I went to Kata (specifically Nage No Kata)Class a few days ago, which our Judo peoples offer once a week, so it’s not all just competitive Judo, there’s a serious study and reflection on the techniques being taught and used.
Why is a jiu jitsu gal messing with Judo? Well, I’m not a fan of jumping guard as I tend to slam myself onto my back, more and more men and women are cross training between the two, and it’s a great way to learn some takedowns (and hip throws can be really pretty).
Anyway, in case you have no idea what I am talking about, Nage No Kata a formalized version of the different Judo throws, 5 sets of them, to be precise. You can read all about it here: Wikipedia. There is a level of seriousness and intent that is meant in all the actions you perform during this kata. And there is absolutely no laughing, giggling or snickering during the serious, Japanese Tea Ceremony-like activity.
This is the guy that is known as the founder of Judo (Jigoro Kano), and I don’t get the impression that his nickname was “Chuckles”:
I admit, I giggled. Probably a lot more than I should have. But as I have mentioned plenty of times before, this is choreography of the martial arts kind. And I’m pretty bad with choreography, and there was no beat provided so my natural sense of rhythm couldn’t save me. So, I looked like a jackass. And I laughed about it.
But there’s No Laughing in Kata!
I was in the middle of practicing with another judoka with the form of Kata Guruma; in which the thrower (tori) is to enter into the throw after the initial appropriate 2 steps (for grip, then off balance) is to hold the throwee (uke) aloft for a second or two, then to flip them to the ground for the completion of the throw.
After we completed a rather lovely Uchi-Komi (fit in, aka practice or not for realsies throw) I commented that it was “like Motha F*ckin’ Swan Lake”
No! Laughing! In Kata!
…I’m not very good at this game.
We were eventually able to make through the rest of the sets and practice, but I have a feeling that I am going to need a lot more discipline to not be as rowdy as a twelve year old in the back of Math class.
Maybe if I had Tom Hanks yelling at me I would get myself in gear…hm….
(photo borrowed from a sports website, who took it from the awesomeness of the film ‘A League of Their Own’)