Some styles of Karate have Jiyu Kata and others don't. Jiyu Kata is free form kata. Just like Jiyu Kumite, or Free-Style Sparring, there is a Jiyu Kata. We all tend to break out into some form of movement throughout the day. Perhaps you are walking through your living room and the urge to move into a spontaneous dance of Karate takes over. Or you are in your kitchen and take a butter knife out of the drawer and you are suddenly transformed into a sword yielding Samurai until your spouse yells at you to grow up (yes, I have a rich fantasy life). This urge to move is natural for a martial artist and also develops strong powers of focus and visualization...and are actually helping you develop and hone your physical skills. Plus it is just plain fun.
The post is to give you a bit of some structure to move into the unstructured. During your personal practice time prepare yourself and just stand at attention...perhaps even bowing in as if you are going to do a kata...but just stand. Do not move until you feel movement swell up deep from inside of yourself...and then just allow your body to follow and flow with this movement. Be aware of when your conscious judging mind starts to get in the way. When it does, just invite it come with you as you flow with movement. There are no rules about how long the kata should be or what it should or should not look like...just move...watch and see what happens. The most important point is to let the mind be like a ping pong ball on moving water. Allow it to just move with the body. When you are judging too much, stop. Then start again, but only when you really feel inner movement.
Over time your ability to just flow with this inner feeling will grow and become stronger and enhance your abilities with your training partners or on the street for self-defense. This being aware of your inner flow is important in being able to eventually flow with another. Yes, we have 'sticky hand' practice for this, but Jiyu Kata helps connect you with the inner flow of movement. Sticky Hand practice can be a bit too externally focused until you connect with this inner movement.
You will also begin to develop a sense of joy as you move. In fact this is one of the inner movements that I follow. As I stay with 'joy' I move. When I start to not feel joy I move to accord with it...or stop and start again.
Hope this makes sense. I tend to ramble a bit and I have to go now.
If any questions or comments...post.
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