October 17, 2014 at 2:36 pm #661
The Practice of Martial Arts
Everybody has different intentions for learning martial arts. Some take it for fitness and self-
defense and view the arts as an exercise and treat it as a hobby. While others, take its lessons
seriously where martial arts becomes a way of life for them.
It has come to my attention that many students do not understand or is overwhelmed by the
practice of martial arts. Learning in a classroom setting is one thing but the actual training and
progression of skill can be an entirely different thing.
Classrooms are for learning…homework is where you get a chance to review the lesson learned
and to hone and improve your abilities. Your progress and achievement in martial arts will be
limited if you only put in classroom participation. A practitioner will only get out what they put
into their training. Whether you practice intensely or casually your skill level and abilities will
mirror your efforts.
Many martial arts styles are expressed through the practice of katas/forms. These exercises
are the basis from which your particular style emphasizes. Each section of a kata/form can be
broken down into smaller parts for the practitioner to practice and perfect. The importance
of the practice of these katas/forms cannot be overemphasized especially in the beginning
stages of your martial arts’ career. There is an old saying in martial arts. “to master a hand
technique requires 1000 repetitions, to master a weapon requires 10,000 repetitions”. How
many repetitions have you performed on your techniques?
Asking questions and mimicking your teacher is a start. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your
instructor. Instructors/teachers started somewhere and often had the same stumbling blocks
as many of you have. Every teacher wants good students and some teachers may even single
out individuals to learn their complete system and certify them to teach in order to pass on the
art to future generations.
True masters of the arts put in countless hours of training for decades leading them to
spirituality and enlightenment. At that point, self-defense is merely a by-product of its
teachings.October 18, 2014 at 12:43 am #664
Deciphering Your Kata/Form
Sifu Peter J. Chang
Your kata (Okinawan, Korean, Japanese etc.) or form (Chinese) is the foundation of your
particular martial arts style. Within your kata/form lie the key characteristics of that discipline.
Most moves in a kata/form have multiple applications. There are the apparent ones and ones
that are not so apparent. The “moves” in a kata/form provides you with an exercise to give you
the ability to perform an application.
The question is…how does one take the moves from the kata/form and use it effectively in a
Most katas/forms are a set of movements created and executed in a “shadow boxing” manner
to defeat one or multiple opponents. Although some combinations of movements in the kata/
form are designed to attack/counterattack correctly… ie: A set-up technique with a punch
that is designed to offer the opponent a blocking opportunity and its counter to the block…
ALL techniques found in katas/forms are situational. No technique is written in stone with its
application. There are always variables to the technique.
In other words, if the situation presents itself use the technique…if not use a different
technique… All of this activity will be within a moment’s thought. It is the requirement to
properly execute a self-defense response. Use the technique that is dictated by the situation
and not the other way around.
“to master a hand technique requires 1000 repetitions…to master a weapon requires 10,000
How many repetitions are you up to???