DANCING IN THE PARK by John Johnston


My personal study of Kata has become part and parcel of my daily routine.  Most mornings you can find me in the local park weather permitting. I could train indoors but I prefer to be outside. The park is usually empty early morning, the airs fresh, there is a feeling of openness and sounds are swallowed up. The Kata or Kata’s I will practice will depend on my personal agenda. The manner of my practice changes according to my needs. I will not bore you with a catalogue of the various aspects, what I would like to say is the Kata’s appear to take on a mood of their own, they feel so different to a Kata performed in a classroom setting. It’s like bedroom dancing, only with discipline.
I find I express myself more freely. There is an edginess, lots of intention and that feeling that my technique has effectiveness. The flow and timing feel different and breathing is more enhanced. That’s maybe because there are no outside influences. I still conform to the Kata, only I feel less restricted. I do not change the Kata; I let the Kata change me. It’s a good start to my day. I am often inspired and energised. When I have done dancing in the park. I know I have vanquished my greatest foe, “myself”.
That braves me to ask one further question, “ If martial arts really does make you a better person, how come we have so many arseholes doing it”?

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