I feel like there’s something missing in my climbing training, and I think I have an idea for how to solve the issue.
I have a background in martial arts, where we used to train a lot of ‘kata’. This term comes from Japanese martial arts, and it refers to a defined sequence of moves. For instance, there can be a blocking kata where you learn to step left block, turn around block, return to the beginning block, and keep moving into different positions and train different blocking techniques (without an opponent). There’s all kinds of kata to learn all kinds of movements. It’s 100% structured and pre-defined, and martial artists will spend thousand of hours trying to perfect every movement.
In a lot of ways, I feel like this is the exact opposite of climbing. We always move on different terrain and in different ways. Everybody tries to find their own way. And to be honest, I think this is MUCH better in pretty much every way.
Yet there is something to be said for the kata approach as well. It creates a separation between kihon and bunkai - between basic technique and application of technique. Climbers spend pretty much 100% of their time practising the application, which again is good in pretty much all cases… But it can make it more difficult to just improve the basic technique. It’s nice to be able to do that in a void, where you don’t need to worry about sending, figuring out the beta, or anything else. You can completely focus on making the drop knee, heel hook, back flag or other technique look and feel as perfect as you can get it.
I think this could work on standardized boards like moonboard, kilterboard, grasshopper or tension board. Surely, there are problems on these boards that would be well suited to train a specific technique. That specific technique doesn’t need to be the easiest way to do the problem, just as long as the problem is well suited to focus on a perfect execution of the technique (holds shouldn’t be too difficult and placement of holds needs to be right).
Is anybody willing to help out with this? If so, let me know if you found any problems on any boards that are well suited to train 1 specific technique. I can create a repository of ‘kata’. One day, maybe a climber of a specific size with access to a specific board realises they need to train a specific technique. They can then find a suited problem through the repository, and spend some sessions perfecting that technique. Then, once the basics are ingrained, they can go back to application and practise in a real world setting on different problems and routes
I hope somebody else is as excited about this idea as I am!