I am currently re-reading "Waking Dragons" by Goran Powell. It's an excellent book, I find it very inspiring.
There was a part of the book where he talks about relaxing during your technique. This is something that I thought I already understood. However, he explained it in a way that made me wonder if I was getting the most out of it. Goran says that your technique should be like a bullet being fired from a gun. If the barrel of the gun was too tight for the bullet, it would slow it down and make it less powerful and less effective.
Likewise, if you tense your muscles to get your fist from the hip to your target, then that muscle tension is in itself a resistance to the full force of the technique.
This stuff I knew already but I also applied my understanding of Ki energy - as the gunpowder starting from the hara - and let the technique do its work with as much relaxation as I could give it after the initial blast.
I took this principle to my class on Wednesday and I got a big step change in my techniques! I really focused on being relaxed doing an oi-zuki or mae-geri. Not only were my techniques faster but my Sensei even commented on how good the techniques looked.
I was really looking forward to taking this in to my kata training but, my knee took a knock and I had to take it easy for the rest of the lesson :-( I can't wait until it's better to try this out some more within the kata.
Last night I read some more of Waking Dragons. Goran was talking about doing a kata "soft"- and how it had helped him refine his techniques and he felt it moved him on. Looking back on my blog, that's exactly what I was doing in my previous blog post! Although the next time I get an opportunity to practice a kata softly, I will be more focused on making it absolutely perfect in every minor detail.