There’s a exercise I do with my junior students from time to time where I give them 15 minutes to make up a kata…
Basically they pair off and work together to create a short kata of 10-15 moves which they’ll come up and demonstrate in synchronized fashion for the rest of the class. The only guidlines I give them are these:
- be creative, try to think of something unique yet practical
- you may take sequences from other kata, so long as it doesn’t exceed 3 concurrent techniques
- it must make sense application-wise (and I might ask them to demonstrate the bunkai after their performance)
So last year when I asked my class to do this simple exercise, for the most part the boys were horrible at it. They had a hard time getting it together, some completely freaked out about the idea they would be demonstrating for everyone else, and this paralyzed them taking action and creating something.
However, the girls on the other hand got to work. They talked, they practiced and they created. And when they came up to demonstrate they were fast, sharp and crisp.
I chuckled when the winning pair (Amanda and Sophie) announced their kata, while other kids in the class were confused.
Their kata’s name?