Beginners work? Why we should spend more time on the Heian forms

Approximately three years ago I was chatting with a well known senior martial artist and I mentioned that I had put together a flow system for the Heian Kata, teaching students how to flow from one move to another within the techniques of the five steps in response to habitual acts of violence. “Now do the same for Bassai or Kanku Dai,” my friend replied. I mention this because it would seem to me that there is an unspoken implication in that reply, that the Heian are ‘okay’, but they are beginners forms – you should be working on the real deal. It is an assumption that I disagree with and the purpose of this article is to explain why.

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