Unlike alot of schools, my school teach Naihanchi Shodan first. Alot of people can find it impractical and I could see why. I also saw why people would learn Naihanchi first. In my original training I learned Naihanchi Shodan after I got my Shodan. I didn't think much of Kata. I thought it was a nice a little thing to perform and show my physical strength, speed, and loud voice in a Kiai. Then I started working with my current group and realized that there is more to Kata then meets the eye.
Its not a mystical, magical thing. All it is is merely continous practise. Everyone tends to think that Karate is this hard, strength thing. There is alot of Punch/Block/Kick Bunkia and very ABC bunkia out there that people are putting out on tapes. There is a very soft part of karate (like the soft arts of Aiki or Jujutsu) but its been lost in favor of the strong, powered kicks and punches.
One thing alot of people (including myself) need to remember is that we are the students of Kata. We need to study the Kata not as a dead piece of history nor should we polish it and put it on display to look pretty.
If you want to look good, comb your hair, dress up nice, take a shower
Kata are meant to be alive! Especially when studing them. Not to vary your kata or change them to 'make more sense"
There needs to be the indepth study of the Bunkia and of the hand/body positioning to see if somethings a strike or block or a grab or a grappling technique or a vital point technique.
From what I have learned its not about what Kata you perform,but what you learn from that Kata. Thats why the old masters practised that Kata for so long, to understand the lessons from them. It took a life time for the Katas to be constructed and composed to teach the most important steps the old master thought were nessisary to pass down. It will take a life time to break down just one kata.
.....yeah I just realized I kinda just went off there. I am still struggling to realize this stuff....just ideas I have learned through my study.....think about them....
"Keep the fight" Amor Kaicho
"we are all karateka" Taika Oyata