When practicing your kata, try to visualize your opponents when performing your techniques. But don’t only “see” them; try to incorporate all of your other senses as well. What would you Hear during the confrontation? Are there crowd noises? Is he shouting at you? Can you hear gravel on the ground as your/their feet move? What can you smell? Sweat? Fear? Gasoline? What can you taste? Is your mouth dry (also a feeling). Can you taste sweat? Smoke? What are you feeling? Fear? Excitement? Cold? Someone grabbing you or pushing on your body? The authors (Asken et. al.) indicate that using all of your senses during visualization promotes the best transference of imagery responses to the real situation.
One way to practice this skill is to sit in a quiet place and mentally practice your kata(s). Try to incorporate all of your senses, whether it’s for a series of moves, or even individual moves. Anytime there’s a change of direction in your form, this is a great place
to add or change details in your visualization. Did you just hear a sound that captures
attention? Turn to look, what do you see? Bring the details to mind, down to the individual colors in garments or surroundings.
This, like any skill, can be developed with practice, so start working some of these sessions into your training progressions.