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#292550 - 10/11/06 03:07 PM Chen Destroys the kata myth
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Recently Ive been involved in several kata discussions, mainly involving Karateka. Trying not to steal threads I invited a few of them to the JKD forum to defend there stance on the issue. Since they have failed to do so then I will bring the conversation to them myself.

My first jab at it is that I dont think that kata are useful for anything other repetition of technique in which case there are far more valuable ways to do this. Also I believe that the mystery should be left out of it. There is too much interpretation for the student. Self defense should be taught in a more direct manner so that the benifits of such training can be yeilded quickly by the student.

Its just a jab. Ive got more. I want to remind everyone before the topic takes off, dont get personal. Lets have a intelligent discussion on the issue.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#292551 - 10/11/06 03:20 PM Re: Chen Destroys the kata myth [Re: Chen Zen]
Spade Offline
Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 255
Loc: Auburn, Al.
Quote:

Recently Ive been involved in several kata discussions, mainly involving Karateka. Trying not to steal threads I invited a few of them to the JKD forum to defend there stance on the issue. Since they have failed to do so then I will bring the conversation to them myself.

My first jab at it is that I dont think that kata are useful for anything other repetition of technique in which case there are far more valuable ways to do this. Also I believe that the mystery should be left out of it. There is too much interpretation for the student. Self defense should be taught in a more direct manner so that the benifits of such training can be yeilded quickly by the student.

Its just a jab. Ive got more. I want to remind everyone before the topic takes off, dont get personal. Lets have a intelligent discussion on the issue.





Round one, Fight!


"My first jab at it is that I dont think that kata are useful for anything other repetition of technique in which case there are far more valuable ways to do this."

That, in my opinon, is one of the main focuses of kata.

You do the technique over and over until its a reflex, like in my isshinryu sesian kata, the first movments goes as follows:

Left food forward, left side block, right punch, your right punch falls immeditaly into a side block, shoulder height, fist distance from your ribs, striking/blocking with the first two knuckles.

Doing the kata, you practice that technique a good deal.

While sparring, I've devolped the muscle memory to be able to step in, block, counter attack, and come back to a block. With as many times as I've practiced this motion, I have an extreamly high success rate when I need to perform it.

Kata keeps your techniques crisp, and teaches you how to flow from one technique to another.


If I may, what other methods do you perferr to hone technique?
_________________________
"always paddle your own canoe." - Cord

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#292552 - 10/11/06 03:42 PM Re: Chen Destroys the kata myth [Re: Spade]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Repetition is a huge part of any art. You gotta practice right? My thoughts are that kata arent neccessarily the fastest or best way to learn this.

You said "While SPARRING Ive developed the muscle memory..." Ah, but sparring is far from kata. And I believe that sparring is where the majority of the focus should be. And drilling. Drilling and shadow boxing to learn the proper mechanics then sparring to fine tune them and learning how to get them to work for you. Kata doesnt teach you to adjust your techniques to suit different angles of the opponents attack. You have one place to go in kata to be performed "correctly" but in all reality, there are multiple angles for all techniques that can be considered "correct"
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#292553 - 10/11/06 03:55 PM Re: Chen Destroys the kata myth [Re: Chen Zen]
Spade Offline
Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 255
Loc: Auburn, Al.
Quote:

Repetition is a huge part of any art. You gotta practice right? My thoughts are that kata arent neccessarily the fastest or best way to learn this.

You said "While SPARRING Ive developed the muscle memory..." Ah, but sparring is far from kata. And I believe that sparring is where the majority of the focus should be. And drilling. Drilling and shadow boxing to learn the proper mechanics then sparring to fine tune them and learning how to get them to work for you. Kata doesnt teach you to adjust your techniques to suit different angles of the opponents attack. You have one place to go in kata to be performed "correctly" but in all reality, there are multiple angles for all techniques that can be considered "correct"





what I meant was "While I am sparring, I still have the muscle memory from doing kata" My mistake.


As far as the focus of training being on sparring, I once thought that too, however I realized that if you spar without having worked on technique, you will get sloppy, and have sloppy technique.

"Drilling and shadow boxing to learn the proper mechanics then sparring to fine tune them and learning how to get them to work for you. Kata doesnt teach you to adjust your techniques to suit different angles of the opponents attack."

How is kata any different from shadow boxing? or doing a drill, I'm assuming, on a bag/pad?

Also, in my katas we change angles quite often, and do blocks/attacks from different angles all the time, its a very big part of the majority of my katas.
_________________________
"always paddle your own canoe." - Cord

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#292554 - 10/11/06 04:01 PM Re: Chen Destroys the kata myth [Re: Chen Zen]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

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

Problem is that I'm not sure that I really diagree with you.

In my view "most" problems with kata are, at base, really just poor understanding, poor application and poor instruction.

Kata are often improperly used--again in MY VIEW, by people that don't understand the process.

1-Kata is only a PART of training regimen that involves strenth training, hard, resistant partner drills, hitting various bags and striking tools, grappling, endurence training etc.

"Back in the day" that is how it was done.

Kata should only be PART of persons training.

Since I'm sure that you don't have problem with strentgh training or resistive drills---then that only leaves part of the training for folks to complain about.

So what your really discussing is bare percentages---I think its going to be pretty hard to argue about that.

2-Most people have it backwards---the kata should be simple meumonics to keep freash skills and lessons YOU ALREADY PRACTICE ON THE HEAVY BAG AND WITH RESISTANT PARTNERS.

Its a way to practice when you have no bag or partner---much as a boxer shadowboxes as part of his/her workout.

3-As to its ultility as a methed of training, kata, in various forms is probably the most widely used method of training extent--almost everybody, almost everywhere made use of some form of it.

4- Self defense is utterly situational/results focused thing.

If my training worked in a SD situation--then it worked--period.

Arguements about what "could" have been done "better" are nothing more than "what if" post-hoc rationaliztion.
If your training methods kept you in one piece, or enabled you to escape with your life--or just helped you survive--then they worked.

As an example, say I train totally kata based--you training without any kata at all.

We BOTH walk away from an violent encounter--more or less intact.

Then BOTH methods worked----the result is ONLY thing that counts--outside of an e-debate that is.

I certianly don't consider kata to the end all and be all lof practice--I personally get value out of it-so I practice it.

People should not use any form of practice that does not show gains.

Just my opinion, and that, just like my opinion of kata, will vary considerably person to person.


Edited by cxt (10/11/06 04:09 PM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#292555 - 10/11/06 04:16 PM Re: Chen Destroys the kata myth [Re: Spade]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Quote:

Quote:

Repetition is a huge part of any art. You gotta practice right? My thoughts are that kata arent neccessarily the fastest or best way to learn this.

You said "While SPARRING Ive developed the muscle memory..." Ah, but sparring is far from kata. And I believe that sparring is where the majority of the focus should be. And drilling. Drilling and shadow boxing to learn the proper mechanics then sparring to fine tune them and learning how to get them to work for you. Kata doesnt teach you to adjust your techniques to suit different angles of the opponents attack. You have one place to go in kata to be performed "correctly" but in all reality, there are multiple angles for all techniques that can be considered "correct"





what I meant was "While I am sparring, I still have the muscle memory from doing kata" My mistake.


As far as the focus of training being on sparring, I once thought that too, however I realized that if you spar without having worked on technique, you will get sloppy, and have sloppy technique.

"Drilling and shadow boxing to learn the proper mechanics then sparring to fine tune them and learning how to get them to work for you. Kata doesnt teach you to adjust your techniques to suit different angles of the opponents attack."

How is kata any different from shadow boxing? or doing a drill, I'm assuming, on a bag/pad?

Also, in my katas we change angles quite often, and do blocks/attacks from different angles all the time, its a very big part of the majority of my katas.




Yes if you spar without drilling, bag work or shadow boxing then your sparring will be sloppy. However, those tools are used. And used to replace Kata.

How is kata different from shadow boxing? Well, shadow boxing is freeform. The footwork is not fixed. The attacks and defensive movements are not fixed. As for drilling take the focus pads for a moment. Lets say you want to work on and isolate your jab. Now you can do this in kata. Or you can work on the pad. Jabbing for it as it moves at different speeds and angles. Learning how to adjust it as necessary to hit your target. At the end of the training who is going to have a better jab? The guy practicing against no resistance, aiming at the same imaginary target or the guy who has resistance in his training? The guy who works to land his jabs will essentially have a better jab. This carries over for all techniques.

As for changing angles in kata, you dont see it much. Why would you when you've been given one "correct" way to do the kata? Now the angle may change due to the footwork changing. However, thats not the same as the technique itself being adjusted.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#292556 - 10/11/06 04:17 PM Re: Chen Destroys the kata myth [Re: Chen Zen]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Chen,
If you take on the task of detroying the myth would it be fair for me to first ask you what the myth is?

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#292557 - 10/11/06 04:19 PM Re: Chen Destroys the kata myth [Re: Chen Zen]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Chen,
What is your experience with kata? Have you had kata training at all? What kata do you know?

Yeah..what is the myth?
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#292558 - 10/11/06 04:22 PM Re: Chen Destroys the kata myth [Re: cxt]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
The poor instruction is the biggest flaw. Its also the reason many have a poor understanding of it. Which is why it think its better training to approach it scientifically.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#292559 - 10/11/06 04:31 PM Re: Chen Destroys the kata myth [Re: Chen Zen]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
The question is what can studying kata do for you. I personally get alot out of kata training.
Contrary to popular belief and the way it is taught alot of times,kata is not meant to be used against specific attacks. Kata shows you pressure points,how the body works,where and how to hit,and how to use your own body effectively. How will all of these things not help your karate?
Kata is not like other training,it takes time and if you are not willing to put the time in and explore then just don't do kata,it's simple really.
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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