Most important Kata

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Andrew Green, May 24, 2006.

  1. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    Style you do and what YOU consider the most important kata, If there is one that seems to generally be considered the most important give that too :)

    Seisan? Sanchin? Naihanchi? Pinan Series? What's the one you'd keep if you could only keep one?
     
  2. Grenadier

    Grenadier Administrator Staff Member

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    I really couldn't put a "most important kata" classification on any of them, since each one has something to offer.

    Just as a few examples (can't list every lesson, else I'd probably violate a max charater limit), I'd use these points when teaching Shotokan Karate:

    At the beginner level, there's the Taikyoku series: Have to start somewhere, and to get good stances, fundamentals, and timings, is critical to someone's development. Since all the stances are zen kutsu dachi, and the same hand / same foot rule applies, it's easy to learn, and that students can soon learn how to refine their performance, once the sequences become second nature. This is where they first "get it," for the lack of a better term.


    At the intermediate level, there's Heian Shodan (sometimes swapped with Heian / Pinan Nidan in other systems, since it is a bit more difficult to learn): Their first complex kata. This kata makes them aware that they are going to showing a lot of aspects, such as blocking, punching, open hand techniques, kicking, koshino-kaiten, and also because they are no longer strictly adhering to the classical "H" of the Taikyoku series. Also, one's stances are really highlighted by this form, since they are going to have to make sure that their zen kutsu dachi, kiba dachi, and ko-neko dachi are all in order.

    It's really a lot for a newly minted intermediate student to digest, and although the other Heian kata teach equally important techniques and lessons, their first Pinan is going to be a good sized leap, but invariably, they're going do do just fine.


    At the advanced level, there's Kanku Dai: A culmination of everything they've learned, plus a bit more. This is where they learn whether or not their endurance is sufficient to go through the whole kata with full intensity, while not fading away. It is, after all, a rather long form. At the same time, though, learning it really isn't that difficult at this stage, since the students can now see (or had better be able to see) that the first half is almost like piecing parts of Heian Shodan and Heian Yondan together, so the familiarity of the techniques is already present.

    As a result, they'd better darn well see that the more basic items they learned are going to be with them for the rest of their times as martial artists!
     
  3. Explorer

    Explorer Blue Belt

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    Tough question ... I currently practice about 13 open hand and 6 weapons kata ... they're all interesting, fun and instructive.

    IF I had to choose .... naihanchi 1 or 2 ... maybe pinan 1

    If I practice all my kata as one long kata ... can I count that as one?

    It might be easier to list the kata I would leave behind .... hmmm ... nope, that's not so easy either.
     
  4. Explorer

    Explorer Blue Belt

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    Since Naihanchi Shodan is so often the first kata a student learns it would be natural to consider it the most necessary ...
     
  5. Grenadier

    Grenadier Administrator Staff Member

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    Just out of curiousity, which system teaches the Naihanchi / Tekki series as the first one? It's a bit more of a complex kata than the others, and I wonder how they manage to get people started with it?

    Every Karate system I've seen generally doesn't teach it until after the student has several other kata under the belt (no pun intended).
     
  6. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    Prior to Ituso creating the Pinan series for teaching in schools, and prior to the Fukyugata being created most Shuri based styles used Naihanchi as the first kata. Choki Motobu was said to keep his students on it for years, so much so that some questioned if he knew any others.
     
  7. Grenadier

    Grenadier Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks, Andrew.

    Shame on me for not knowing this, especially since I did spend a good number of years with a Shuri system!
     
  8. ppko

    ppko Master Black Belt

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    I will have to agree with explorer on this Nai Hanchi Shodan has so many levels of breakdowns that it is deffinately my most important kata
     
  9. Henderson

    Henderson Master Black Belt

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    From a Goju Ryu standpoint I would have to say Geki Sai Ich because it encompasses so many of the aspects of Goju as a whole, and presents a new student with many glimpes of what is in store further into the training.
     
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Master Black Belt

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    Washin Ryu karate... probably Ten No Kata since so few schools have kept this terrific kata going.

    Heian/Pinan katas are also very very important, and we always go back to these throughout our training.
     
  11. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    Difficult question for all are important.
    The first one you learn may be the most important because if you don't learn it you don't larn the rest.
    I consider Sanchin to be one of the most important but there are others within my system that I put at the same level
     
  12. Explorer

    Explorer Blue Belt

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    PPKO -

    Looks like we run in some of the same circles ... have you ever attended one of the DKI seminars in Channahon IL with Dusty Seale OR attended the Kyusho Jitsu Kenkukai in Madison WI with Chris Thomas?
     
  13. ppko

    ppko Master Black Belt

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    No I have not been to Channahon but Dusty was my first DKI instructor, and he is one hell of a guy, I have not met Chris Thomas yet niether, I go to the camps every year, and make as many seminars as my wife will allow, ut he has not been to any yet that I have been too
     
  14. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    Would anyone consider Bassai Dai? This kata takes years and years of study. There are so many moves, so many applications, and so many layers. It's got effective blocking, striking, locking and throwing. Many people describe Bassai Dai as its own martial art.
     
  15. Explorer

    Explorer Blue Belt

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    I once read a book ... can't remember the name or the author... it was a Japanese sensei ... I'll try to find it. He said something I'll never forget (besides his name or the title of his book) ... anyway, his opinion is that every kata is a master's kata. If you have the tools to comprehensively interpret kata then every kata is capable of offering great self defense techniques. Also, Master Thomas' opinion is you only need one kata really ... if you know how to break it down ... one is more than enough.

    That being said, Chris practices 20 or 25 open hand kata! :) He just like's 'em.
     
  16. BlackCatBonz

    BlackCatBonz Master Black Belt

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    I would have to say Tensho or Naihanchi........it's too hard to pick between those 2.
     
  17. Brandon Fisher

    Brandon Fisher Master Black Belt

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    Naihanchi / Tekki Series and Kusanku Dai or Kanku Dai. Kusnaku pretty much has everything at least close to it but when you look at Pinan / Heian series there are a few other waza thats not in Kusanku or Kanku Dai. I chose these kata for my styles ciriculum:
    Kihon Kata (first one is indentical to Taikiyoku Shodan)
    Pinan 1-5 some of my students have learned the Heian Series
    Naihanchi 1-3
    Passai Sho or Bassai Dai
    Bassai Sho
    Kusanku Dai or Kanku Dai
    Hangetsu
    Empi
    Jion

    Once I finish learning Gojushiho and practice it for a couple years I will probably add it to the list also.
     
  18. jujutsu_indonesia

    jujutsu_indonesia Black Belt

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    my personal most important solo kata list

    from goju: gekisai, sanchin, tensho

    from wado: naihanchi, seishan, niseishi

    those kata fits my personal outlook of health and self-defense. sanchin, tensho, seishan and naihanchi are good for health. gekisai and niseishi contains great self-defense techniques, and are good to train basic techniques too.
     
  19. Wes Tasker

    Wes Tasker Orange Belt

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    Just my humble opinion-

    Goju - Seiunchin: a great embodiment of hard and soft

    Uechi - Seisan: a great snapshot of the Chinese influences that includes aspects of both Sanchin and Sanseiru

    Shito - any of the Gokenki taught White Crane kata: because the are so rare

    Shorin - Kusanku: it always seemed to embody all the mechanics and major strategies of the system to me, at least Matsubayashi

    Wado - any of the Jujutsu kata that are hopefully being preserved somewhere and not just the Shotokan Kata that Otsuka Sensei taught. I think the Jujutsu is the key to the bunkai and oyo of the kata as Otsuka Sensei taught them.

    -wes tasker
     
  20. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    Now here's another question, do you think you can learn something about a person's understanding of their system based on what they answer?123
     

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