Following the... erm... learning experience of the last tournament I have the added honour of competing in both the individual and team kata in Hartlepool on the 20th March.
I am genuinely looking forward to this one, as I feel slightly more comfortable being judged on kata than kumite and whilst some of my own kata interpretations may have a whiff of shotkan about them, they're no more varied than the range of Wado versions I saw at the last comp. When it comes to team kata though I am seriously re-learning every step.
Sensei Rick last night had us spend 20 minutes on the walk-in, and frankly, we needed it. Not only are we three different heights and three different grades, but we have three very different Martial Arts backgrounds; me from Shotokan with my long slow stances and eroneous kicks, Andy from LKA who studies budo with Sakagami and is therefore very precise, and Alex, a young Cypriot Sandan who performs snappy kata like a bullet.
It amazes me how even individuals from the same clubs can vary kata according to their understanding and bunkai, or their own physiology, so I wasn't surprised that there were many many many differences in how each of us perform our kata. Having run through only two so far; a mandatory Pinan Godan and Wanshu we are stopping after every technique to correct and compare and assimiliate. The guys have loads of advice on how to "Wadoise" what I do and I'm delighted that they are happy to adopt some minor shotoisms regarding timing and posture.
But what we really need is about 100 more hours of traning, a mirror and a video camera... and maybe some thumping bass tunes to keep us in time?