When the kata doesn’t come easily…

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.

~Abigail Adams

I’m learning a new bo kata and it’s not coming easily. For whatever reason, I had to have Renshi slow down and show me small chunks of the moves – and he’s had to show me several times. At one point I was so frustrated with myself that I stomped my feet like a child.

But after I rolled my eyes, threw my head back, and stomped my feet, I got back to work. With some focused instruction from Renshi and some additional coaching from another student (thanks, Alex!), I finally have a portion of the kata down. But just a portion.

As I was reminded, not everything is going to be easy. I know that and I’m OK with that. Part of the fun of learning is tackling challenges; in fact, if everything was easy, I’m sure I’d get bored quickly!

Over time I’ve learned those things which present the biggest challenges also have the potential for the biggest rewards. This is one of those things. So I’m working on my kata in class. I’m doing an extra run-through or two after class. And I’m mentally doing the kata while I’m walking the dog or holding myself in a plank position.

I’m looking forward to getting this kata down. To having all the pieces in place and being able to run through the whole thing without prompting. At that point, my reward will be the satisfaction of accomplishing something that didn’t come easy. Of knowing I worked hard, put in the extra time and effort, and worked through my frustration.

Now…back to work. I’ve got a kata to learn!

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2 thoughts on “When the kata doesn’t come easily…

  1. I’m having the opposite problem. I took Tang Soo Do as a child. Since it’s been several years since I took, I started over as a white belt. One thing I rember vividly from my childhood is the first two “forms”. We do them over and over in class. I’m bored with them. I want to learn something new!! I test at the end of January and I can’t wait! Although I remember form #3 as well, so I’m sure ill get sick of it too:(

    • I understand what you’re feeling! I get bored occasionally and have to find ways to keep myself engaged in whatever we’re doing. For instance, in kata I’ll work on making my blocks and punches harder, turning my hips faster, deepening my stances, etc. In self-defense sets, I’ll work on my control and hitting the right target, and I’ll think about how I could finish the move with the attacker on the ground. If I don’t find something to focus on, I’ll zone out.

      There’s always something I can improve upon, and something to learn even in the most basic of forms or self-defense sets, as I’m sure you know. To this day, my favorite kata is what I call my “baby kata,” the first kata I ever learned. I’m confident the Fuki U Nidan I do now doesn’t look much like the Fuki U Nidan of 4+ years ago, but only because I’ve done it about a million times!

      Hang in there – it won’t be long until you earn that yellow belt and move on to other things!

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