Often I have said to people that, “I will watch a blacksmith work, if they are good.” Fever, a deep desire, not only discipline but great skill, and, nay I say – art. It intrigues me, art does, and it is not hard to find art in the martial arts, and art at all levels. When I go to tournaments and watch kata I often am not looking for perfection, I am looking for understanding and then an expression of that understanding.
But this little blog is about what happens before the understanding and the expression. It is what comes from the desire, the discipline, and then the explosion of creativity, personalization and, well, beauty.
It is the discipline that borders on obsession. In watching the documentary, “It Might Get Loud,” my son and I listened to Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Jack White of The White Stripes and The Edge from U2 talk about the formation of their art…fascinating. Jack White took his bed out of his room to make room for musical equipment. Jimmy Page left a well-paying studio job because it stifled his creativity to the point of deep frustration. The Edge realized that it was about the attitude and the emotion for him. Jack White challenges himself today by having instruments a little out of place on stage, just a step too far from where it aught to be just just add a sense of urgency . All three of these men pushed into the unknown in pursuit of their art.
Kata should be approach as art on one level, and the pursuit of the kata should, in my opinion, have all of the elements that I touched on: a fever, desire, even obsession. The pursuit of kata should involve the desire the desire to achieve more that skill, but become art. . And let me be clear the word obsession, it teeters on imbalance. Hmmmm… teetering on the edge of imbalance – where the action is in pursuit of art.