Kata and Mei-kata Part 1/2


I just enlisted the help of an innocent passerby during my morning practice in the skate-board park to take these clips. Can you spot the difference?

Kata (form), is very important in our martial development and practice for various reasons; to forge and maintain a strong, flexible body; to develop focus, coordination, centering and grounding; work on posture and breathe control; as a 'library' of martial-movement paradigms and techniques; to use as moving meditation, develop body-awareness, core connectivity, and zanchin (martial awareness), etc etc. I'm sure you can think of more.
But to answer my initial query: 
The first is a basic Jo (4 ft staff) kata which I picked up from an Aikido-ka friend a few years ago. There are lots of long, deep, stances and big movements for all of the above reasons. 
The second is the same kata which I've 'te'-ified. It still works on basic footwork but in a Te manner, much higher, shorter, stances and with more fluidity. Te works with the 'up' as well as the 'down', coming up onto the toes for several reasons (which I will elaborate on in a later post), not least of which is agility. Note that I've still kept some low, heavily grounded, stances in what I think are appropriate places. 
I also frequently train the mirror image of different kata, this is to develop a more flexible mind and to train techniques that are only included in the kata on one side of the body.

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