Great video here about kata and how it relates to fighting. (Thanks Martina for posting it!) I've always liked kata, and I always thought I worked reasonably well at it. That was before I saw champions winning at tournaments. That was a shock. Because their katas are so much better than mine you'd think they were doing something else entirely.
Which, I guess, in a way they are. The movements are so sharp, the control so apparent, the strikes so precise, it all works together to create a whole that truly is greater than its parts. Like this one below:
My katas don't do that.
Not yet, anyway. It is my ambition to get to that point, one step at a time. Starting with the stances. They are the basis of everything, very much including combat.
So! My new goal is to work on having precise, solid, and consistent stances this week, in preparation for my next tournament in - gulp - three days... No time like the present!