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    Sensei Ross

    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


    #664 Reply

    Sensei Ross

    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

    self-defense situation?

    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???

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