(adapted from Black Belt Warriors for Peace by Terrance Webster- Doyle)
The art of the martial arts is to take you beyond yourself. For instance a kata is more than just a sequence of moves but a way of forgetting yourself. When you are so focused on the kata (or technique or basic),when you give your total attention to it, then it becomes a way of ultimate serentity and understanding of self.
Most people who practice the martial arts never get to understand going beyond the self. They may feel it at certain times…but it has no real meaning. But this feeling of going beyond your self and its meaning are the reason we study the martial arts in the first place.
…through the ‘art’ of martial arts you can discover…this feeling. The way is both very simple and very hard—you have to train hard and work on your form. Your form is how well you do a technique. (emphasis mine). In kenpo our system of techniques and kata are a ‘map’ so that we can create the right foundation—like an invitation for that feeling to happen again. There is nothing else you can do except to practice your form over and over and over so that it seems to happen by itself. If you practice your form this way then the form takes over at some point without you ever really being aware of it. It’s like wearing a suit of clothes that you never take off. At some point it becomes as natural as your own skin.,
This is why we encourage you to practice your basics, techniques and katas over and over until you are completely tired of it, and then we push you to practice it even more. It’s at that point, when you go beyond your exhaustion that the feeling may happen again. It is in this way that the martial arts teach you about your self.
“Practice until you like it…then keep practicing until you are sick of it…practice more until you don’t like it and then keep practicing until you like it again.”