Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mind 3 : Mindset for Kumite

Where should your mind be at?  Your focus?  What do you see and what do you perceive?  The rhythm.
At ma-ai do you enter or retreat? Sen alone, naked sen, is uncertain. It is like walking into a darkened room. You can't see what lies ahead. Taking the initiative should always be in response to something you've felt. Sen must be directed at Suki even if the suki was an illusion.
Relax your muscles. Still your mind when in motion; let it flow when still. Step cautiously and precisely. Center your hips and let them lead your movement. Attack with your defense, defend with your attack. Commit to your response...never attack or defend half-heartedly. Keep things simple. Don't overthink it. Move smoothly and swiftly staying low. Harmonize with the beat. Then enter during the off beats. Strive to make tori uncomfortable.

Build the body that does not run away. Never forget that karate is go no sen. You should invite attack and repel them. Stopping attack is more important than scoring. Once the UPA has been negated properly, scoring should be easy. Only when you have confidence that you can control strong attacks can you have the clarity to intercept intention. In training, let tori strike. Encourage their offense. Dare them to enter. Then close the door. Lose the need to win. Turn them strongly with your block. The strike is an afterthought.

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