Daily Uses of Karate: Practice Kata in an Elevator
Or a phone booth, or your bathroom, or a closet, wherever you have very limited space.
This has two advantages. First, you get a little more time to practice. While you take a 15 second elevator ride to the top of a building, stand in one place and practice heian shodan or any other kata. Every bit of practice helps build upon your muscle memory.
You might want to avoid this if you perspire a lot. This could also give you the chance to do the kata as quickly as possible, increasing the tempo by 3-5 times the usual rate. Last week I started doing jitte UP the stairs at work and it feels great. I get to memorize it a bit more, but I also apply it in a way that I definitely wouldn’t learn in class. Practical? Maybe, but probably not. It certainly helps with strengthening legs and training your balance by compensating when your foot lands 6 inches before you’re used to it landing.
Secondly, the limited space of practicing in an elevator gives you a special kind of training that you most likely don’t get when practicing at home. You can separate your leg motions from your arm motions allowing you to isolate some techniques better. This is necessary for martial artists. We all need to be able to hold an egg in one hand while punching a board with the other fist without breaking the egg. We need versaility of our legs when sparring which you can’t get without some sort of isolation training. A couple of my favourite articles on isolation training come from 24FightingChickens.com. There’s a wealth of information there as well.
So the next time your alone, try it out. If you’re worried about sweating, take things slowly. Practicing frequently for short intervals can be as beneficial as practicing intensely.