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#230525 - 02/14/06 02:35 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: medulanet]
WuXing Offline

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
Yes, I left my kung fu school for the same reason. Maybe soon we will start seeing a reemergence of a more effective style of training.

#230526 - 02/14/06 03:42 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: medulanet]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772

If a karateka's goal is truly of martial interest and they are just performing the kata as you describe they should just give it up.

I'm sure you meant give that place up, not MA altogether. I agree in trying to find a better instructor would be a more realistic approach. everyone starts somewhere. often is the case nowadays someone starts at a mcdojo, then explores other arts, and as awareness increases, they might move on yet again...eventually leading them to a place that teaches what they are looking for.

OTOH, some have had the fortune of living next door to a world renowned sensei teaching privately and for free....and can't believe people who fall for expensive mcdojo nonsense training. MAist starts from the bottom of the starts from half-way up.

Both paths are just as martial, as long as they are moving up. but I think most just go to a certain level, circle, then come back down. tourists trying to get the best view in the least amount of time.

Beyond the sight-seeing 1-hit BB wonders, are the enthusiasts...move up, circle a bit, move up, circle a bit....but over a longer period of time (life?) than the tourists. then the full-time lifers that walk straight up, circle on top, then come back down to help others up.

The problem is having to gear the curriculum timeline for the tourists in order to get the bulk of the rent to keep doors open. It's understandable. But this is where the sense of rushing the introduction and lack of depth study of kata comes in.

Just being able to do the movements without falling over is enough for most people to feel a sense of accomplishment.... but is that kata-based Martial Arts? or something that just looks like it? I should say, is that the future mainstream extent of it?

3 dance forms per year, some words of wisdom precepts, a few memorized but not understood respect-oriented eastern rituals, and friends in white pajamas. ...if we stop there and circle, we are Martial Tourists.

#230527 - 02/28/06 06:07 AM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: makiwaraman]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
'Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, not around the eyes'

'your under, repeat after me, learn less kata, learn less kata..........'

Jim Neeter

#230528 - 03/04/06 11:16 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: shoshinkan]
jc4199 Offline

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 362
Loc: Pevely, MO U.S.A
We get a kata every three months or so. At testing we have to do every kata we know for the rank (mostly one kata per rank some ranks you need to learn more then one). I try to do the new kata at least 75 to 100 times a week and the older one 50 times each during the month. My katas are by no means great but they get better every testing and that's the goal at least for me any way.
Defeat never comes to any man until he admits it.

#230529 - 03/04/06 11:58 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Ed:

How long can I have a person dissect something before they go insane? Change the channel, incorporate a different song into my knowledge base and return to the original study for more careful examination... repeatedly. If I started someone completely ignorant of kata and gave them all the possible variables instantly.... (magic kata pill...) you'll kill them. I think you start with the basic gross movements, then proceed very slowly...

7-10 years sounds about right...

How long is too long at a given kata? How much time is enough to have a hint of what was originally pretty obvious ... but now whispers new even smaller questions, puzzles?


#230530 - 03/05/06 04:28 AM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: jc4199]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
Hi jc4199,

Thankyou for posting your expierience in this matter, please dont feel that you are being critisised for the manner in which your sylabus is introduced to you, you sound like a serious student and i wish you well.

We are discussing the actual process of learning kata and the reasons why different dojo do different things, nothing more than that!

Keep posting!
Jim Neeter

#230531 - 03/05/06 04:37 AM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: Ronin1966]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
we can disect kata for as long as we personally want to, my expierience is that they are certainly deep enough just to keep going..............

For me to begin to get under the skin of a kata takes about 3 years, then things seem to start popping out as obvious, and as I have mentioned before I focus on 2 kata at any given time which seems to be right for me, right now its Naihanchi and Seisan.

The real depth of kata can be seen when you start breaking it down and extracting the core techniques/combinations and use them as kata, kumite in different ways, once the principles are being felt then is the time that the lesson learnt can 'rock' all of your karate - I find this most pleasing, its little steps but for me it is real progress when another piece of the jigsaw is found from kata but ripples through all our karate.

ultimatly we need to have the lessons from the kata built into us, and moulded to us, we shouldnt be slaves to form after all - we are all different, its just a process of learning principles that work for each of us.
Jim Neeter

#230532 - 03/19/06 07:00 AM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: Ed_Morris]
Mark Hill Offline

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1068
Loc: Australia

In kata-based systems, I hear people say they get shodan nowadays in about 4 years. That would mean plowing thru the curriculum pretty fast for the 3 day a week practictioner.
In goju for example, at a 2 year point, you've blown thru 2 gekisai kata, saifa, seiunchin, shisochin and sanseru? thats half the curriculum or a new kata every 4 months (WHILE expected to maintain and improve the past kata).

way too fast IMO. 1 kata a year (while maintaining and improving all previous kata) sounds like a much more reasonable pace. so that would be about 10 years till shodan? well for most of us not able to do MA full-time, yes. I've read of people getting into advanced kata after only 2 years...but it was full-time practice.

watching some vids recently and reading various posts on here talk about advanced kata after only 2 years of MA practice, made me wonder about this topic.

do you feel you are introduced to new kata too quickly?

A kata every three years may work in a chinese system where a form takes minutes to perform - whereas the longer karate katas struggle or bluff their way to this length. Theya re still a fraction of some of the chinese quan.

Believe it or not, but some of the uninitiated may get bored practiscing their first form exclusively for any longer than 3-4 months!

We can show a variety of bunkai, and train people ina variety of techniques through different kata. Who said they nedd to "know all the bunkai" and practice all of them at a level a 2nd Dan is expected with?

Remember, a black belt in msot styles is like graduating school and starting to work in the real world, and the rank represents a basic knowledge of the art and a base for either specialisation or further literal mastery.
It takes a village to stone somebody to death.

#230533 - 03/29/06 05:43 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: Ed_Morris]
SaishuRyu Offline
Banned Member

Registered: 09/07/05
Posts: 28

In kata-based systems, I hear people say they get shodan nowadays in about 4 years. That would mean plowing thru the curriculum pretty fast for the 3 day a week practictioner.

do you feel you are introduced to new kata too quickly?

I think this all comes down to the instructor and the student. When I first started in Shorin Ryu a long long time ago we did 1 kata every 6 months. When training in Saishu Ryu I learned 8 kata in a year and was struggling to keep up. I think it all comes down to how much can the student learn and retain. Everyone learns at a different pace.


#230534 - 03/29/06 06:26 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: SaishuRyu]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
The U.S. Judo Association sent some emissaries to the Kodokan years ago to see the Judo kata that was being taught. When they demonstrated the kata, it was flawless, but the Sensei leading the tour told them that he apologized for the kata performance. "The people doing it are not our regular instructors, and have only done this kata about a thousand times".

I know people teaching kata that if they've done them 100 times, it would surprise me. I guess it depends on whether you're getting paid to "show kata" or "showing kata" to get paid. In both cases, it's instructors that you see only practicing kata when they're teaching a class.

Motivation has a lot to do with "doing kata". If the only thing driving it is getting paid, then it's going to be what you see going on in karate schools all over the place... barely kata at all. Kata is supposed to change your behavior, and if your only motivation is to "go through the motions" to get paid or to get a check for "going through the motions", it's going to lose an element that it's designed to teach... self discipline.

When I was actively doing a lot of karate training, I did every kata 5 times when I practiced... one time for the movements, once for power, once to check my stances, and twice to attempt to get it all to work together on each technique (rhythm, timing, and balance). I guess it worked, because Mr. Hino (2nd place in the world championships) told me I had good blocks when we sparred.

I don't know if a new kata every 4 months is too much or not, but if you can keep adding them and doing them 5 times each practice, go for it. I think your head gets full after a while, and you start mixing them up. For basic kata, maybe, but if you're learning basic kata your technique isn't well developed anyway, so you need to spend time fixing that first. Then learn some kata.

What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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