Originally Posted By: aplant
Although it may be worth asking if anyone here practices kata for the sake of practicing kata alone. And why? I actually think that there are good reasons to practice kata without application.

Given a choice, I would prefer to learn the basic moves first and then learn to vary them according to use. But that's just me.

I’m not quite sure I understand:
Do you mean you want to learn to perform a kata very well before learning function?
Or, do you mean you like to know the ‘textbook’ function of the movements before learning variants?
Or do you mean something else? :-)
Do you think you could expand on this; perhaps with an example?

When I practice iaido it is always with kata. Every kata I practice has a specific bunkai. This is a convenient way for me to remember dozens of sequences. I lack a sparring partner to do kumitachi. Besides, metal blades can be dangerous and have a way of breaking at the most inappropriate moment.

As for aikido, I have spent the last twelve years with a very highly recommended sensei. This gentleman believes firmly in teaching techniques by demonstrating variations of any specific technique. There was never an explanation nor any reference to which variations were related to each other. It was up to the student to discover what the basic technique was. Keep in mind that these variations and their relatives were scattered over months. Because I could not remember a brand new variation out the door, I learned very little.
Basically that is why I cannot give you any examples.