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#105812 - 07/07/04 02:58 PM Re: Brian -- Kata & it's Purpose
chinto01 Offline

Registered: 03/03/04
Posts: 102
I believe that kata can be used in a real situation. What you have to do is examine the kata carefully and look and the individual movements. Each sequence is a self defense technique in itself. These techniques may need to be modified a little for your use but the basics are there. Study hard and you will find the answers.


#105813 - 07/12/04 03:53 PM Re: Brian -- Kata & it's Purpose
Yojimbo558 Offline

Registered: 08/18/00
Posts: 253
Loc: Marina, Ca. USA
Hi Brian,

One of the big differences that inhibits a lot of people understanding the benefits of kata, is due to several Budo Styles utilizing solo practice katas with few partner practise ones.

As mentioned before, this was done on purpose and was done for both hiding and preserving the technique.

In partner practise katas which are abundant in the bujutsu forms, you learn the proper angling and deflecting, entering, trapping etc.

Many of the budo styles differ simply in that the reasons are not openly explained. While most bujutsu styles are.

Hi Victor, actually the Okinawans did have their own fighting systems. For centuries however Okinawa maintained its freedom not based on the strength of its military numbers...but because the greater militaries of both China & Japan coveted Okinawa. It was the distance involved along with supply, strike distance etc. that factored heavily into their maintaining their freedom until eventually Japan was able to reach out and conquor her.

Neither Judo or Aikido today are what their creators set them out to be. Kano had founded Judo for the purpose of perserving and maintaining the bujutsu styles while Japan was going through its fervor of reinventing their styles and dropping many of their leathal techniques with the belief that they were past war. The younger generation excited with the competitions and newer rules simply stopped practising the other elements and today Judo is exactly what Kano had set out to stop.

Ueshiba, who had hoped to inherit Daito Ryu of Takeda Sensei...created his own system. He targeted not small or isolated locations to begin and expand but rather focused on military and high political officials. The truth of the matter is that it was Ueshiba's students who named his art Aikido...he had referred to it as Aiki Budo. As to Ueshiba, softening Aikido techniques...the harder Yoshinkan Aikido is closer to how he taught it rather than the softer methods that many are more familiar with today.


#105814 - 07/12/04 07:25 PM Re: Brian -- Kata & it's Purpose
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

I grant you Okinawan did historically have its fighting systems. But those times were so distant we cannot say what they actually were.

We know in the 1600's (?) when the Japanese landed, the fight was almost over before it began. Okinawan defenses were incapable of putting dent in the Japanese and the Okinawan king was an instant captive.

That things were not economically advanteageous to 'take' Okinawa before that hardly changes the issue.

And those arts, which may have something in common with later karate, or may have little in common with later karate, are rather lost today.

Just some opinions, there's little hard evicence IMO.


#105815 - 07/29/04 07:09 AM Re: Brian -- Kata & it's Purpose

Dear All,

Firstly to correct a few errors concerning Judo and Dr Jigoro Kano's vision of it.

If you read the Kodokan Judo Book written by Kano himself, he states that he wanted to preserve the martial arts of japan in a format that provided structured learning based upon universal physical principles, such as a persons centre of gravity or the fact that joints can only bend a certain number of ways.

He also wanted to add a strong moral element as he wanted to introduce Judo as an educational tool in Japanese schools to help turn out, fit, disciplined and morally correct people.

He noted that many of the styles of Jujitsu, Yawara and other grappling arts he had studied often lacked a unifying principle that could link techniques together. He said that in some styles moves were taught and used without any real understanding of why they worked. As well as this he found the practice would often result in serious injury.

His answer to this was Judo. He grouped all the techniques he had learned by their similarities, for example the Hip throws which include, Harai goshi, O goshi, Uke Goshi. Once he had done this he trimmed these techniques down to the ones that fitted in with his principle of giving way to use the opponents own weight and size against them to win.

He used this system as the basis for beginners and set up rules for competition so that practice need not lead to such crippling injuries.

He did keep in Atemi wazi(striking techniques) as well as more practical self defence techniques in the form of Goshin Jitsu but these were only to be studied once you reach the higher grades.

In reference to Kata there are several in Judo pretty much all partner based. They are not designed to show you how to fight but to show you how a technique works in a slow method so that it can be more easily remembered. The actual execution of a technique on an opponent who is resisting is left for the student to develop through, being taught and experience gained in Randori(free play)and shiai(competetion).

To say that Judo today is not what Kano envisaged it being, depends on which club you go to. Some are entirely sport orientated and focus on the techniques that work best towards this end, these clubs oftenn ignore the more traditional things like kata and self defence. Other clubs take the more traditional approach and focus all aspects of the art but are more concerned with perfection of all techniques rather than thiose which prove most effective.

Yet all clubs as a rule adhere to the moral principles set out by Kano.

sorry for the essay but there are far to many general statements being made on this forum.

In relation to Kata in arts such as karate and taekwondo, there are as many different explainations for them as there are people practicing them.

Some say they are meant to be used as is, so a downwards block(neryo maki in taekwondo) is intend to stop a kick to the groin by applying force to counter force.

Others take the idea that there are moves hidden in the patterns that relate to more complicated techniques like throws and in many cases pressure points(George Dillman and the Dragon Society International are big on this).

Then there is the view I agree with, that Kata show the general principles of an art. these include cordination, timing , weight shifting, striking, stance, focus, calmness and most importantly breathing which links all of the above.

whatever your view kata can help develop good fighters but it depends on the students own natural abilities, some may take to fighting naturally and only need learn the actual techniques they will employ, others who are less able or mobile might find Kata a benefit as it gives them a way of developing there abilities over time without serious strain or injury.

as to my martial arts experience, I have a practiced Taekwondo for 10 years, thai boxing for 3 years, Judo for 2 years,Jujitsu for 2 years, boxing for 1 year, tai chi and chigung for 1 year.

All this has led me to stop viewing one style as better than another but to look at what each can offer me in reference to self defence.

The main difference is in time, thai boxing is probably the most effective in terms of learning self defence in a short time, as it will give you the ability to take and give devastating strikes as well as covering several ranges most notably the standing trapping distance(the clinch). But it also has downsides in that you have to be fit to do it and it does not include much ground work.

On the opposite side is Tai chi which can be practised by anyone but is not readily applicable to self defence and requires time to master it.

hope you find this as interesting a subject as I do and take my views as what they are views(there is no balck and white answer when it comes to fighting).


Nick Boulton

#105816 - 07/29/04 12:25 PM Re: Brian -- Kata & it's Purpose
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5849
Loc: USA

I think that there is an article in the article archive here on this site, written by a LEO detailing how a "move" from Tensho (maybe) kata saved his life.

Might be worth while trying to find it

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