Ego & Kata

One of the riskiest things of practicing solo is navigating between the ego and the kata. There is no reason why you should be doing the katas except that you want to do them for reasons that shift as whimsically as the sands in the desert, and since no one is around to verify that you’re doing them except yourself, you are your only witness and judge.

If you are in a dojo what you do is in the hands of the sensei. You surrender to his or her whimsy. You can perform out of ego, fear, pride or conformity. You survive as part of a choral ensemble. You can mouth the kata in silence, no one is the wiser.

But you’re alone. Alone in a small space. You are priest and acolyte. And all around the ego multiplies like crabgrass. And you try to forget about yourself for the duration of the rosary bead of katas you’ve chosen for that night’s ritual of movement.

Fat chance


The Longest Kata

It has no name. It is not taught. It has only one practitioner. It is a fluid flow of movement or stillness. Its opening stance is lost, but felt. Its different positions are hardly discernible. Once begun it goes on its own volition indivisible from the tapestry of the everyday. Breath and light merge and come apart. There is laughter and tears, loss and discovery but no one can yet distinguish the vectors where they cross and evanesce .Its last stance is a plume in the wind.