Eng, Sho Dan
Hanshi, Kyoshi, Shihan, Sensei and Deshi, Onegai-shimasu!
Whenever practicing any new technique, kata, or anything unfamiliar, one should always be prepared to slow the technique to an extremely slow pace or tempo. As sensei, kyoshi, and hanshi have stated many times before, 'perfect practice makes perfect'. As practice progresses and the technique improves, it is then time to increase speed and power. As speed and power increases, one can further explore varied applications of the technique. Anyone can rush through a technique and gloss over the small but important details, replacing control and skill with power and speed. A good example of the rushing of techniques can even be seen during warm-ups. It is not uncommon to see a newer karateka rushing through push-ups. During this hurried push-up, our arms do not bend or extend fully, our heads bob, and our backs arch. A push-up without form is as meaningless as a kata without form. A more meaningful push-up would be a slow count taking 5 seconds (or more) to descend to the deck, stopping just prior to touching, and 5 seconds (or more) back up. We might find ourselves doing significantly less of these more deliberate push-ups, but we benefit exponentially. One must learn to crawl before one can walk, and walk before one can run. We have the rest of our lives to perfect techniques, increase power, and hone our skills.