To have reached your Red belt you have been practising certain techniques and kata since day one of your karate journey. In many ways you know them like you know the back of your hand. Because of this, you risk switching your mind to autopilot whenever you practise these techniques.
Karate is about constantly improving our technique, confidence and concentration. However when we go on autopilot we risk failing to develop these traits. Why?
Have you ever done a task and afterwards not been able to remember what you actually did or how you got there? Many students switch to ‘auto pilot’ whilst training, especially if it is something they have done many times before. And let’s be honest, we have been guilty of this at some stage. So if karate promotes concentration and confidence, how does it happen?
When new students start training they learn to concentrate on the new way they are asking their bodies to move. This is one reason we get fairly instant results and why parents come back and say their children have improved at school etc. The question is what happens down the line when students sometimes slide in to a more casual attitude with their training?
The tell tale signs are things like high stances and sloppy technique. As the body becomes disengaged from their training so does the mind, and new habits are formed. Bad habits are just as easily formed as good ones, so the key is to keep adjusting and asking more of our students and ourselves!
As the body gets more engaged (eg lower stances) so does the brain, this leads to improvement of the general standard of the karate and also improves confidence and concentration.