Kata. Dao lu & Patterns: the Root of Traditional Martial Arts
Although modern Martial Arts may not consider Dao lu‘s and Kata’s useful under a fight-pratical point of view, it’s undeniable that a proper Martial Arts preparation shall include a set of these patterns for the beginner to develop awareness of the style he/she has chosen, and for the advanced athlete to ground the deep meanings of the Dao lu / Kata within him/herself.
Kata & Patterns in Martial Arts are the best practice for:
– keeping Martial Artist’s mind focused throughout all the form being performed
– simulating the closest fight-like cardio workout
– rooting a specific style or technique to the heart of the practictioner
– softening up all tensions in the body: it’s known that when we are beginners, performing a technique looks very rigid, and this stiffness affects the overall speed and power of the Dao lu / Kata. Practicing over and over has the powerful effect to force the body to contract only when needed, whilst keeping gestures fluent during all other movements.
– giving a sense of “squadron”: coordination, number of athletes performing, martial spirit… all things that certainly motivate both the single athlete and the group to perform better.
– re-educating the brain to respond to a specific action in a flash: this way the Martial Artist will be always ready.*
* for this to work it’s essential that mind is focused even when repetitions make workouts exhausting and your attention blurry.
A training that continues overnight. A funny episode that happens to me everytime I perform a pattern ad infinitum is realizing, in the middle of the night, that my mind randomly performs a specific technique as a consequence of doing the athletic gesture over and over. People whose job involve repetitive tasks know well how sometimes this can happen, as it’s a way for the brain to re-organize its action of the past day.