Evaluating the quality of Kata, part 2

Kusanku Dai, tek 16
From Kusanku Dai

Kata is a series of movements consisting of offensive and defensive combat techniques, which are composed of former Karate masters. To create Kata was a method of remembering techniques, as you know, they did not have USB sticks or video cameras at that time, unfortunately. Kata are teaching and training methods that pass on successful fighting techniques.

Kata contains all the techniques needed in a real fighting situation to defend oneself, it’s just a matter of interpretation and understanding.

The importance of Kata

We look at Kata with different eyes. Some believe that performing Kata is a complete waste of time, and others believe that Kata is the essence of Karate and martial arts in general. Both statements can be defended depending on the person interpreting Kata and its content. Basically, anyone can hit and kick without having studied or learned Kata. There are also effective styles that do not contain Kata, such as Krav Maga or Boxing.

Kusanku Dai, tek 16
From Kusanku Dai

In my opinion, incomprehensible persons often misinterpret Kata, in terms of value and practical application, Kata is therefore deemed useless. The ravages of time have also meant that Kata nowadays is perceived as a form of exercise that only can be used for demonstration and competition, especially after the introduction of sportskarate. The reality is quite different if you use Kata wisely. By perceiving Kata as being real Kumite, it will be possible to optimize the use of the techniques, this is especially true when Kata is trained with a partner in connection with the analysis of techniques (Bunkai).

The understanding of the application and performance of Kata techniques is therefore crucial to whether Kata techniques are fully usable or only of limited use in a self-defense situation. Therefore, Bunkai must be trained in multiple variations, without Bunkai, Kata is only limitedly effective.

A very important point for me is that no matter how a Kata is performed, fast, slow, or otherwise, the feeling of real combat must be present. Think about the application of each technique, only then does Kata become a valuable tool.

As I usually say:
It’s not a style, it’s open-minded Okinawan Karate. It’s old-style MMA.


Thanks for reading.

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