Things Are Progressing

Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - General' started by DocWard, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. DocWard

    DocWard Blue Belt

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    My instructor handed me a slip of paper on my way out. It says I'm responsible for developing my own kata, based upon the principles of Kenpo, and to write a thesis, either on the history of Karate or Kenpo, or on my own personal journey and what Kenpo has come to mean to me. The writing is not a stress. I write for a living. Developing my own kata has me somewhat nervous. Yes, I am excited, though! I already have some ideas for the kata. I seem to be getting closer.
     
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  2. Buka

    Buka MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I so love that. It's kind of fun, too. Although I never did Kata, I constructed some for individual students for Kata competitions.

    Go gettum', Doc.
     
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  3. DocWard

    DocWard Blue Belt

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    Thank
    Thanks!
     
  4. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    I did a thesis on the adaptive nature of kenpo and how you can tailor it to yourself, never did my own form....just never saw the point tbh. I always believed there was more important stuff I could be practicing than doing that but that's just my opinion
     
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  5. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    What principles do you intend to focus on in your kata? How do you envision your kata fulfilling a training need?
     
  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Creating a new kata is on my list of possible requirements for BB, should anyone ever last long enough to get there under me. I'm not sure if I'm doing it for the right reasons though - I'm honestly hoping someone will make some better ones to replace some of mine. :oops:
     
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  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think for folks who practice forms, having to make one (and be able to explain the concepts built into it) is a good step toward teaching them better.
     
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  8. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I love this! Great work getting to this point. We create a form at 4th Dan. I broke down the various components into groups and thought about which ones it made sense to marry together. The how and why is much more important than the what IMHO. Possibly thinking of a minimum number of moves would help as well.
     
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  9. DocWard

    DocWard Blue Belt

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    I've always enjoyed kata, but generally more as almost meditation in motion. They allow me to work on maintaining focus, in a similar fashion to certain aspects of my actual meditation. At other times I do focus on the movements, the reasons for specific actions, and how they flow from one to another. I also do enjoy the traditional aspect of kata. I realize they aren't for everyone, and try to avoid those debates on the usefulness of them.

    Two very good questions, which make me hope I'm up to the task of answering. While I am confident it, or something similar, has been done before, my plan is to take the traditional movements of the "Star Block," and using them as the initial movement in a brief self defense sequence, utilizing first right then left side techniques. I envision it as a way of demonstrating that these movements can exist in more than just their static form, that is, with foot movement in addition to the hand movements.

    My instructor indicated I could keep it fairly short, along the lines of "Short Form 2" if I so choose, so long as it is "structured after the Kenpo style." He said he has had a couple of his black belt candidates perform lengthy kata, one which included weapons typically not taught in Kenpo. Since I enjoy writing, I anticipate writing out the directions for the kata and adding it as an appendix to my thesis, perhaps with a statement of how I believe it demonstrates the principles of Kenpo.

    Now where did I put my Infinite Insights into Kenpo series? I might need that.
     
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  10. DocWard

    DocWard Blue Belt

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    On a related positive note, I was sparring on Wednesday and talking after with another brown belt, who has considerable tournament experience. He said it is challenging for him when sparring me because he has to adjust his timing for "someone unpredictable and fast like [me]." I don't believe I've ever been called "fast." It made my day, to say the least.
     
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  11. Orion Nebula

    Orion Nebula Orange Belt

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    That all sounds great! I like having opportunities to reflect on what I've learned and the path I've taken for various subjects that I've done a deep dive into. I think that would be super fun to write for my martial arts journey someday.

    As for creating a kata, that also sounds like a fun beast. Good luck.
     
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  12. Gweilo

    Gweilo Blue Belt

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    I like the sound of your instructor, total understanding, and creativity awesome.
     
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  13. DocWard

    DocWard Blue Belt

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    I will say developing the kata, and doing it well, or so I hope, has given me a new appreciation for them, and the art. My daughter is being most helpful as a warm body, as time allows, but I still find myself with struggling to figure out how to get where I want to be and to get it to flow.
     
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  14. Buka

    Buka MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Doc....

    Where you said this..."I've always enjoyed kata, but generally more as almost meditation in motion. They allow me to work on maintaining focus, in a similar fashion to certain aspects of my actual meditation. At other times I do focus on the movements, the reasons for specific actions, and how they flow from one to another. I also do enjoy the traditional aspect of kata. I realize they aren't for everyone, and try to avoid those debates on the usefulness of them"

    That right there is what I would build my Kata on. I'd make it your own meditation in motion and avoid any debates on anything.
     
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  15. DocWard

    DocWard Blue Belt

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    Excellent advice. I'm a bit over halfway through, and the first part flows very well for me. Much of it came to me almost spontaneously. I can close my eyes and envision myself performing it. Then I hit a wall. I am confident once I get past the creative block, it will flow as well, though.
     
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  16. Buka

    Buka MT Moderator Staff Member

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    One thing you might try....when you get to that "hit a wall part", take a bunch of nice breaths with your eyes closed and think about what really rocks your world in striking - then, from the position you happen to be in while you're day dreaming at that wall - explode like a cherry bomb in a shot glass....and see what technique comes out. Sometimes it's a good one.

    If not, reset and play some more. And, yes, people might think you're crazy. But we already know that. :)
     
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  17. DocWard

    DocWard Blue Belt

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    Yes, yes we do! And thanks again for the advice. I will give it a try.
     
  18. KenpoMaster805

    KenpoMaster805 Purple Belt

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    Its fun and exciting to do your own kata you can even name it oh ya in my class ones you reach black belt you need a thesis about kenpo karate
     
  19. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Yellow Belt

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    Since you are a writer, to make your Kenpo kata more creative, consider what Ed Parker said regarding the comparison of karate to language. Individual moves are the letters, combos the words which combine into sentences, and those into paragraphs which define the concept. There can be stuttering (broken timing), alliteration (repetition of an element of the technique, rhyming (which gives a flow), prefixes (the set up), suffixes, punctuation, etc. Could be a useful concept.
     
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