Working a little bit on footwork from Seipai Kata tonight, focusing on posture, weight shifting, and transitioning with varied timing rather than stopping for emphasis on 'stance' as is the case with most performances of any Kata these days, usually for the sake of winning trophies.
At one point I realize I had the weight transition all wrong so I end up going back over that again and again, but what is the purpose of this that has me feeling as though the weight transition is wrong?? Some innate intuition that this is something trying to tell me something about the intent of the movement itself??
I end up adding the arms back in, focusing more on moving everything as a single unit, the transition goes smoothly and correctly once everything moves together and feels just right.
In my mind it is easy to visualize what I am doing, working through the entry point, then the transition, which involves parrying/sticking, seizing the head, slight choke, then drop for leverage/possible break (who says Kata never had an original intent).
Certainly there is room for variation through Oyo, but in that moment the visuals helped to guide the principles, the 'why' helped to define the 'how' without my even consciously realizing it at first, beginning with the feeling that something was 'off' without consciously knowing 'why' it felt off - without a point of reference there is no reason for it to feel right or wrong, unless there really is a right way.
That is neither here nor there, the main point is in awareness, mindfulness leading the practice without anything added which allowed for certain things to come to the surface intuitively, thus, the Kata was allowed to speak, allowed to teach of its' own accord without interference.
Who is to say this is not just me coming up with something based on principles with which I have become familiar over the last twenty five years?? That is certainly a possibility, definitely a probability, but is that not true of everyone in their quest for whatever??
Sensei used to allude to the fact that the true self could never be found unless we got out of our own way, that too much thinking was a hindrance to actual practice, thus, too much theorizing and too much 'expert thinking' lead to Karate becoming impotent.
Sure this COULD mean that and that COULD mean this, but with so many open-ended theories and vague little mental pathways where does one begin and the other end??
Wilder Sensei wrote about a 'Decision Stick' in the book 'The Way of Kata' that he wrote with Lawrence Kane Sensei and it is all about making things as simple as possible so as not to become stuck during a situation that calls for quick decision making.
Shihan Roseberry ALWAYS says 'Keep it simple,' and follows it by adding 'Keep it practical,' basically saying the two go hand-in-hand and MORE THAN IMPLYING that our own brains are our worst enemies when it comes to Budo.
As I focused everything was present, principles of Muchimi, Gamaku, Chinkuchi, Atifa, all fell into place and, you know what? The fancy names and running through various aspects of each principle had little to nothing to do with the actualization of the principles themselves.
'Something feeling off' was much deeper than that, yet much more primitive, something that words cannot really do justice, but those same words, those same aspects of each principles are the root, the very tool of teaching that point the way, but must be discarded if they are to be understood and actualized.
The first time I had met Shihan Roseberry was at the old Bremerton Dojo on Callow Street, I was a 7th Kyu or 6th Kyu, doesn't matter, I was a kid that barely knew how to stand up straight, anyways, he once said it was possible to do a perfect Kata if you simple hummed the tune 'Jingle-Bells' throughout the performance.
I am not going to add anything to that odd little trick, just let that hang in the air and fester.... Jingle Bells.