I was wondering what those of you in TMA thought about power generation through kata.I know this probably sounds silly to some who spar all the time, but I believe that by concentrating on technique and eliminating slop one can increase power remarkably. I say this because my club has very few members and the size differances make sparring problematic at times.This isn't to say that we toughen up doing kata only. We hit and kick bags and hand targets. I just would like to know if there is anybody out there who's experienced power gains that are attributed to their kata practice.
It should have a synergistic relationship with everything else you are doing, but yeah.
I think though it's good to practice kata with an eye towards proper body mechanics, which paradoxically often means going slower, with less overt power behind your techniques. Focus on moving as a unit, instead of moving body first, hands second etc.Try to do it so you are feeling the correct power chain for the techniques, then go work them on a target.
I haven't really done much Karate training, though I'm very interested in Karate.
I came across Peter Consterdine, who is an expert in close quarters protection with many years working as a doorman. He is a long time Karate practioner (though as he states in the interview, he has studied other MA as well) and seems to have some interesting ideas about power generation:
Loc: Burbank, California
I think the reason some portions of kata is performed slowly is for aesthetic purposes and to define sections of the kata. There are also movements that needs emphasizing and by executing the kata slowly you allow yourself to consciously feel your muscles/ body mechanics. Thus you are able to practice with precision in posture and motion. It is also slow to avoid injury to one’s partner.
But, whatever the reason, in application it should be done quickly.
Since kata has it's foundation in kihons(basics), doing kata should have the same effect as drilling your punches.
i.e. You develop muscle memory doing the kata over and over again.
With muscle memory you get faster, and your strikes get stronger as well. You can consider sparring, striking the makiwara, bag work, etc. as supplementary training but I believe everything can be derived from kata, especially generation of power.
Power is about timing, range, speed, footwork, and technique and all of those aspects are ingrained in kata. Kata has helped me develop power. Mostly from forcing me to slow down to get all aspects of it correct.
I agree on the range and timing. I'm not sure about the power. Certainly, if only done all by it self kata will only take you so far. We got to hit things. That's not to say that there isn't some gains to be made by cleaning up sloppy technique while doing kata. As far as range and timing....they are with an imaginary opponent so they really aren't gonna help you. It's just a prearranged set of moves.
Kata is synergistic with everything else, by itself it can't do anything.
However, when it combines with all the other stuff you see benefit. The only 'power' training from solo kata is fine-tuning of certain body mechanics, it can definitely effect that, but it will not unless you 1) already have someone teaching you the correct body mechanics and 2) actually know how to use the variations in the kata against someone trying to hit you.
If you have that stuff, then solo practice works as an complimentary practive to the above things, and can give some definite improvement.
Of course only going through the motions does nothing for power generation, but with a good teacher and an eye for detail, kata can be paramount for generating power. Good body mechanics are super important. Also all kata contain sink-rise/spit-swallow concepts that can really give a smart fighter the edge of bigger stronger fighters.