Something Maija said about one my lasts posts prompted this line of thought; it's not a direct correlation, just a tangent. It does help to clarify where I want to go with some projects I've got on deck.
I find I keep coming back to a few key concepts that I want to impart to people. Context and goals are the biggest.
This started life as a long rant. I'm trying to make it concise.
"Do Nothing Which Is Of No Use."-- Miyamoto Musashi
Know why you are doing what you are doing.
Do you do kata because your instructor says so? Because you want another funny colored belt (if so, why do you want that)? Because you authentically believe it will help you in a fight (based on what)?
Why do you want to compete?
Why are you doing this particular squat variation?
Ask questions. Know why. Too many people wander through the martial arts accepting false assumptions because someone else said so.
Know what you want out of your training. And then go get it.
"The Scenario Determines The Response" -- Tony Blauer
Context changes everything. Good tactics in boxing are sometimes bad tactics in Muay Thai or MMA. A perfect Judo throw is a disqualification in Muay Thai. The tactics that your ancient art has passed down for thousands of generations may land you in jail if you use them at the wrong time.
Violence is complicated. Hell, life is complicated. If you ignore this simple truth, the utility of your training will suffer.