Now you have provided me some information I can work with. Thanks. It will take time to create the reply.

I have not yet decided on the full list of 40 and will probably not do so for a couple of years. But it is doubtful that I will do fewer than 38 of the following 40 kata. If I so chose, I have some other good candidates.

  • 26 kata practiced by Shotokan(I don't include Taikyoku)
  • 7 Kyan kata
  • 5 Goju kata not brought back from China
  • Matsumura Rohai, Matsumura Passai

To date I have shown the movements of 20 of these kata.

You were eager to discuss dependent and independent variables.

The dependent variables are the specific movements in the 40 kata that I have chosen to demonstrate with a spear. These movements are individual movements, as well as short and long sequences. Kata is designed to fight multiple attackers, so groupings of movements that provide this function are each a dependent variable, as are the individual directional sequences. Kata movements are constant, they do not change. They are by definition the dependent variables.

The independent variables are the applications, spear and empty hand. Each individual reviewer will consider two aspects of each comparison. The reviewer of the evidence (individual martial artists) shall typicall determine, in their own minds whether:

1. the spear applications or the empty hand applications appear to be more effective for their respective combat environments.

2. the spear applications or the empty hand applications map closely to what is found in the kata. (Fidelity to the kata movements). This is a critically important factor. Many schools use applications that bear little resemblence to the kata movements. For example, often all kinds of non-kata movements are included.

The evidence is to be judged by those that train in arts. Each will make an individual judgment on each set of movements they review. The 40 kata contain literally hundreds of dependent variables. It will take years to amass the evidence. In most cases, the independent variable of empty hand applications will be those movements taught in the specific school of the viewer. The question will be simply: do the movements I show, compare favorably with what is taught. In each reviewers mind, my concepts will either compare more favorably with the applications they are familiar with, or they won't.

For those doing the evaluation, they can consider reviewing the movements of kata they practice, or they can look at a larger body of evidence. Over the years, I anticipate some will find the evidence I present compelling. Others will not.

Where there are applications in video available on youtube, I will reference that material for comparison. There is a growing body available and in 5-10 years there likely will be substantial content. In some cases, I may be able to persuade some martial artists to share previously non-public fighting concepts on the web for comparison. I am especially eager to engage those who are enthusiastic supporters of kata as the source of great fighting combinations.

So in order to conduct the statistical analysis you have argued is so important, I ask your participation. You have the opportunity to demonstrate the compelling evidence of empty hand kata. The evidence you believe is proof that empty hand kata were designed for empty hand fighting.

And I have the opportunity to demonstrate the evidence of the utility of empty hand kata in propelling a spear in useful fighting combinations.

I only ask that you demonstrate the movements of just one kata. I have 39 more to go after this. So how about it. In the 19th century, Naihanchi was widely taught to beginners. Would you be willing to share at least some of your movements from Naihanchi (any of the 3) to compare with spear applications?

-Mike Eschenbrenner
cayuga Karate
Ithaca, New York - USA