So it being a leisurely day and the smoke is clearing out, I decided to read Toyama's (a student of Itosu) book on the deck, and enjoy the sunshine. I thought I would share here in the Karate forum, but all are welcome to comment. In chapter 3 he speaks of Kata and what it means to him. I thought that a few Karateka who enjoy doing Kata, would like to hear his perspective on the subject of Kata practice. 'The Kata of Karate are consecutive sequences of offensive and defensive martial techniques. Kata are the ideal techniques that were worked out and appropriately adapted to fit each situation[change according to the circumstances]through an infinite variety of changes by systematically consolidating and combining the exquisite skills that had become the basics from both sides of principle logic and physical technique by the Fist Saints and masters of the past, through superhuman hardships spanning many months and years.' I thought this was an interesting discription of Kata, although on the mystical poetic side, I do agree with the footnote, change according to circumstance. Also, the statement of 'the basics from both sides of principle logic and physical technique' I found this to be true when doing Kata. 'The Kata of Karate are the life of Karate.. Kata is the only supreme way to investigate thoroughly its quintessential and ultimate meanings. Training with a partner is something that anyone can do, however, the thorough investigation into the ultimate meanings of Karate, through training by one's self, without a partner, is an extremely difficult thing and is not possible for the average person.' I think to understand Kata, you need to explore it. I wonder if different people, doing the same Kata in this manner, will have similar results. I would say that this part 'without a partner, is an extremely difficult thing and is not possible for the average person.' rings true with most methods. Then it continues: 'Entering the mountains secretly in the dead of night, ascetically training by oneself with a standing tree as an opponent and thoroughly investigating the inner techniques according to Kata in a complete trance like mental state, with all seriousness, filled with energy, one breath in one breath out, one hand technique, one foot technique, a single strike, a single kick...yes this is truly a difficult thing' I think this is stressing the importance of intention, during your workout. 'The reason that many people who do karate desire to aesthetically and ferociously train according to kata are based on these true princples. 1) Without kata, Karate wouldn't exist 2) Without the essential inner techniques, karate would merely be physical excercises One I agree with, two do more Kata? 'The kata of karate are a form of of systematically performing the basic techniques of offense and defense above a standardized performance line while imagining opponents to the front, rear, left, right, and all directions. This the line where one performs the basic martial techniques of breathing, turning the body, and movements of offense and defense while imaging opponents the front, rear, left, and right' The point that I noticed the most, is the reference, to 'basic martial techniques' this would suggest that no matter how advanced the kata is, it is just the basics of more advanced ways in doing the technique. And, would suggest diving into a further examination of the kata and its movement as well.