Hundreds and thousands of punches later, in extreme heat and humidity, and we changed something fundamental in the way we conduct kata training in AKBAN.
The way I learned it, from my teacher Doron Navon, is that when practicing the pre-determined drills of our tradition, the kata, the Uke and the Tori decide what kata, what mutual drill is to be done and practice it.
Two things about this practice bothered me: when practicing one drill at a time there is no element of surprise and another is that in the regular way we did kata there was rarely any impact, no feeling of punching.
If, while preparing our slow advance in the methodical pyramid, we neglect to practice in a combat situation that is more and more chaotic, we then arrive at the chaotic sparring practice (Randori) or even a real skirmish (Takakai) with no inner abilities to use our form in the random reality that is a fight.
The ‘Impact Q&A’ we have been learning through ‘Mindless mindfulness’ changed all that, we now have a superior practice tool that will reconstitute our ancient tradition and breath new life into the patterns of our art.
When all this happens in the Israeli hot and humid summer it poses some new challenges. I have shortened some sessions, especially in Tel Aviv, to lower the risk of a heatstroke.
This week we will integrate sabaki and kicks. Please bring water and punching equipment.