Prepare for Battle With Visualization

It's that time of year when we get to gauge our progress by competing with fellow karateka across our three schools. Tomorrow, I'm competing in the Battle of SMA in kata and kickboxing. I'm looking forward to applying what I've learned about slowing down and focusing so I can really nail my chosen kata, Heian Yondan.

This is arguably the most athletically demanding of the Heian kata. It contains five kicks which are two side snap kicks (yoko geri keage) and three front kicks (mae geri). The kata also changes between fast explosive techniques to slow and powerful techniques. It is important that Karateta understand the distinction between the two in order to perform this kata well.
— Shotokan Coalition NZ

Below is an instructional video of Heian Yondan that helped me study on the go. I like to take advantage of my commute on the train to watch kata videos and visualize myself doing the moves. Once I've learned the basic moves of a kata in class, I continue to visualize myself executing the moves whenever I can't actually practice. This helps me learn the basic elements more quickly so that I can use more practice time to refine the details.

I think visualization is one of the most important forms of practice, and one that we often neglect. Try it with any activity that requires practice - playing an instrument, learning a dance move, shooting three-pointers from the line - and see how it helps you.

UPDATE: I won first place in the adults/teens intermediate kata division, and first place in intermediate women's kickboxing.