I spent last weekend in Vermont with some folks from my dojo at the home of our teacher (a gorgeous cabin he and his family built with their own hands). It was a great weekend. We ate (a lot), drank (more or less moderately), roasted a whole pig, hiked around in the woods marveling at things like the beaver pond, the requisite fall foliage, the dark dark skies (enabling us to see many falling stars–or alien scout ships, depending on who’s doing the telling). We even squeezed in a tiny bit of karate.
One of my fellow students, an artist by inclination and training, has been helping me with my kata and my art. He believes there is a connection, so I packed amongst my weekend gear two cheap sketch pads and a box of conte crayons–relics of the one pathetic art class I took in college (not saying that was a long time ago, but the sponge sheets between the two tiers of the crayons turned instantly to dust the moment I picked them up).
I got these things out during a quiet part of one afternoon when the nine of us were just sitting around telling karate stories (and tales of a few alien encounters) My fellow student/teacher set me to doing quick motion sketches, and when he decided the crayons were slowing me down (“Faster! Bigger! No thinking!”) he had me swap them for a little pot of black ink and a brush.
Now, I’m untaught and awkward. And I think too much. But I had a blast doing these and have kept it up a little since getting home. Not saying that anything I did was “good” (or, in most cases, even recognizable as human beings), but it was soooo much fun.
And I’m not completely convinced it helped my kata. But in class last night I got the kumite set I’ve been laboring over right all the way through. Nobody said perfect, okay? But at least I’ve got the basic choreography down right.
Hee, hee. Where did I put that sketch pad?