I was thinking the other day about kata; head turns and angles…. I kinda come to a bit of a dead end and was wondering if anyone could shed any light…
I’ve always been told a head turn is to spot the opponent before executing a technique; make sense seen as I don’t have Peter Parkers invaluable spidy sense. Well… it used to make sense back when I thought about angles in kata differently….
I now think of angles as a way of indicating where the opponent is in relation to you at the point of executing the technique… but more often than not they are not there to begin with, you move to that angle (Saifa, Empi, Kururunfa, etc…) or move/rotate/pivot them on an angle so you are now at the angle the kata implied but you haven’t physically moved yourself (parts of Bassai, Seiunchin etc…).
When you combine these two ways of thinking together they contradict each other… so that leaves me wondering, what is the head turn for? What does it mean? There are of course a couple of moves that these two ideas fit together, the first section of Kururunfa springs to mind immediately (as the head turns with the step, not before or after).
There is even a double head turn in kihon kata before turning 180. I would look at this kata and say it teaches a beginner the basics of navigating their opponent. How to take their side on the the 90o turns (toe2side combat) and even take their back (toe2back combat). The 180 bit to me means taking their back (getting to 180 of your opponent - their back – not you turning 180- to face the opponent)… thus thinking of things this way the head turns become irrelevant (particularly sharp, prominent, snappy ones)… and prescribing to the way of thinking that every movement in kata has value and is there for a reason this confuses me….