Wednesday, 16 March 2011

That feeling!

Dedicated with respect to all those affected by the recent events in Japan; placing this post firmly in perspective; ame futte ji katamaru.

Just four days until the Hartlepool tournament and much has changed since my last post. We have now become two pairs as there is no category for team kata, meaning that Alex and I, and Andy and Josh are competing seperately. It's hard to know if pairs is easier than team; certainly syncing with one person is more
simple than with two, but the focus of the judges is also diffused, and differences are easier to spot.

I can honestly say that if you ever wanted to get your head around Wado stances and style and the differences between it and Shotokan, then continually running through two kata over and over again with a very competent Wado third dan and another III looking on... will certainly help.

This tournament requires that all pairs begin with a Pinan kata, so it's back to basics and onto Godan. My Neko Dachi is L shaped, but the back foot should face forward, my Shuto is too low and too far from my body, my Kiba Dachi is too wide and parallel. I move in circles slowly, but I need to move in straight lines quickly. In Wanshu, our timing is hot but my fists, which resolutely return to my hip after every technique, are slowing me down and highlighting our differences. I keep reminding myself, Wado is like the salute from my army cadet days, "the quickest way down".

It's been a hard couple of weeks but fascinating and exhilarating. At the same time I am rehearsing my individual katas, which include a faster Godan than the pairs version and a snappy Bassai and I am spending every spare moment practicing, my kitchen at home and the cloakroom at work becoming temporary dojos.

We have a good sized squad going up to Hartlepool on Sunday (at 6am!!!) including some juniors in both kata and kumite, including our winners from last time; Junaid and Patrick and, of course, my buddy Alex. Best of luck to everyone competing and as always, I'll let you know how it goes.


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