My focus is mainly on martial arts today.
It seems like such a small thing. One foot slightly positioned inward instead of being directly behind my knee. A couple of inches? What’s the big deal? A couple of inches is everything in iaido (eee-eye-doh).
We aim to cut no deeper than six inches into anything and more often we only want to cut only one or two inches into it. Two inches is nearly the full depth of my neck. One inch is often more than enough to sever tendons and arteries. There’s no need to bury the sword into the target.
Two inches the wrong way and you completely miss your target.
In our foundational kata, Ippon-me Mae, having my foot a couple of inches inward means I don’t have the power I should to slide forward and I may miss completely.
But I think it’s been a rampant issue in many other areas beyond the plethora of kata that are similar to Mae. I think it’s been part of my issue with kata that begin in Tate Hiza. That style of sitting has always been very challenging for me. I’ve always felt like my hips just can’t get into the right position. But maybe a large part of my issue has been the same foot position problem I’ve had with Mae.
Of course this isn’t the only thing I need to work on with Mae or the rest of my kata. Cutting big on all kata, twisting and reaching forward on Mae, saya biki (as always), squaring my stances, and maintaining forward pressure.
I have a lot of work ahead of me in iaido.
As far as karate goes, I’m relearning all the kata I’m supposed to know at my current level. I think I have the first one down. Four more to go.
But I wonder if this foundational problem applies to other things. Perhaps there’s some basic element I’m missing that makes it harder for me to learn French, or how to draw, an instrument, sewing, or trading card games.
Or maybe I just need more practice.