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#416535 - 02/28/09 08:15 AM Kata: Method of healing/post-recovery?
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
Hello all.

As per usual, I will start by mentioning I am a karate ignoramus. I don't have that much experience with it, though I do have an interest in it.

Cord mentioned something on the Muay Thai/Kickboxing/Boxing forum about yoga being used to help correct imbalances that boxers develop due to the way they stand and move while training.

I noticed something similar in Karate classes when people were sparring/doing kumite.

Now, having also done some Qi Gong too, I was wondering if Kata, be in Japanese or Okinawan (or whatever), was beneficial in helping correct imbalances built up in a karate-ka's body due to sparring?

There is not doubt sparring/kumite can be harmful to a person if they attempt to move at speed while their body is out of synch. I had a friend who did TKD who did terrible damage to his knee trying to kick someone sparring. The doctor told him it was due to the pressure he was putting on the joint by the way he was sparring in TKD.

You guys would know better than me. I'll bet good money though more people inflict self-injuries (that is to say, injuring themselves without their sparring partner/opponent doing it for them) while sparring/doing kumite than people doing kata.

I read an interesting article about a gentleman who said doing Okinawan Karate has helped him with health problems he had, so this got me thinking on the whole issue and Katas relevance to developing good posture and healthy alignment.

I know the theory is that a person should maintain balance and good postural structure during sparring, but that doesn't really happen in my experience. And as I said, people tend to adopt stances were the body is out of synch once sparring/kumite begins.

"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

#416536 - 02/28/09 09:14 AM Re: Kata: Method of healing/post-recovery? [Re: Prizewriter]
underdog Offline

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1270
Loc: Mansfield, MA U.S.A.
You are basically correct. Both qigong and kata have healing motions to correct imbalances. There is a rather large body of knowledge here and if you were to pursue it, look for titles and teachers teaching qigong.
The older I get, the better I was!

#416537 - 03/03/09 12:29 PM Re: Kata: Method of healing/post-recovery? [Re: underdog]
bo-ken Offline

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 1228
Loc: beaver falls, PA, beaver
I think kata has some healing benefits as well. One of my students had lower back pain for years and I told him to practice is kata more and rest. Now he says he has no pain at all.

Also, kata are great for stress relief. You can practice an entire kata without your mind wondering it's truly an amazing thing.

#416538 - 03/03/09 12:48 PM Re: Kata: Method of healing/post-recovery? [Re: Prizewriter]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
I'd say that the whole training aspect helps guard the body from injuries and imbalances the streching, caleshtic, aerobic and kata. Regular kata done at a slower Tai chi like flow and speed can help strecht joints, tendons and muscles, it can also be a stress reliever. Then you have the Iron shrit katas that once the rountine is recorded you start learning to channel energy as in Qi Gong exercises. So healing and preventive injury can be acomplished, and as any Doctor will tell you relieving stress in paramount bc Stress Kills.

#416539 - 03/04/09 08:38 AM Re: Kata: Method of healing/post-recovery? [Re: underdog]
Barad Offline

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
"qigong and kata have healing motions to correct imbalances."

What does this actually mean? Imbalances in what? If I am genuinely sick I will go and see a Western doctor, not perform kata. Such a recommendation is surely ludicrous and potentially dangerous.

#416540 - 03/04/09 09:00 AM Re: Kata: Method of healing/post-recovery? [Re: Barad]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
If you don't know you don't need to know, right now. Its sorta a need to know type thing that has worked for centuries. If you are closed mind to to it telling you how it works or what it is will only cause a debate. Go see your western Doctors (they don't know everything), because you don't understand imbalances they can't find a cure then come back and ask after you studied more.

U can't teach Algerbra to 1st graders, when you are ready you will know.

I believe in Western Doctors too, but somethings you don't have to pay for, sometomes just studying and paying attention saves your health and money. Stress Kills Western Doctors know that.

Maybe someone else will explain it to you.

#416541 - 03/04/09 09:01 AM Re: Kata: Method of healing/post-recovery? [Re: Prizewriter]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
I don't see specific healing qualities in karate kata, outside of it being a fairly rounded physical activity.

Look to Tai Chi for this IMO.
Jim Neeter

#416542 - 03/04/09 09:32 AM Re: Kata: Method of healing/post-recovery? [Re: shoshinkan]
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
In my admittedly limited exposure to Qi Cong, it looks an awful lot like slow-motion kata to me - with any kime removed.

#416543 - 03/04/09 09:53 AM Re: Kata: Method of healing/post-recovery? [Re: Ironfoot]
underdog Offline

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1270
Loc: Mansfield, MA U.S.A.
I go to Modern Western Medical Doctors for medical care too and by profession, I am a Western trained nurse. Correcting "imbalances" is different. There is a fuzzy area where people look for treatments for chronic difficulties with TCM and some folks are complete believers in TCM but the debate is lame and doesn't belong here. I suggest letting it rest that beliefs run the whole range.

However, speaking to those inclined to use qigong as part of their personal wellness/or contemplative activities, my belief is that kata are also helpful.

For those who find this foolish, please feel free to ignore this thread. No need to argue. To each his own.
The older I get, the better I was!

#416544 - 03/04/09 12:27 PM Re: Kata: Method of healing/post-recovery? [Re: underdog]
Ames Offline

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Interesting topic, and something I've thought about often. Although I've never really studied Karate, I have seen numerous videos and read several articles on the similarity between certain kata movements and qigong. This is also the same in various Kung Fu styles, most notably White Crane. Seeing as how some Karate styles (like Goju) are said to descend from some form of White Crane, I think it makes sense that there are qigong aspects to Karate as well. Something as basic to Karate as horse stance, is a very powerful qigong movement, used for building body connection.

I do think that these movements were inserted to heal the body from imbalances and injuries that might occur during fighting or sparring. However, it should be noted that to practice the kata as a healing movement, one would have to be taught the basics of intention and leading qi, at least as far as I am concerned.

I also beleive that these movements are there to build a 'soft body' and to strengthen/build what are sometimes called 'internal connection.'

Other arts also have qigong movements 'hidden' within the technique. Many Aikido techniques, for example, are qigong movements. I'll never forget my astonishment when a Chinese qigong teacher had us perform a solo Tenchi Nage (Heaven and Earth Throw). I asked him if this came from Aikido, and he laughed and said he had only heard of Aikido, never seen it.

The main thing here, from my experiance, is to find a teacher who understands this level of the kata/technique, and is willing to teach it. If not, studying qigong from an outside source might be an option, so that you can bring that knowledge into your practice.

"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."

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