Understanding How Martial Arts Techniques Are Demonstrated

I felt pretty good with the kata.

It was one that I had seen many times, been taught many times, felt that I had the transmission down- so why was I getting hit?

Keep this image in mind for a moment…

How does one learn a martial arts technique?

In many classes the transmission of a technique begins with the teacher or instructor physically demonstrating a waza or movement. They may mention the name of the movement, but with this first step it is all visual.

A chance to see the movement in action and catch the points of movement.

The development of *budo eyes*, to see the movement and understand it.

This cultivates the ability to see a form of movement and instantly understand the distance, timing, and rhythm that is in play.

After this point the class will often break up in partnered pairs- a chance to practice back and forth with a training partner and drill the points of the technique.

Often the instructor or a senior student will walk over and make individual correction or adjustments as needed for each student.

Building on this, sometimes the instructor will call the group back and once again demonstrate the technique, or at this point mention some of the finer points or action points of the lesson.

So what was I getting wrong?

Why was I getting hit?

This was the mistake I made, took about a dozen or so tries at correcting it before I realized it…

When my teacher demonstrated the technique- koku, it was one that I had seen many times, one that I felt confident in understanding, in being able to demonstrate is called on.

Yet I made a fatal calculation while it was being demonstrated.

Because I had *seen* it many times before, I thought I knew it, and missed the fact that my teacher had changed the timing a bit. I missed seeing that point because I did not approach it as if I was seeing it for the very first time.

Even when something is being demonstrated that you have seen it before, one should *always* approach it from seeing it with budo eyes as if it was the first time.

As soon as I realized that and corrected it, I stopped getting hit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *