a. One day a student (sho-dan) coming from another school and interested in Matsubayashi-Ryu participated in our usual practice. During approximately one hour in a half we practiced basic techniques (kihon), in detail, no “kata”. Due to a private commitment, our visitor had to leave. When greeting us, he told one of my most advanced disciples: “o.k., I leave you with Sensei so that you can practice more advanced techniques”. My disciple answered: “It isn´t a question of practicing more advanced techniques, but of enjoying the techniques we practice”.
After this reply I thought to myself: Evidently my disciple took good advantage of all these years of practice.
b. One day one of my disciples changed his address moving from one town to another. In his new emplacement he had the problem that he didn’t have enough space to practice karate adequately. He didn’t know what to do. I told him not to worry, that if he didn’t have enough space to practice “kata” the only thing he had to do was to find a small minimum space (for example 2 meters x 2 meters) to be able to practice basic techniques. Here, the most important issue was to keep sensations and continue advancing in the “way”. Inclusive, if he would forget the sequence of movements of the “kata” it would not be an important issue. He would surely remember them in a very short period of time when circumstances would become normal again. The opposite, i.e. if he abandoned practice all together he would loose important sensations and therefore he would not have continued advancing in the way. Should this have happened, it would have taken a very long time to recover sensations and therefore continue following the “way”; even if he remembered in a short period of time the sequence of movements of the “kata”.
It all took place as described. The student was always grateful for this.