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#230505 - 02/13/06 01:55 PM A new kata every 4 months?
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
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?

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#230506 - 02/13/06 02:45 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: Ed_Morris]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Hi Ed,

I've seen Goju curricula where you've described the content of their ShoDan examination. I don't recall however how long they took, just that they did good kata. [O'yes they also included 2 Sanchin kata in that process.]

I teach 13 in the basic Sho-dan Curricula. A young person takes 7-9 years to go through them. An adult might go as quickly as 4 years or take as long as they require.

But for Sho-dan I only look for excellent performance in the first 5 and better than good in all the rest. On the whole I find it takes about 10 years to get into a kata fully, but I don't find you can't work on many at the same time.

Then again for the 4 year time frame, but the time that student approaches sho-dan they're practicing about 7 days a week to get to that level. Less practice time equates to a longer time training.

I think the difference is where you put your focus, short term, perfection before moving on, on long term development.

Interesting topic,
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#230507 - 02/13/06 04:13 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: Ed_Morris]
Joss Offline
Dragon

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 567
To me there seems to be a bit too much emphasis on the quantity of kata rather than their quality and the attention to their use (bunkai). One every four months may not sound like many, and it may not be when you are only up to five or six. When you accept that there is at least one basic bunkai set that goes with each kata, though, five or six really means ten to twelve. And as the bunkai finds more advanced alternatives, these numbers increase. And if you aren't pounding the bunkai into reflex, why are you learning the kata?

Also, it sometimes seems that a ryu's kata list could be refined somewhat, based on individual student needs. Two particular aspects that might be given thought are age and sex. Martial arts/self defense needs and capabilities for a woman are not EXACTLY the same as for a man. Nor are they the same for someone at 50 years of age as for someone at 25 years of age.

Too many kata seems to turn them into more of an academic journey than a useful martial arts learning tool.

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#230508 - 02/13/06 04:22 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: Joss]
shoshinkan Offline
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Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
on a personal level I think less is best for sure, a such I teach Pinan 1,2, Naihanchi 1,2 and Seisan to shodan, about 4 years training, so 5 kata.

Obviously different systems have different view, but i would rather have few well understood kata than many not so well understood,
_________________________
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#230509 - 02/13/06 05:37 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: Ed_Morris]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Great topic...

In the best of worlds, kata would be taught as fighting. Variations of bunkai based on body mechanics (not Hollywood) teaches one to react to action, not a pre-described "attack" (a la w/e SD courses).

However, in order to retain students long enough for them to understand what they are doing & why, Americans desire a new kata every 4 mos. I've learned to work w/ this w/o compromising my values. But it takes an altered frame of reference.

Shito-ryu has over 60 kata + Pinan 1-5. Byt the tima a student begins to tackle the advanced kata, bunkai is examined & practiced. Beginners doing Pinan are just accumulting kata (for later reference).

Goju-ryu & Wado-ryu have the fewest kata so I can see why an instructor may seem to hoard the kata (don't want to use them up too quickly). I don't mind sharing if asked.

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#230510 - 02/13/06 09:17 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Too many kata, let me examine this from my style Matsubayashi. However, I must begin at the end. Kusanku is the ultimate kata of shorin ryu and contains 90% of the techniques and principles of shorin ryu. Therefore most of the students training is developing those principles in this one kata kusanku. Pinan kata were developed with kusanku and possibly the elusive channan kata in mind. Pinan kata are used at an early stage to develop footwork, balance, agility, and power generation and to begin the development of the principles and techniques contained in Kusanku. Similarily the fukyugatas can be used to train techniques and principles side by side with wankan. Therefore when you learn the first seven kata(2 fukyugatas and the 5 pinan kata) you are really training principles from two kata, wankan and kusanku. These kata will take you through the first 2-3 years of training. The next 2-3 years will be used to train Naihanchi which contains the principles of kusanku. Before shodan Naihanchi is used to train a more advanced method of power generation, inside fighting, and develop strength needed to train the classical okinawan kata. Therefore, after 4-6 years you have actually been working on two kata. Then ananku, wankan, and rohai are trained and used to evaluate a student for shodan after another 2-3 years of training. Finally after 6-9 years of training a student is ready for shodan. During this training 8 of the kata are preparation for Kusanku which will not be learned until much later in the training, the first two kata are for training wankan and can be considered a triangle(one principle of fighting/training from three different perspectives or three different principles of fighting/training that compliment each other). Then ananku and rohai are trained. Ananku using skills developed up to that point which teaches using the full body to attack and defend and rohai which begins to expound upon skills of the crane in a new and more advanced way. Then Wanshu is the first kata for nidan development which is all of the lessons learned up to that point combined with a few new ones. In my opinion it is just the right amount.

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#230511 - 02/13/06 09:54 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: medulanet]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
great replies everyone! medulanet, thats an interesting take on matsubayashi - and makes sense...like in Goju, the last kata typically learned at nidan/sandan is Suparimpei (Pichurin) - contains a large part of fundamental principals in Goju.

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#230512 - 02/14/06 12:06 AM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: shoshinkan]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Quote:

Burpee down to press up position, press up, roll over, sit up, roll back, tuck in (continuing burpee), plyo verticle jump, straight to 25m sprint. Repeat at other end, but 25m jog return.
Aim for 5 returns (10 in total)done with no recovery other than the jog, and build from there.






This is why my instructor chose to teach me only sanchin,seiunchin,sanseru,and tensho. I asked him the other day to teach me suparempei,he said,"you already know it and it's not that exciting anyway.I haven't done it in twenty years,but if you want to know it I'll make it so." Basically,what he was saying is that all the kata is is a little bit of each of the kata I already do and know.
I guess I'll be satisfied with what I already do.

I think it's best to practice a kata for a year or so before moving on to the next.
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#230513 - 02/14/06 05:27 AM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: BrianS]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
certainly kata from any system should/do contain common elements, however each kata/group of kata does bring in different principles so its important over time to study certain kata, I suppose which ones you study help us allocate a 'system' to our own style.

Kata is withoubt doubt the core of my karate, however without kumite (I dont mean sparring) it does not deliver the application benefits that I train for, therefore the kumite side must be worked, in my case harder than the kata performance.

But we all train for different reasons and no ones wrong really!
_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#230514 - 02/14/06 08:32 AM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: Ed_Morris]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
After my experience with kung fu, one kata a year sounds like an enormous amount of time. Even four months per kata sounds like a lot, especially considering the length and complexity of most karate kata (not long or complex at all, compared to many kung fu forms). Of course, karate training usually consists of a lot more basics drilling than my kung fu did. When exhaustive bunkai practice for each kata is included in the training time, four months makes more sense.
I had become accustomed to doing a new form every month. Spending a month to learn a form is enough to get the movements down. Application is another thing, that I wish we could spend more time on. It's gone over in a quick and generalised manner, and expected to be developed during sparring. Of course, there are lots of techniques you can't really practice in sparring, so a lot of things get missed.
A month per form seems like a luxury when you get to more advanced levels, when the forms you test over are taught once a year for a single day each. You are expeceted to learn it in about 6 hours, and then practice it on your own for a few years until you test, getting a refresher once a year.
This is not to say forms are never reviewed...the "basics" portion of intermediate and advanced classes is performing all the forms from previous levels.

The proper amount of time for a form depends on the amount of training time a student puts in, and how fast the student absorbs material. It also depends on the complexity of the kata. I wouldn't make anyone spend a year, or even four months, on a fukyugata kata. On the most advanced kata, definately a year at least. This would be easier to monitor if you have a small number of students. I just don't think there is a single "proper" amount of time that is appropriate for all people and all kata. yes, the more time spent the better you'll get, no matter how much training time you put in or how fast a learner you are...but I wouldn't want to hold someone back who really could handle more.

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#230515 - 02/14/06 09:47 AM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: WuXing]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
anybody can learn the movements to kata over a weekend. Look at the guy recently that sells 200+ kata clips which he 'knows' and performs. (@20 years = 10kata/year ).

btw, sparring and kata are simply not compatable. using sparring practice to develop self-defense principals is sorta like using car racing video games to learn how to drive.

sure there is no set amount of time per person, per kata...and what does it matter what others do anyway. I'm not trying to suggest a right/wrong amount of time for everyone - since I could never begin to guess what the different reasons people don't choose to learn kata beyond their dance movements are.

Taking it to the extreme, how about study and practice of a single sequence for a month. how about a single principal for a year?

Is it better to be mediocre and diverse or proficient and specialized? I guess thats the real question of the thread.

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#230516 - 02/14/06 10:16 AM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: Ed_Morris]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
I tend to look at it this way. I see the Kata as a reflection of the art and a reflection of an artist. I also look at it as a language. Like you said you can learn the movements in a short period but is that "Knowing a kata". I would like to think that over time what I am doing is developing a greater fluency in that language. There are people that know a form and people that (Know) a form. Much of the knowledge that an experienced practicioner could demonstrate would be lost on the first type of "Knower". My desire is that people who "Really Know" would see that my efforts to learn, apply, and understand the intent of the designer and the depth of their creation is sincere and based in a genuine respect for what they left to us.

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#230517 - 02/14/06 10:40 AM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: oldman]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA

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#230518 - 02/14/06 10:54 AM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: Ed_Morris]
makiwaraman Offline
Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Guildford, Surrey,UK
Training in shotokan we are expected to learn the pattern of a new kata every three months 9th-2nd kyu this is to fast and means its little more than a dance as you can not begin to break it down and interpret your own applications in that time. I am happy to miss every other grading at least but feel it should be one a year each at least. Jim must be brainwashing me as I now seem to think like him.
Regards Maki
_________________________
We are necessarily imperfect and therefore always in a state of growth.

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#230519 - 02/14/06 10:56 AM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: oldman]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
then once you have found the people who really know, its all about working out how to really use that information!

_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#230520 - 02/14/06 11:10 AM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: Ed_Morris]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
It's better to be proficient and diverse
I'm not saying that the way that kung fu school did things was correct. Not nearly enough time was spent on anything. That's part of why I'm not there anymore, and why I've taken a few of my forms to focus on exclusively for the last year. But what it showed me was that, contrary to the way some martial arts teachers insist on a minimum time period for everything, it is possible to become proficient fairly quickly in some things. It all depends on the focus of training. It seems in many cases that teachers are just trying to "stretch" their curriculum to make it seem like there is a lot there. Because of the length of time that it is assumed must be spent on things, people look for levels of depth and complexity in techniques that were never imagined by the creators of the style. They assume this depth must be there, otherwise why would the tradition be to spend so much time on it? This is not a bad thing...people have made the most out of a limited amount of material, and created applications that are useful and effective.
Also, when we say a month of training, what does that mean? It would be better to put the time in hours of training, or days maybe. Musashi said 3,000 days spent forging the spirit, 10,000 days polishing it. If you're training 20 hours a week, how much can you advance in a month? That's as much training as a person who does 5 hours a week gets in a whole month. So should the 20 hr per week person spend four months on the same thing that the 5 hr per week person does?

It is better to have a strong grasp of what you're doing before you move on. One month per sequence or concept is probably adequate. Training used to be much slower...a year might be spent just doing stancework in some styles. Curricula also was often just one or two forms. Are we better off now, in the modern world, where we have access to knowledge of many different styles and forms? Would it be better to return to the year-long horse stance training?

I don't really know what's best yet. I've experienced the extreme of fast training...I've experienced more common slower training, too (one kata every few months). I haven't tried one year per stance/form yet.
I would say, be as diverse as is possible without sacrificing proficiency. In other words, cater curriculum to individual needs and talents. It's important to be proficient before moving on to something new, however long that takes.

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#230521 - 02/14/06 12:25 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: WuXing]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
To understand why the old timers in karate would say one would have to spend a year(actually in shorin its 3 years per kata and 10 for kusanku) you must understand their training, the purpose for it, and the complexity of okinawan kata. To assume that okinawan kata are less complex than kung fu kata is ignorant. Okinawans were simple people, but there was genious in the simplicity of their kata. In the old days, pre 1900s, a student would begin with naihanchi. It would take three years to develop the strength and technique necessary to develop relaxed power. In truth naihanchi is all that is needed in a fight. It contains all principles of kusanku which contains most of shorin. The thing is if we don't consider application training there are various levels of just performing the kata that must be mastered. The basic level is simply learning it and then being able to perform it well with the count. The next level is developing the timing of the kata through different counts. Through this training different combinations and sequences of technique can be developed for continuous fighting. You can isolate combination hitting, power hitting, and point hitting from the kata and train these. You can analyze the kata from inclose striking range, clinching range, and on the ground. The final level of kata performance is combat speed in which the kata is performed at a very fast speed while maintaining the integrity of the technique. It would take at least a year of training to developing these levels of kata performance and then when the application work with a partner is added it would take 3 years at a minimum. The same can be said for the rest of the classical kata of okinawa. Just look at Matsubayashi Gojushiho which is an entire system of Udundi or palace hand. If you can become proficient meaning apply principles from this kata for real less than a year after beginning training more power to you.

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#230522 - 02/14/06 01:30 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: Ed_Morris]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
I believe that Shodan can be attained in 4 years with a 2-3 day a week class. Like I tell my classes you learn in class you train out of class. Some people it takes 8 years to get their shodan others 4 years depending on how they train at home. I can only show you the path its up to you to decide how long and how hard you want to train. The people that train 5-6 times a week (including class room time) and 2-4 hours a day it shows. Time in grade is not the same for each student, students that approach Martial arts like a aerobic class and only workout 2-3 times a week ony in class it shows and they are graded accordingly. But some of the truly inspired students its shows also and I won't hold them back because of class scheduled testing.

I've seen 2 years promised planned black belts they come to class pay to test & march right on through. They look like green belts overall, in 4 years they might look like a BB.

And I've seen 5-6 days a week 4 years BB they looks likes there on his way to Mastering the art and himself there is a difference just like there is in a Ford and BMW.

Some people expect to learn everything in class but my experience is that you learn from venturing out (at 3rd kyu -)and training with other martial artist. Whether its weight lifting, jogging, kata, bunkai, self defense and sparring.
Its good to check yourself and train often outside dojo.

4 Years don't mean anything its how many hours in those 4 years have you have spent studying the art. I've promote several within 4 years and some BB from other systems in 2 years its how they train. IMHO.

It usually take 6-8 years to attain BB in our system. At Black Belt you know the Basic, you've Mastered very little of it.

eidted for grammar BRS


Edited by BrianS (02/15/06 12:21 AM)
_________________________
DBAckerson

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#230523 - 02/14/06 01:34 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: medulanet]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
If everyone's karate training was the way you described it, then that would be great. If training included practicing partner drills from the kata over and over again, exploring the kata from different counts and angles, and different applications for the techniques...then yes, you could spend a year on a single kata. Because you would constantly be learning more, even though the movemements are the same. And getting better at applying the techniques through extracting sequences and practicing with partners. Honestly, though...how many people have trained this way in traditional Okinawan karate? Usually the kata is taught without much explanation, or with simplistic and brief explanation of application. It is practiced over and over again, emphasizing the details of hand or foot position and stance rather than the overall principles it is meant to convey. Why should anyone have to spend a year doing this for a single kata?
I guess the issue for me is, if karate is not taught and practiced the way it was in the 18th and 19th centuries, then the timeline for learning that was used back then doesn't apply. It is either clinging pointlessly to tradition, or worse, extending the length of training time to retain students beyond what it would really take to learn what you're teaching.

medulanet, from your words you sound like you'd be a good teacher who understands the real principles of Okinawan karate. Teaching the way you describe would be great, changing up the kata, praciting different combos, drilling with partners on techniques from the kata. Most schools nowadays use up most of class time doing kihon up and down the floor and some sparring, devoting less than half the class time to kata and bunkai (if they have bunkai at all). For the 1 year kata training to make sense, the training must return to the way it was before the school children program, and the Japanese budo transformation. Similar to the way Chinese martial arts were taught and practiced, with small numbers of devoted students.

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#230524 - 02/14/06 02:24 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: WuXing]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
WuXing, I agree, but I will take it one step further. 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. There are much more efficient ways than simple kata performance. My former teacher trains kata the way you describe and although I have an enormous amount of respect for him there is very little I can learn from him these days due to his training methods. What I did then and what I do now is like night and day.

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

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.

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#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
Quote:

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.

...one MAist starts from the bottom of the mountain...one 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. ...like 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.

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#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..........'


LOL
_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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

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.
_________________________
Jason Defeat never comes to any man until he admits it. 272

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#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: 3113
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?

J

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#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

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#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

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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

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

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.
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It takes a village to stone somebody to death.

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#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
Quote:

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.

Tomo

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#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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#230535 - 03/29/06 09:29 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: shoshinkan]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Shoshin:

Apologies for the delay in response... any idea what the "magic" is with the three year period you spoke of for yourself as finally getting under the skin of a particular kata? Its a time frame I've heard, read endless times previously... merely curious if there was a "what" behind that specific number...

J

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#230536 - 03/29/06 09:33 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: wristtwister]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Wristwister:

I don't quarrel with the self-discipline facet you speak of but also consider introspection a fundamental purpose as well.

Jeff

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#230537 - 03/29/06 11:11 PM Re: A new kata every 4 months? [Re: Ronin1966]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
The movie "Budo" has a great line in it...

"The secrets of life are within ourselves"...

Totally agree with you that introspection is important. This is one of the pages on my website:


The Superior Man

Turns his attention to himself and molds his character.

Is firmly resolved.

Alone, is capable of being oppressed without losing the power to succeed.

Encourages the people in their work.

Retains his individuality.

Stands firm and does not change his direction.

Curbs evil and furthers good.

Falls back on his inner worth.

Is clear minded and cautious.

Is devoted in character.

Makes himself strong and untiring.

Has direction for his way of life.

I Ching
(collected from various discussions of "the superior man")

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

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