Yes, this is true in most cases. However, my instructor takes the time to explain at least 3 to 4 scenarios in which to use each of the katas. I was afraid of doing Shaolin-Do because I had heard that most instructors just throw tons of katas at you and just want you to stand up and do belt tests. The first day I went to class they said, "We don't concentrate on belts. If you want to learn katas and do belt tests, great. If you don't, then we'll just teach you how to fight to protect yourself. If you want to do both, you'll be a great fighter." I chose the third option and I am very pleased with the outcome so far. My friend is taking it with me and he used to do Tae-Kwon-Do because he feared the whole "all kata, no practical use" statement as well. However, he seems to enjoy the class too.