If you are like me, I easily took to the 21 day kata challenge and thought it would be a breeze. I am committed to this challenge; it is public that I am part of the challenge. Of course, I struggled to fit this daily routine into my schedule. In preparing for the black belt test I practiced my kata four times per day. How hard could it be to practice at least one kata every day? It was not that easy for me.
It has been one week since we began the challenge. How are you doing? Here is how I am doing: Every day I have practiced at least one kata.
- Sunday, I performed one kata at home. Day number one of any new challenge is always easy.
- Monday, a holiday (January 2—do you remember?) I performed most of my kata at home. Of course I slacked off a little bit. We had company on Sunday and were getting ready for the return to the routines activities on Tuesday. So, it was harder to make it happen.
- Tuesday, black belt class. I was so glad I had practiced my kata. It was kata night at the dojo, and we went through most of the first degree black belt katas. Prior to class I went over one kata with Sempi Josh that I am working on learning for the second degree test. That was great fun to work with Josh.
- Wednesday morning I performed all my kata at the gym with the mirror and was able to go over some of the finer points from last night’s class. I am a regular at the gym on Wednesday morning, so, not too tough for me on Wednesday to meet the kata challenge.
- Thursday, worked late and came home and performed one kata in the living room before eating and heading to bed. It snowed, it was cold. In the morning on Thursday, I was at the gym and pressed for time and did not practice my kata as I had on Wednesday.
- Friday, I had fun swimming laps and then practicing my kata (and self-defense) in the hot tub. It was less than 10 degrees outside so I felt great being able to work on my kata in the hot tub and then stretching.
- Saturday, performed all my kata in the basement. After a day of running around, I finally practiced my kata. Again, I brought home some of the fine points from Tuesday. This is why we take notes.
Kata is the lifeblood of karate. To get you motivated to continue to practice your kata in our 21 day challenge here are the top 5 reasons to practice your kata:
- It is good cardio. One of our dojo sensei’s has a t-shirt that reads “kata is my cardio.” Our Hanchi says that performing our white belt kata 4 times is the same as walking a mile. I find that running all the kata I know without a break gets the heart rate up. Have you tried running your kata without a break?
- In Karate only kata challenges the entire body as a unit during exercise. You can perform isolated exercises at the gym. Only kata is that total body workout.
- You learn to move in the fundamental stances, front, horse, and back. As you practice kata you learn the importance of proper stances and attention to the detail of the stances
- You sharpen blocking techniques. Our first kata teaches down block. We become experienced in blocking through this repetition of practicing our kata. A simple blocking drill is great and if you at the gym with me you know I practice one at the gym prior to kata. Kata is just more fun with the movement then a blocking drill. I like to be active.
- You practice how to strike. Every block, strike, stance in our kata is on our black belt test. We do not learn a kata without having first learned that block, strike or block. Have you ever thought about that?
Are you ready to begin? Have you already begun? It is not too late to jump on board the 21 day kata challenge. Remember that your New Year’s challenge from Sensei Glen and Sensei Mae is to practice one kata each day for the next 21 days. Are you able to spend less than 5 minutes a day practicing kata?
See you in class soon.