Acting is an awesome skill. If you have ever known an actor or if you have acted a part in a play, then you know that “becoming” the role makes all the difference. But what if your part in the script calls for a crying scene? How do you cry? Maybe you might cover your face and make sobbing sounds with your voice? Or maybe you keep some onion on hand to create the water works?
Both methods might be effective enough to show a “crying action” but the audience might not be convinced that you are truly sad or truly happy.
Maybe you have heard, “become the role” or “get inside the characters head”. To me, this means that I need to experience the pain or hope which makes my character cry. If I become the character and put myself through his journey, his turmoil then I may become the character and cry for a purpose.
If you are wondering how this relates to the martial arts? Well it’s simple. When we perform our katas in front of our peers and instructors we might only be showing the moves, the actions… but sometimes the feeling is lost.
Before you begin your kata, close your eyes and take a moment to understand why you are striking. Feel your opponent in front of you the same way you may feel someone watching you; the way it makes the hairs on your neck and arms tingle. Fear the opponent. Feel what the fear feels like. Don’t open your eyes yet and let the feeling of fear rest on you.
You need to defend yourself. You need to defend someone. You need to defend something.
Open your eyes and fight with a purpose.