歯と爪

Ha To Tsume (Tooth and Claw)

Unsurprisingly, the creative kata task proved to be the greatest workbook challenge for me. Many people helped me with this: Thomas of course, plus a number of other Blackbelt and Deputy Blackbelt students, and not forgetting support from Lee. But when the chips are down, this is one thing no one else can do for you….

I’ve experienced a few crises about this task: repeatedly forgetting bits of it (and it’s not even that long!), not knowing what to do with my left hand, and having to rework it entirely over the last week or so as I thought it was starting to pull together. Worst of all, however, was working on it in my head for far too long before trying it out. Very foolish.

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Ideas…

On the advice of Mr Fever I decided to use a weapon for extra effect, and I went for something small and shiny rather than the familiar but unpredictable nun-chucks: given my imperfect technique, I hope the karambit will help maximise my points.

These pictures are one representation of my kata, Ha To Tsume (Tooth and Claw), but it seems to be fairly fluid and changes each time I perform it. I just hope I can perform any semblance of it in front of the examination panel.

My Martial Arts Journey

I see my participation in martial arts being one of the ways I can mitigate many effects of aging: cardio fitness, strength, bone density, spatial reasoning, exercising the ‘little grey cells’ and best of all, part of an ‘insurance package’ against mental health issues.

Importantly, martial arts also represent a shared interest for our family, with all the associated benefits. It is so helpful to have a topic of conversation we ALL take seriously and can engage in, regardless of any tension — be its source external (work/school), or internal (‘normal’ family* disagreement).

* No family is ‘normal’, comprising a particular number of adults (of specific gender) who are biological parents to 2.4 children (where is that almost half a person?!). I hope it is good enough to be a ‘functional’ family, with lines of communication and unconditional love between each member.

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3 thoughts on “歯と爪”

  1. Fascinating! How much of ‘yourself’ do you put into it? How much is the kata a – description of how many singular moves you can string together with a cohesive meaning – process, that one undertakes to achieve (or want of a better word) a level? Just thinking…

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    1. For me the process began as a fairly sterile 2D construction exercise (in 3D space), just as you suggest, to get through the exam; like a swot I wanted to demonstrate some of the techniques we had been learning in class. But in order to be able to remember the moves and to make it flow I needed a narrative that *made sense* — mechanically — to me, and could conceivably work for me in ‘real life’. It is clear that others constructed their creative kata around a central core unique to them. This could be a specialist physical ability (cartwheels, splits, triple roundhouse) or in-depth understanding of their favourite weapon(s) & how cool they could be (Jedi lightsabre, Bostaff that ‘pops’ in half to make two Eskrima). In short, to make it work well, (a Sensei might say to make it work at all) a lot of oneself goes into it.

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