate training after a long break really exposes what you have forgotten. Katas are one part of training you think you'll never forget. It's like riding a bicycle, once you learn that is all you need to do. Well that was not the case for me.

When I began I knew I would trouble with Seichin and prepped for that. However I did not expect to go blank at the end of Kanshiwa or the middle of Kanshu. Sanchin was the only bicycle kata for me. It only took me one evening to straighten myself out, but I had to use an old standby to help me. Videos. When I first started training it was hard to remember all the kata steps and movements. I trained in class twice a week and wrote down what I learned. But it wasn't enough.

There are many videos online of people performing kata. The problem is that they are of varying quality and even within the same style of martial arts they are performed differently, Uechi-ryu is no ecxeption.

I use videos to help me remember the sequence of the steps/moves while taking pains not to imitate what the performer was doing. You still perform the moves as taught by your Sensei - do not forget this if you decide to try using videos as a training aid.

For Uechi-ryu Kyu katas I like the ones by Anthony Licalzi on the Uechi-Ryu.com Streaming Videos page. His videos are slow speed, he performs crisp moves and is easy to follow. They are not perfect as sometimes he is not facing the camera, etc. But don't complain, they are great examples and *free*.  There are also many videos on kumite, bunkai, and more on the Internet available for use. These people are really great to provide these resources for us to use.

Again the videos are here but feel free to search for ones that suit you better and remember that it is an aid, not a substitute for learning in class.

Ed. Note: I mixed up Seisan for Seichin in the orginal post. Sorry for any confusion.

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