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#359646 - 09/05/07 02:13 AM Facial Expression during Katas
falconhunter2020 Offline

Registered: 09/03/06
Posts: 16
In my dojo, we are taught to have a relaxed, neutral, but focused face when performing katas.
In tournaments in my region, the judges expect you to have an angry, fierce, somewhat crazed face.

The angry faces say that kata should be like a real fight, very emotional.
The calm faces say that durin a real fight, control over your emotions is just as important as performing technique correctly.

Which of these methods better symbolizes the essence of karate-do?

#359647 - 09/05/07 03:58 AM Re: Facial Expression during Katas [Re: falconhunter2020]
MastaFighta Offline

Registered: 04/10/05
Posts: 260
Loc: United States
It's more of a personal preference. Do whatever you're more comfortable with or do whatever is appropriate for the situation. However, in my opinion, I don't think someone should strain their face with any sort of expression. You usually have to consciously bring an expression to your face, which can be distracting to you when you're trying to remember the next move.

Either way, it's all up to what you want to do.

#359648 - 09/05/07 07:34 AM Re: Facial Expression during Katas [Re: falconhunter2020]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3116
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Falconhunter2020:

Anything which is not 1,000% necessary should be AVOIDED like plague. Wasted energy to show any emotion, or worse be "melodramatic".

Control is a technique...


#359649 - 09/05/07 07:52 AM Re: Facial Expression during Katas [Re: Ronin1966]
Chatan1979 Offline

Registered: 03/21/05
Posts: 338
Loc: Mahomet , Illinois
I agree. I am not sure where the whole screaming, snarling twisted [censored] off facial expressions come from. A lot of that stuff that you see in tournaments is simply for dramatic effect. In my opinion, most of them look like they are going to have a stroke if they scream any louder or furrow their brows harder.
A person can look perfectly menacing simply by remaining focused. Being focused does not require that you twist your face into some strange expression. I think your facial expression should be the last thing on your mind during kata. There are more important things to be thinking about.
There is always someone who knows more, and noone who knows it all....

#359650 - 09/05/07 08:30 AM Re: Facial Expression during Katas [Re: Chatan1979]
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
C' mean you can't even rip off your gi top and throw it on the floor with a loud Kia before you preform?!!! Don't laugh I was judging kata once a BB did that to show off his muscles or something? All the judges looked at each other and just about started to laugh.
The way of the warrior does not include other ways... Miyamoto Musashi Schanne

#359651 - 09/05/07 08:33 AM Re: Facial Expression during Katas [Re: falconhunter2020]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
an important issue during 2-person training and sparring is to not telegraph intent. keeping a 'poker face' while in control of emotions. 'sensing' an opponents intent is partly detecting body language visualy as well as tactily (depending on range). subtle 'triggers' are learned subsonsiously with experience. even a slight widening of the eyes can telegraph the initiation of an attack. The earlier and more subtle you can detect it, the more response time you have. just hundreth's of a second difference could mean the difference between getting hit or evading.

if someone only sticks to solo kata training, they will never learn that, hence the lesson doesn't carry over to their solo training.

#359652 - 09/05/07 09:24 AM Re: Facial Expression during Katas [Re: schanne]
gojuwarrior1 Offline
tougher than you

Registered: 12/24/02
Posts: 1178
Loc: East Coast, USA
Schanne, i told you not to tell anyone about that!
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. 2 Tim. 4:7

#359653 - 09/05/07 10:32 AM Re: Facial Expression during Katas [Re: gojuwarrior1]
Bushi_no_ki Offline

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
I have found that a good kiai is all you need. No need to snarl up more than is necessary. That will win you the tournament. Should I ever have to fight, my natural anger will speak and show for itself. When practicing on the mat, I don't go for the whole calm, neutral expression, but I don't force anything more than a good kiai would bring about.

#359654 - 09/05/07 10:38 AM Re: Facial Expression during Katas [Re: falconhunter2020]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5830
Loc: USA

In my first dojo, I was taught that a kata is emotional--anger, focus, even rage were ok.

The goju I study holds that NO expression should be visable.

Its a judgement call--I say do what works the best for you at the time.

I practiced both ways and there are pretty goo arguments either direction.

Oh, and always do it like the person grading you wants to see it.
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#359655 - 09/05/07 11:15 AM Re: Facial Expression during Katas [Re: cxt]
gojuwarrior1 Offline
tougher than you

Registered: 12/24/02
Posts: 1178
Loc: East Coast, USA
I always go as hard and look as mean as possible when i preformed kata and i have always got good feedback and won a few of those shiny things. I make sure my kiai thunders and everything is super hard, just like in a fight. I bring the emotion of a live fight out. Kata should be no diffrent than a real fight, this aint the cha-cha!
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. 2 Tim. 4:7

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