Saturday, 14 February 2009
Rhythm in hyungs (kata)
A brief training session in the garden today threw up the idea of rhythm within hyung or kata.
Although my main focus currently is Shorinji Kempo I still like to keep to date with my Tang Soo Do forms and as I was running through them today I was focusing on recalling them thoroughly, moving fluidly (thanks to this blog) and having strong techniques (not flopping my arms around just for the sake of trying to recall the hyungs). Along with these ideas another one came to mind and that is rhythm in forms. There is a natural rhythm to forms. I don't mean consistent and unchanging one-a-two-a-three-a-four-a- throughout.... Music is often syncopated to make it sound more interesting and music uses crescendo, diminuendo, staccato, stopping and so on. This gives more feeling to the music and helps tell a story more accurately.
Forms do tell a story but they should do much more too, so it's important to know when to pause, when to run two or three techniques together and when to speed up or slow down. Often in the lower forms there is a short pause after the punch but the block-punch is somewhat run together. So the tempo would be 'block-punch, block-punch'. This example is not a universal truth throughout all forms practice but it illustrates that forms must be performed with this 'punctuation' in mind otherwise it turns into one long chain of techniques. If you don't know where this punctuatino is in your forms, my advice is to find out!
Pyung ahn Ee Dan performed by a Tang Soo Do master and followed by Heian Nidan by a Japanese sensei. Both different interpretations of this same form but both with a rhythm to it punctuated by pauses, linking techniques together, crescendo and diminuendo (If you don't like the music analogy try thinking of commas, semi-colons, full stops...).