Friday, May 31, 2013

Queen Cadence

Cadence is queen. In kata, that is. Because every kata has one.

We were talking about this earlier this week in class. Sensei Mark began speaking about - then demonstrating - how a nice, clean cadence - along with appropriate pauses that aren't too long or too abrupt - can add loads of umph to a competition kata presentation. To illustrate his point, he started talking about a video clip someone had sent him recently of a Japanese National Women's team doing Kururunfa kata together during an international tournament. Not only did they kick some serious booty with their kata presentation, they were amazing with their bunkai demonstration as well, really - I mean really - showing how the techniques in the kata are designed to knock the stuffings out of an adversary unfortunate enough to start some nonsense.

Here it is:

Even if you don't know the kata, it isn't hard to understand that the rhythm is solid and that those dramatic pauses are just as important as the kicks, blocks and punches were. These women are Not. Playing. Around.

 This clip of same team going through a warmup for kata Seipai emphasizes exactly why that rhythm is important. Do the cadence changes add drama and dimension to the group presentation? Of course they do, but watch how smoothly they transition from one technique to another in this short clip:

I'll be prepping for an upcoming tourney and you better believe I will be thinking of their presentation while training/readying for mine. Cadence truly is Queen :-)

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