Kata Critique

Discussion in 'Karate' started by PhotonGuy, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. _Simon_

    _Simon_ 2nd Black Belt

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    Yeah for sure, it definitely does take into account technique, power, and how you actually 'apply' it in the form (as though you were actually using it). That's what I think differs it from just a dance, the judges do look to see that you semi-understand the movements in how you physically perform and apply it, rather than just going through the motions. They try their best to see the martial application part of it and that you are showing the interpretation through the movement, but hard when done solo obviously hehe.

    And I guess you could only really judge the in depth understanding aspect if you were actually applying it to someone else in a comp hey!

    Ohhhh my goodness Tez3... it's horrendous sometimes... the coaches can get quite bad, but the parents.....! :eek:
     
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  2. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    Spouting bluster and nonsense doesn't translate into a worthwhile point, nor does it counter anything I've said.

    I have belittled something you enjoy so you want to lash out to protect it and your hurt feelings, I get it. Trouble is I'm a little too old to care (and I'm really not that old).

    You don't have to agree with me, but if you want to discuss my ideas, throwing your toys out of your pram isn't a good way to do it.
     
  3. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    I think it's sad that you are so easily offended.

    My opinion was neither damming nor narrow. Nor did I present it as the only way. Just my opinion.

    There is a purpose to forms, it is not mystical. Can you do other stuff with them, yes. In this case I find the activity to be detrimental to the art as I see it as a form of disinformation.



    I don't understand how this relates to my views?



    I don't get your point here either.

    Kata have set performance criteria, a "right" way. I said that having one "right" way, the thing you judge the performance against in a single style competition, is limiting to the students because you can learn a lot from varying your performance to learn other ways techniques connect together.



    And I greatly improved my flexibility with help from a dancer. I don't get the relevance of your statement to mine?

    My point is that ma is not dance and judging it as if it were creates misunderstanding about forms.



    The point is arts that are respected ways of fighting don't waste time trying to look pretty during training drills, nor do they compound this waste of time by trying to win prizes in looking pretty doing trainibg drills, which is what kata comp is.

    None of that has anything to do with people who train in a fighting art devoting significant amounts of time to making a central training exercise look pretty rather than relating that exercise to combat.

    It seems that you have misunderstood much of my position.
     
  4. ShotoNoob

    ShotoNoob Master Black Belt

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    By this response, you have validated your own opinion, to yourself.
     
  5. ShotoNoob

    ShotoNoob Master Black Belt

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    What's good mean?
    I would assume her form is technically correct, the techniques were the correct ones. Her reaction to the judging didn't indicate otherwise, or did it?

    And how, specifically, should this additional power be expressed? Why do you say, a little?

    I'm not sure power, or strength in motion? is the proper guidance.
     
  6. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    No, I haven’t.
     
  7. ShotoNoob

    ShotoNoob Master Black Belt

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    Touche for rhetoric. BTW I concur with of the training purpose of kata substance in your posts.

    On the level of resolving the OP's issue, however, you've merely reinforced your own argument, your own position, your own self image by stating someone's judgment isn't an absolute. Then taking an absolute position on that places yourself above them in competence.... Judgment is always subject. We see the consensus on that issue here.

    An opinion sir, is all any of us have. Or should I say Sr. Grandmaster?
     
  8. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    He's only Sr. Grandmaster of post-jitsu and forum-fu...
     
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  9. ShotoNoob

    ShotoNoob Master Black Belt

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    Well, to be absolute, the risk of that, we all are. Typing stuff in. BTW, It's my opinion that this is one of the better discussions I've seen about kata, both on the competition venue, and as Crane Flyer proposes, for training.

    For the serious students of the martial arts, it's doesn't hurt to investigate a forum which collects a myriad & cross section of practitioners.
     
  10. ShotoNoob

    ShotoNoob Master Black Belt

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    I'm still digesting Renee Martin's performance. As an individual, I find her very impressive, how she carries herself. A benefit of kata / karate training in general? 22 years. 3rd degree Black-belt. Travels' to Okinawa to compete. Amongst those masters. Impressive.

    I'm not really acquainted with her style, I understand it to be Okinawan. Generally, I don't care for Okinawan karate styles. That's a personal preference founded on my own study of a Japanese related style.

    As a general rule, I feel that the Okinawan styles are more advanced hence more difficult to train. In viewing her kata performance, credit where credit it due on that score.
     
  11. dvcochran

    dvcochran 2nd Black Belt

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    I am offended when someone of limited understanding dogs on something I am passionate about. Your idea that competitions are some powder puff league is just stupid. Clearly we misunderstand each other so I am going to make it easy and say I disagree with everything you said. It is non-productive to try and have a debate. Oh yea, you really need to work on your sentence structure.
     
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  12. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    One who has a history of training in a certain method will have an opinion on that method that is worth something, the value increasing or decreasing depending on the duration/depth of that training.

    One who does not have such history is still welcome to an opinion, but that opinion is not worth much.

    I have no training in the Japanese or Okinawan systems, so while I may have an opinion based on my own training, that opinion is not worth much in the context of what matters in the Japanese and Okinawan methods.

    One who has trained in the Japanese or Okinawan methods but not any of the Chinese methods (which can vary tremendously) is likewise welcome to hold an opinion, which will not be worth much.

    That is all I am saying.

    I’m not really sure now, what you are saying.
     
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  13. ShotoNoob

    ShotoNoob Master Black Belt

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    Personally, I'm not an advocate of tournament competition in general. Kata even more so. Agree a lot with Flying Crane.

    I feel though, we have to put our personal agenda's aside and recognize that formal competition is beneficial, potentially beneficial for practitioners, the organizations, and the art. And you've captured that in your posts.

    Through in for instructors also. The whole concept of pressure testing should be mentioned.
     
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  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran 2nd Black Belt

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    When you can offer something of substance instead of coughing up ignorant opinions about something you clearly know little about I will listen. Clearly you don't care but you should. Have no clue what a pram is and now I am certain I couldn't care less about your ideas. <0value
     
  15. dvcochran

    dvcochran 2nd Black Belt

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    For what it is worth, I hold the opinion that competition, at least quality training for and quality tournaments, are an excellent form of learning many facets of the Martial Arts, forms included.
     
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  16. ShotoNoob

    ShotoNoob Master Black Belt

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    Thanks for getting back. To quote you on absolute. One who has a history of training in a certain method is only assured of being exposed to that method & hence it's workings. More time spent in training may or may not be productively done... depending on the competency of that training. Depth of training, I would applaud as a proper qualifier.

    I didn't want to go through you whole statement. Your emphasis & belief that kata is a training tool is precisely how the Okinawan's used it until was it Shotokan practice brought into the spotlight the kumite competition. I'm feel you are benefiting those who study with you... to the extent of your postings on this topic.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018 at 5:49 PM
  17. ShotoNoob

    ShotoNoob Master Black Belt

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    While the traditional martial arts styles have differences, they all have a commonality underlying their efficacy. That's my understanding.

    Based on that admitted generalization, the judgment I have about Renee's karate is that the basic form is pretty good, well done. The rendition & physical movement of the techniques. Her movement and stance transition are sound. Her concentration & control are good.

    In the power or strength department, I believe there are two conceptual considerations which are critical. One, she is female and therefore has the physique of the sex. Two, TMU, the karate and generic character of karate exhibited in that form is advanced karate. Which brings up anther debate about what advanced karate is.

    I see a lot of crane style technique. Crane karate is advanced in that it's power does not rely on that direct, heavy muscular strength apparent across so much of Japanese karate.

    That's why I say undertaking Okinawan karate is for the very ambitious.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018 at 5:48 PM
  18. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    If we're talking absolutes, then really we're all not...

    You're only a Master Black Belt, and I outrank you with being a Senior Master :p
     
  19. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I do have a fair bit of experience with forms/kata competition, for what it’s worth. I realize other people will have different experiences, or different perceptions of those experiences, or may compete in tournaments that are run differently than those I competed in. So while I feel my opinion has worth in this case, it is not absolute.

    When I was a teenage kenpo student in the mid 1980s I competed in two open tournaments with competitors from many systems, as a colored belt. I believe I placed third in both tournaments. We were the only kenpo school in the area, so my judges were from Tae Kwon do and karate backgrounds, as that was prevalent at that time, in that area. I don’t know what they thought of my forms, I never got a critique. However, my kenpo teacher also competed in my second tournament. In the middle of his form he had a brain-fart and flubbed the form. He managed to recover fairly well and completed the form. Afterward, he spoke with one of the judges who told him that he (the judge) liked the form and would have given the win to my teacher, except that when he saw my teacher roll his eyes he figured my teacher made a mistake in the form so he graded lower. That shows you how little the judges knew about the forms from our system.

    Later, in the early 2000s as a Kung fu student I competed in a number of Chinese style tournaments, open to practitioners of all Chinese systems. Competition was segregated Traditional from Modern Wushu, and further deliberations for age, gender, level of experience, Northern or southern or internal style, sometimes animal style and “other” as a catch-all, long weapon, short weapon, double weapon, flexible weapon...there may have been others.

    There were so many specialty divisions, sometimes there were vast parts of the tournament with no competitors.

    At any rate, I was never terribly interested but my Sifu was one of the major promoters of one of the big tournaments so I competed to support him, often competing in several divisions at each tournament, always in the Traditional categories. I do not believe I ever competed without scoring a medal. Mostly gold, a few silver, and an occasional bronze. My groups often had a dozen or so competitors. I was also Grand Champion of my age group twice, which meant that I competed in a particular group of categories and scored the highest average.

    To their credit, the tournaments always managed to get a solid lineup of judges, people who were well established and well respected Sifu in the Chinese martial arts community in the San Francisco area. So these were knowledgeable folks, although nobody can be knowledgeable about everything.

    Over the years I scored maybe three dozen or more medals. I even went to China once to compete, and made fifth place out of 19 with my broadsword, which earned me a silver medal based on some bizarre algorithm. I would joke that I will make myself a shirt of maille by sewing my medals into the lining of my jacket.

    Those medals sit in a box in my garage and never see the light of day, unless I happen to be cleaning out the garage and I uncover them. They sit there with my nunchaku and throwing stars and other fairly useless stuff that I ought to just get rid of.

    Anyways, that is my history and that is what I base my opinion on. I am not a fan of kata competition. I feel it turns kata into performance art, which it was never meant to be. In my first two tournaments as a kenpo kid, we added extra kicks to make it more appealing to the Tae Kwon do judges. It is that desire to make the form more “performance worthy” that I feel lead to the development of XMA which is a martial-inspired performance art and I feel should be viewed as something different and not actually a martial art.

    Anyway, that is where my experience is from and that is what I base my opinion on, for what it’s worth.
     
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  20. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    I don't remember calling kata competition a powder puff league, whatever that is.

    If debate is pointless it's only because you don't seem to know how.

    You've claimed I don't understand kata competition but most of your refutation of my criticisms completely misses the point.
    Must be my poor sentence structure :rolleyes:.

    If there is something I'm not getting about kata as performance rather than kata as training, I'm happy to learn it. So far though all you have are attacks.
     

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