Life is complex and complicated. My first teaching job out of college was in the prestigious Ivymount School; serving students with autism. I distinctly remember working with one student for weeks in order to help him perform what we think is a very simple task: make a bag of microwave popcorn. You probably think of taking the popcorn, throwing it in the microwave and hitting the right button. Simple enough. For this student, the task of making their own bag of popcorn was broken down into a 27 step process. That's not a typo...27 steps to make one bag of popcorn.
Real karate training is a lot like making a bag of popcorn. In the beginning it's complicated and seems darn near impossible. For those who are new to the Way, throwing a simple combination or performing a kata can feel overwhelming. I think that's because newer folks just don't have the basic yet. You need those basics...and you need to drill them over and over so that you don't even have to think about them anymore.
Another connection would be that you do not need to understand how the microwave pops the popcorn in order to carry out the task. In the dojo we use an expression: "copy first, create later." Listen to your instructors and your Sempais. Watch those around you who have been training longer than you have and copy their movements. You cannot practice a technique enough and I seriously mean that. We could spend an entire week training a mawashi geri/roundhouse kicks and still struggle with getting them perfect.
I say "back to the basics", but in reality the only reason we deviate from them is our own misguided arrogance. We should never really leave the basics and should rather strive to make progress each day toward perfection.
As we gear up for another Camp Phoenix this weekend, Kancho will per tradition lead us through kihon (the basics). He gets it. He wants us to get it as well. There is no beauty, no strength, no legacy without a mastery of the basics.