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


David "Shinzen" Nelson said...

Nice. So true...love the line..."rosary bead of katas..."

John Eccles said...

I just read your entire blog. It was AMAZING! It almost exactly parallels my own history in the Shorei-Kan. I also trained under Kayo.
I'd like very much to speak with you regarding this, our shared history. Please google Glasco Karate for info about me. My email is jeejr1234@yahoo.com. Would love to speak with you.

John Eccles

Jorge Rodriguez said...

I trained under Shinodaat the Ochoa Dojo, with Tony Fornaris, Efrain and Gusi and the eternal brown belt brothers...(I was right behind them) and it's a time I'll never be able to forget and treasure!
I don't remember you but you have captured the essence of what went on in a priceless fashion!
I still see Efrain once in a while (he is my chiropractor) and we always spend a lot of time remembering the dojo and him telling me about when they got heir black belts in Okinawa etc.
Thatnks for the memories!!

Dan Djurdjevic said...

Only those of us who regularly practise kata alone truly understand the depth and import of your post. How different my kata is when I (so rarely) visit my teacher! Mostly I am alone with my rosary beads...