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#151509 - 06/01/05 04:27 PM kata training
nenipp Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1205
I'll start off with saying I think kata is an important part of karate, this is NOT a kata-bashing thread, but what good does training the whole kata by yourself do?

I mean sure there are lots of nice exercises in kata, but wouldn't you say they become useful when you practice the oyo-jutsu with a partner?

If one is to practice alone, wouldn't it then be more effective to do one part at the time?

Of course it can be fun and feel good to do the whole kata (and that's as good a reason as any, I guess), but is there really any point to it, is there something gained that wouldn't be more effectively accomplished some other way?

For my own part I only walk through my (few) katas once or twice a week to keep them together, and spend more time practicing the lessons they contain, (preferrably) with or without a partner.

But if someone can come up with valid reasons to do it otherwise, I'm ready to reconsider.

BTW the word kata in this thread should be understood as e.g seisan, naifanchi, chinto, nepai, bassai etc.

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#151510 - 06/01/05 05:15 PM Re: kata training [Re: nenipp]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA

Look at it like this--you ever see a golfer work their swing with no ball?
Or a batter work their swing with no ball?
Or a boxer shadowbox?

Why do you think they do that?

In just the example you gave--partner practices is very valuable--but its also limited to the level of your partner--I can only go so fast and so hard with my bunkai--only as fast and hard as my partner can handle.
Which is great of your training buddy is as good or better than you--but what if they are not?

With the kata I can go as hard and fast as I like.

Plus you have the "size" problem--I have a guy in my gym that stands 6'5 his bunkai partner is about 5'9 the habit he has developed over the years is that all of his tech "reach up" so to speak.
The kata forces him to do the tech at specifc height--left to his own devices he is WAY off target for most folks.
Which could be very bad for him when faceing smaller guys.

I think kata helps from a retention standpoint--you don't always have a partner to practice with. Yet the techniques have to be practiced somehow.

Again, kata is only part of a whole raft of training methods--all of which are supposed to be used.
How much time do you spend on your strength and endurence training?

That should be enough to get things started.
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#151511 - 06/01/05 05:57 PM Re: kata training [Re: nenipp]
Bossman Offline
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Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 1785
Loc: Chatham Kent UK
I have to say that the solitary kata training I do is IMO the most beneficial. Working on maintaining correct posture throughout the entire range of movements, keeping my mind aware and focused, searching for all those elusive sources of extra power, and really feeeeeling each millimetre of movement is to me a large part of what martial arts are about.

I often feel that the founders of each kata get up from their 'rest' when I start their movements and watch me, making me feel like I have a responsibility (or 'burden' as my tai chi teacher puts it) to be a productive link in the chain.

If MA were only about fighting I would have given up years ago, I feel that they are more about 'engaging' mind and body, with other people, and being a part of something that in one form or other has passed from generation to generation.
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#151512 - 06/01/05 08:46 PM Re: kata training [Re: Bossman]
Victor Smith Offline
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Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Solitary practice of kata is extremely important to develop cleaner technique and better energy development and release.

The long sequence of linked techniques is far more valuable than the pieces themselves.

It is true that kata's application potential rests in the pieces of kata performance, but in the linked practice you can push yourself further, develop how energy links from one movement to the next, and craft yourself to release into those 'pieces' in actual execution against an opponent.

Of course there are arts that don't use kata, and they can be effective too.

It's just they aren't karate.
_________________________
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#151513 - 06/02/05 08:49 AM Re: kata training [Re: Victor Smith]
nenipp Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1205
cxt, in your post I found nothing that would convince me that the whole kata is better than training parts by themselves (alone as well as with partner)
(kinda like the golfer practices the swing, he doesn't walk through the whole court, I would think)

Bossman and Victor Smith, you have some points that I figure are valid, if I understand you correctly, you're more or less talking about the same thing?

I tried to analyse my own situation after reading your good points, and came to the conclusion that I just aint there yet:
in my taiji and qigong practice I "have time" to be aware of all the fine details, but with karate kata at full speed... well in short sequenses I get a lot more out of it than if I try to keep it together for a whole kata.

My conclusion is that there is value in it, but I have not reached such a level myself yet (possibly never will)

However, the responses have helped me see this thing clearer, so I humbly thank you all who contributed!

regs,
nenippal

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#151514 - 06/02/05 10:31 AM Re: kata training [Re: nenipp]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
Quote:

but I have not reached such a level myself yet (possibly never will)




The journey is more rewarding than the destination.

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#151515 - 06/02/05 10:47 AM Re: kata training [Re: nenipp]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Nep

You have failed to convienceing as well.

Your also miscasting my point--a golfers swing IS THE ENITRE ACTION---as is a kata when you do it all.
Its not my fault that the golf swing is shorter than the kata--they BOTH are being done to the extent of there duration.

So it does not really matter if you buy it or not, the comparsion is still valid--as it is for the batter and the boxer as well.

(plus that was one ONE of my points)

Like I have said before, a kata, at base, is just a series of individual techniques strung or "chained" togather for the purpose of practice--your SUPPOSED to pull indivudal techs and combos out.

The kata is just kinda a database of techniques, and practicing it as a "whole" is just a very effecient manner of remembering and working/practiceing them.
Not the ONLY method of doing so of course--your SUPPOSED to pull indiviual techniques out.

Kinda of an interesting question--which came first?

Did some guy back in the mists of time take a series of discrete techniques and mold them into a kata?

Or did the kata come first and folks adapt the techniques as needed?


Edited by cxt (06/02/05 10:53 AM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#151516 - 06/02/05 11:16 AM Re: kata training [Re: cxt]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
I know your chicken vs egg question was rhetorical, cxt ...but I like answering to rhetoric.

I think it is reasonable to assume that kata followed a similar evolution as language. how babies learn language gives a glimpse into how the brain has been gradually wired over eons. kata is a kind of sign language that speaks of how to protect and defeat against being attacked. Words form before sentences. that is fact.
The connection between kata and language however is pulled from my butt with no emperical evidence to back this opinion up. I studied a bit about linguistics. My kata-language link is a strong hunch, but I haven't heard any study or article on this.

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#151517 - 06/02/05 11:41 AM Re: kata training [Re: Kintama]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
personally I think that training the whole kata in karate should be done.

it gives physical and mental benefits, delivers the 'whole' message to the practioner and ensures that the student is training correctly, ie not changing things. it gives the correct form to people, it moulds them into the style they study and ensures that the traditions live on!

that all is good but to me the real interesting bit is what is contained 'within' the kata, and from my expierience that is usually a few short effective principles that work together and different kata have different principles/emphasis, of course there is cross over.

Obviously alot of kata is repeat work, for balance (train both sides) and im sure some is to make the form work logically, ie set up the next 'real' interesting bit.

I trained for years without realising this and became disallousioned with kata practise, now im keen as mustard as I have expierienced a little of the 'real' stuff kata teaches us, and for that I am very greatfull.

Of course taking 'the interesting bits' and training them as pair work, kihon - however you want is very usefull and sits alongside kata practise as essential.


kata practise is obligitory to classical karate, end of story.

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#151518 - 06/02/05 12:23 PM Re: kata training [Re: cxt]
nenipp Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1205
cxt, I think your point is valid if we're talking of prcticing a technique from the kata repetedly (i.e the golf analogy), but not if we're discussing the whole kata (which we are), but as you said, that's only what I think and I don't mind disagreeing on that point.

The latter part of your post, that the techniques are supposed to be pulled out, imho is exactly what I was saying.

But based on the other gentlemen's points, I see value in training the whole kata too, but that value is somewhat more on the "art" than on the "martial" side of things, way I see it..

As to shoshinkan's statement about kata being obligatory to classical okinawan karate (sorry if I don't remember the exact phrase you used), I agree!

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