Years ago, when I had just gotten my shodan (first-degree black belt), our instructor invited a very highly-ranked instructor to come do a seminar at our club. I was excited because now that I was black belt we could work on the really cool stuff – the high-level stuff! But, when the seminarian got there, he announced that we'd be working on Tegatana no kata (our first exercise that we learn as white belts) for the entire weekend. I tried to hide my disappointment but I was absolutely crushed. I mean, Come on! Tegatana! We had done that kata 3-4 times per class, every class, for years! Sure, it's a good exercise and all, but what could this guy possibly tell us that our instructor had not already beaten into our brains? Tegatana was a dead horse so far as I was concerned.
Well, to my surprise, the seminarian taught on Tegatana the entire weekend without saying a single word I'd ever heard about the kata. I mean that literally - he did not repeat a single concept that our instructor had ever told us! I was astounded. That lesson opened up a huge new territory in aikido for me,and I have never since then gotten bored with Tegatana or thought of it as a dead horse or a completed exercise. Rather, Tegatana is a rabbit-hole that keeps geting deeper and deeper.
Patrick Parker, is a Christian, husband, father, judo and aikido teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 601.248.7282