Create Your Own Kata

Discussion in 'Karate' started by DaveB, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    Kungfu Wang thinks we should make our own forms by cross training in various arts and blending them together. He suggests doing this would be better than studying kata that already exist.

    Is he right? What are the pro's and con's of this idea?
     
  2. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    Is that not what Bruce Lee did in a roundabout way?
     
  3. Jacky Zuki

    Jacky Zuki Yellow Belt

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    I disagree with the "copy machine" idea, certainly for Karate kata anyway. Karate kata are a sequence of specific known moves and known principles applied in a sequence. So a front punch can be repeated a million times by a million students without degrading in any way because the principles behind the punch are passed on to ensure that each copy can be corrected each time. There may be deeper understandings of some of the moves such as blocks that may or may not signify throws, locks or strikes, but the general understanding of the kata remains.

    Having said that I think that the kata we have are adequate to describe the style and encompass the fighting techniques. Making up different combinations is entirely different to creating kata. The purpose of kata was to pass down the techniques (hence why I argued that kata were the tradition in another thread) in a neat package for teaching. As far as I can see they were never intended to be used wholesale as fighting methods but like a buffet to be picked over, selections rearranged to suit circumstance and taste. To use the three Ks, we break our kata into individual kihon and rearrange them as dictated by kumite. This is where we get inventive and start putting things together into an individual style, making up new kata is just rearranging the old ones - why bother?
     
  4. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    Wang's second post denotes a bit of a misunderstanding of kata, at least to my understanding.

    He suggests that the effectiveness of the invented combination of the fighter in the video demonstrates the improved potential one has by not limiting oneself to classic forms.

    I don't believe people are supposed to use the set piece sequences in kata for fighting. If you can it's great, but it's not really the point.

    The aim of kata sequences is IMO, to give examples of strategies and tactics that do work. The student is meant to understand why the sequences work. What combines with what, how to manage different styles of attack and defence how to use timing etc.

    When you understand the why, then you can create your own versions with different techniques that are adapted to the situation in front of you.

    For example the combination in the video can be reconstructed from principles found in the Shotokan kata Nijushiho (probably others too). Two different sequences in that kata applied together with substituted techniques and viola.

    So kata are for teaching the tactical knowledge required to do what you are suggesting. Not just showcasing set pieces that you try to copy in a fight.

    With this in mind, creating your own kata is doable, but it needs more than a few favourite combo's. It has to illustrate for the student the key strategies behind successful combat and unless it is a genuinely new set of ideas you have you are wasting time duplicating effort.
     
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  5. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Let me ask you guys this, since all Arts of the Martial Arts were originally started/designed by somebody, as was Kata, is there room in the martial world for that to continue as Kung Fu Wang suggested? Or should that door be closed?
     
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  6. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    Guess it depends on whether one is traditionalist or not.
     
  7. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it also depends on if you're doing it for your own amusement, or to teach techniques and principles.
    If the latter, then it depends on how complete your own understanding is.


    Sent from an old fashioned 300 baud acoustic modem by whistling into the handset. Not TapaTalk. Really.
     
  8. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    I know this is in the Japanese section but did not Ed Parker require students going for black belt to create their own form?
    I see nothing wrong with a student who has been studying for years to create their own form. It will show their interpretation of what they feel fighting is about. However if it is simply a form to win competitions ( a show form) then I am against it. This form should NOT be considered part of the required curriculum for the school or system but should strictly be a personal form.
     
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  9. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    If you know enough to do so, then by all means add a new martial art.

    I think more people want to do it than people who have the knowledge to.

    As I said in my post though, Wang is talking about stringing techniques together. If you understand fighting well enough to do that on your own fine, but that's not a kata. It may look like one, but unless it clearly conveys an underlying message it is lacking the depth that gives kata value.
     
  10. Oldbear343

    Oldbear343 Orange Belt

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    My own take is if you want to do it, then why not?

    I love traditional kata/patterns/forms from across the board, and for me they represent a chance to train mindfully and always gain fresh insight through the old.

    My own interest is in combining elements traditionally regarded as mutually exclusive or incompatible. But not in isolation - the kata content and progression would be linked to the progressive structure of a complete syllabus. I think there is scope to simplify kata for early stages (hence my love of Chon Ji}, and build the compilexity and range of techniques progressively, if you are building a new and structured syllabus....
     
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  11. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    I agree with all said in the above posts. Especially "more people want to do it than people who have the knowledge to."

    But to look at it another way, concerning a pattern of moverment such as a Kata - if an experienced Martial Artist put together a series of movements for his own training, tailored made for how he moves, might that be benificial to him?
     
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  12. ks - learning to fly

    ks - learning to fly Senior Master

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    At our dojang - for a Dan grading - one of our demo options is creating a form
    I created this form for my demo when I tested for 2nd Degree Black Belt in April - the name of the form is 'Dream Authentic'

     
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  13. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    I also agree that a miniscule number of people would have the knowledge to create a viable kata suitable for use in a fight and I, most certainly, wouldn't be one of those people. Someone like Masaji Taira who has spent a lifetime studying kata may be able to, but why? If you've spent that much time studying kata why would you not use what you already have?

    When I drive my car I don't consider I need to build one of my own. If I want a car that is more suited to my needs I'll look for one that has been produced by guys with more knowledge than I would ever have. Kata is no different.
     
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  14. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    You may want to create your own form/Kata for the following reasons:

    1. You have many lose independent information that you want to remember and train. For example, there are 13 standing postures in the Shuai Chiao system that can help to develop

    - balance,
    - flexibility,
    - endurance,
    - ...

    Those 13 standing postures has no relationship to each other. You can train it in any order that you may prefer. But if you can link it into a sequence, that can help you (and your students) to remember.

    [​IMG]

    I created the following form/Kata many years ago. The 1st part of it contain those 13 standing postures. You may want to link it in difference sequence. It doesn't matter as long as it can help you to remember and train.



    2. You may have some personal favor "combos" that you want to remember and train daily, instead of thinking about combo 1 (a, b), combo 2 (c, d, e), combo 3 (f, g), ..., you link it into a sequence. You can link as:

    - combo 1, combo 2, combo3 with a, b, c, d, e, f,g.
    - combo 2, combo 1, combo 3 with c, d, e, a, b, f, g.
    - ...

    It doesn't matter because the last move of the previous combo has no logical connection to the 1st move of the next combo.

    3. You may want to record the principles that you have in your MA system. Assume you have 20 principles that you want to remember and train.


    撕(Si) - Tearing
    崩(Beng) - Cracking
    捅(Tong) - Striking push
    褪(tun) - Hand pushing
    肘(Zhou) - Elbow pressing
    蓋(Gai) - Covering hands
    攞(Lou)- Pulling hands
    搖(Yao) - Body-shaking hands
    捯(Dao) - Reverse arm-holding
    抖(Dou) – Shaking
    分(Fen) - Separate hands
    掖(Ye) - Hand tucking
    引(Yin) - Arm guiding
    捧(Peng) - Arm raising
    架(Jia) - Elbow Locking
    圈(Quan) – Under hook
    抄(Chao) - Over hook
    抹(Mo) - Wiping
    偏(Pian) – Head circling
    夾(Jia) – Clamping head

    You can map each and every principle into a particular technique. This way you will not forget those principles if your MA system principles has a large number of principles such as 60, or 70.

    3. You can treat our created form/kata as a "survey paper". After you have read 200 research papers in a special field, you may want to write a general survey paper. This way, even others may not have the time to read all those 200 papers, they will be benefitted by your survey paper and save them a lot of reading time.

    4. To create a form/Kata that

    - the 1st move can be used to set up the 2nd move,
    - the 2nd move can be used to set up the 3rd move,
    - ...

    is a challenge task when the number of combo sequence reach to a high number such as 20. It challenges your understanding about MA in much deep level.

    5. ...
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
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  15. Oldbear343

    Oldbear343 Orange Belt

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    Of course, and it might in turn be beneficial for others. That is my understanding of how kata stands the test of time and becomes accepted as canonical....
     
  16. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    funny that this thread come up i am am working on a a few new forms myself.
    everyone has their opinions on what kata should be, what it does and how to use it. i would make the assumption that many times these opinions are wrong. not because they are bad opinions but rather because they are assumptions. i have a kata i created (or re-created) called San Jian. if you are not my student you really have no way of knowing the purpose or the depth and scope of this form. if i did not teach it to you then any thoughts you may have about it would be nothing but assumptions and speculations. with this in mind how can we put our assumptions on traditional kata? unless you were taught that kata by the creator or a authorized teacher of that style. i have argued before that kata does not need to have a bunkai (application), that some kata do not have bunkai. my new kata San Jian does not have bunkai. it was not designed for that purpose.
    why did i create it? i know or have been influenced by 2 okinawan sanchin kata and 4 chinese kata of the same name. since all 6 forms are so similar but with differences there is no practical way to teach 6 of the same kata. it makes more sense to combine them into one.
     
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  17. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    for the 2 people who have posted their own Kata thank you for both the video and for the explanation on why they where created
     
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  18. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    This is the only statement that I disagree with in your post. I can only disagree with it as far as the pre-existing kata of China and Okinawa and I can't offer any conclusive proof to support my view.

    I myself have a couple of made up forms that I practice for my own amusement and to preserve skills and knowledge from different sources. If I taught, I might have taught them to others too.

    So as I said, I'm not against the idea. I just think that kata in karate and Chinese arts generally hold a very central role. They contain the system and they are drilled constantly as exercises to shape the movements of the fighter. They are the source of what is correct in a martial art both technically and tactically. When we string a few combinations together with little or no thought to what's behind them: whether they follow a theme or not, whether they compliment each other or not, whether endless drilling of our new creation will add any benefit or usefully shape the student; when we do that are we really living up to the cultural heritage passed down to us in our martial arts?
     
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  19. Oldbear343

    Oldbear343 Orange Belt

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    I could not agree more ☺
     
  20. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    You jits guts should make up a Jiu-jitsu kata. I imagine it would look like a spider wrestling with itself. That would be so much fun to watch. :)123
     
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