Paul,

Kata is one of those things, that despite what folks say, there is a subjective element to it. I will preface this and say first and foremost that I am not a kata guy. That said, however, I have tried to look at kata from as disinterested a position as I can and have asked others to show me bunkai through relevant kata. This again begs the question of practicing the bunkai, and not the kata, since application will be dependent on utility in a wide variety of situations and not in a static teaching vehicle.

The problem may be that I have not seen the "correct" kata or that I think that there are other training paradigms that are more efficient in relaying self-defense ideas than kata. Kata seems overly formalized and does not allow the expectation of change where other training methods do.

In this regard, I am not against kata, and for some this may prove to be a valuable training guide. However, I think it is in the efficiency of what is taught and relayed, not in rigid "same" practices that technique is secured. A punch is a punch is a punch, however you only know it works when you practice it against someone. So time in kata, in my opinion, would be better spent with punching drills and then light-to-heavier sparring to secure those techniques in a not-static environment.

This is one of those things on which we will have to agree to disagree.

-B