Bad mouthing Kata, and other martial arts training methods

DeLamar.J

3rd Black Belt
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
Messages
910
Reaction score
22
Location
Barberton, Ohio, USA
I posted this reply in another thread, and I decided to make it its own thread. Mainly for people who always come in here bad mouthing kata, one steps, and most of karates training methods. This way they can jump right on a thread that explains it in detail why we do these things, instead of creating thread after thread. The title of this thread will catch there eye before they start to post a seperate one. If I left anything out feel free to add to it. It is very apparent there are alot of talented martial artists on this forum who can explain things in a way everyone can understand if I have not. This should lead to some interesting conversation. If you disagree with my post, please tell me why! The best way to understand is to question until you do understand. If I cant convince you otherwise then you are allowed to have your opinion, just put it out there so it can be discussed.


You have to learn to walk before you crawl! People like you talk down on pre arranged movements am I right? you dont seem to care for kata, am I right? First you have to learn to block a punch that is pre arranged before you can block a random one, thats why in karate we do pre arranged attacks. With starting out slow and teaching a student to block one specific technique at a time, the student gets a better understanding on how exactly to block a technique,and when its the students turn to attack, they learn exactly how to throw a punch, in exactly the right spot. Then once you have a basic idea on how to block and throw all the basic kicks and punches you are taught how to link them together properly, thats called kata, grasshopper. Once you get the basic idea of how to perform a kata, then you learn to spar, were everything comes together, there are no pre arranged movements. This slow learning process teaches the student a better idea of the science of martial arts because they just didnt throw on some gloves and beat the crap out of each other. This method of teaching also makes it more comfortable for a student who is afraid of getting hurt, it eases them into the martial arts, builds there confidence in there abillity and technique, so they can apply it in sparring and full contact sparring when they get a little more up there in rank. I hope this gives you a better idea on why we do things the way we do in karate. There is a reason for the way we do things. You talk like you think thats the way karate people fight, the only time there are pre arranged movements or patters is when your learning how to do a new technique properly so you can apply it in a fight. Higher ranking students have already been through this long, hard and sometimes boring learning process, and reap the benifits of training properly, and being able to use these techniques in a real fight. I still practice kata regularly to keep my technique honed and ready because if you dont use it you loose it. People like you see us doing kata and one steps and laugh but you have no idea why we do it, you think that because they are pre arranged movements and attacks that the unpredictabillity of a real fight will cause our methods to fail, when these exercises are only there to hone a students technique and teach them good foot work, we dont fight full contact in pre arranged movements. Have I gotten through to you? Do you understand now?
 

Fightfan00

Orange Belt
Joined
Jul 23, 2003
Messages
87
Reaction score
2
Location
Connecticut
I've always understood the use of kata.Karate just like other arts have a predetermined way of doing things.But poeple just dont want to understand that the use of kata is only a stepping stone for puting it all together in a situation of self defense and making it work.People are just seeing what they want to see in other arts and if its flashy then they like it,if its not the talk bad about,its just the way it goes I guess.Which is not right.I like your post and think people should read it and get it threw there heads! Joe
 

Rick Wade

Master Black Belt
Joined
Dec 17, 2003
Messages
1,089
Reaction score
24
Location
Norfolk, va
I think this thread was aimed at my last post about Katas maybe I am wrong. Let me elaberate (so I cn get some more bad rep points). I have never disliked Katas as they were taught to me in American Kenpo. Then I moved and joined an Okinawan Kenpo School were they have (no Joke) 58 Katas to black belt and that isn't including the Kobudo Katas. Now I came from a defensive based system in which you got hit and hit someone elese every night you trained. In this system I haven't even worn a cup for over 4 months. That isn't a testiment as to how good I am that is a testiment as to how little self defense and sparring that they do. I say they do because I have recently quit going to the dojo (under good terms) and found an American Kenpo school here. Yes we do work on your sets and forms. I do love Katas, but in moderation. I really love to watch someone that is good in Katas and see how they move and such.

Further please don't take this thread as a harsh thread I believe Kata to be a very fundimental part of the martial arts just as important as a punch, block, self defense or even Kobudo. However, you need a balance.

Very Respectfully
Rick
 

Rick Wade

Master Black Belt
Joined
Dec 17, 2003
Messages
1,089
Reaction score
24
Location
Norfolk, va
DeLamar.J said:
crap, I just realized I put walk before crawl. lol :lol:

My wife acuses me of not knowing how to walk sometimes... Like when I stumble.


V/R
Rick
 

Bammx2

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Apr 11, 2004
Messages
786
Reaction score
18
Location
London England
ya know what I'm seeing here?

some people like kata's...some don't. thats it,end of story.
I have 30yrs in the arts with a strong background in shotokan and shorinryu.
I don't teach kata's.....why? because *I* don't want too.
Wether there is a valid point to them in other peoples eyes or not...I choose not too.
A gun is a better combat solution....but choose not to carry one.
I still believe in chivalry!
BUT....when I have a student who wants a more traditional approach,I have a list of people who I am more than willing to send them to so they can have a choice.
There is enough out there to make everyone happy...and it does not make anyone less of a person,no matter what direction they choose.
I just think people are a morons for doggin someone elses descision.
"you don't like it?! go do something else!"
 
OP
DeLamar.J

DeLamar.J

3rd Black Belt
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
Messages
910
Reaction score
22
Location
Barberton, Ohio, USA
Bammx2 said:
ya know what I'm seeing here?

some people like kata's...some don't. thats it,end of story.
I have 30yrs in the arts with a strong background in shotokan and shorinryu.
I don't teach kata's.....why? because *I* don't want too.
Wether there is a valid point to them in other peoples eyes or not...I choose not too.
A gun is a better combat solution....but choose not to carry one.
I still believe in chivalry!
BUT....when I have a student who wants a more traditional approach,I have a list of people who I am more than willing to send them to so they can have a choice.
There is enough out there to make everyone happy...and it does not make anyone less of a person,no matter what direction they choose.
I just think people are a morons for doggin someone elses descision.
"you don't like it?! go do something else!"
I get you completely. Thats exactly what I was wanting was an honest opinion. And I dont have much of an argument about what you do. I do have a question though. How do you teach the basic movements in combinations? I would assume you just put everyone in free fighting position and then call out the move your working on. And what about changing from stance to stance? But if you dont teach kata then I would think the only stance you would use is free fighting stance. Its just hard for me to think of ways to teach the art of karate skipping the kata.
 
O

OC Kid

Guest
I teach kata and make it a requirement for rank. I do it just to keep the tradition in the art. Im not anal where it has to be perfect and percise, but they have to know the moves and what they are doing in the form. FWIW I only know 16 kata.
 

MJS

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
30,187
Reaction score
427
Location
Cromwell,CT
DeLamar.J said:
I posted this reply in another thread, and I decided to make it its own thread. Mainly for people who always come in here bad mouthing kata, one steps, and most of karates training methods. This way they can jump right on a thread that explains it in detail why we do these things, instead of creating thread after thread. The title of this thread will catch there eye before they start to post a seperate one. If I left anything out feel free to add to it. It is very apparent there are alot of talented martial artists on this forum who can explain things in a way everyone can understand if I have not. This should lead to some interesting conversation. If you disagree with my post, please tell me why! The best way to understand is to question until you do understand. If I cant convince you otherwise then you are allowed to have your opinion, just put it out there so it can be discussed.


You have to learn to walk before you crawl! People like you talk down on pre arranged movements am I right? you dont seem to care for kata, am I right? First you have to learn to block a punch that is pre arranged before you can block a random one, thats why in karate we do pre arranged attacks. With starting out slow and teaching a student to block one specific technique at a time, the student gets a better understanding on how exactly to block a technique,and when its the students turn to attack, they learn exactly how to throw a punch, in exactly the right spot. Then once you have a basic idea on how to block and throw all the basic kicks and punches you are taught how to link them together properly, thats called kata, grasshopper. Once you get the basic idea of how to perform a kata, then you learn to spar, were everything comes together, there are no pre arranged movements. This slow learning process teaches the student a better idea of the science of martial arts because they just didnt throw on some gloves and beat the crap out of each other. This method of teaching also makes it more comfortable for a student who is afraid of getting hurt, it eases them into the martial arts, builds there confidence in there abillity and technique, so they can apply it in sparring and full contact sparring when they get a little more up there in rank. I hope this gives you a better idea on why we do things the way we do in karate. There is a reason for the way we do things. You talk like you think thats the way karate people fight, the only time there are pre arranged movements or patters is when your learning how to do a new technique properly so you can apply it in a fight. Higher ranking students have already been through this long, hard and sometimes boring learning process, and reap the benifits of training properly, and being able to use these techniques in a real fight. I still practice kata regularly to keep my technique honed and ready because if you dont use it you loose it. People like you see us doing kata and one steps and laugh but you have no idea why we do it, you think that because they are pre arranged movements and attacks that the unpredictabillity of a real fight will cause our methods to fail, when these exercises are only there to hone a students technique and teach them good foot work, we dont fight full contact in pre arranged movements. Have I gotten through to you? Do you understand now?


Very good post sir! I know that I'm one of those people who at times, has spoken bad about kata. I have done them for many years, and I still to this day do them. Though I've not spoken as highly about them as others, I still feel that they, like everything else, have their place. Take a boxer, as you've mentioned. They have their combos, which if you stop and think about it, are like doing a kata. The difference is, is that the boxer has no set pattern in which the moves can be done. In a kata, you must do those moves in the same fashion, otherwise, it changes the kata. Of course, taking the moves in the kata, such as what Dillman does, and being able to apply them...well, that is half the battle there. In addition, making sure that you're doing them on someone with some alivenss and ressitance..well that is also a big part.

Again, very good post.

Mike
 

Corporal Hicks

Black Belt
Joined
Apr 27, 2004
Messages
565
Reaction score
6
Location
England
No actually he's aiming it at my recent thread. But trouble is maybe if somebody trained for so long in one art and they love it so much they just refuse to except what is thrown in their faces. I wasn't bad mouthing Kata my friend, I was just giving across my view point.
 
OP
DeLamar.J

DeLamar.J

3rd Black Belt
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
Messages
910
Reaction score
22
Location
Barberton, Ohio, USA
Corporal Hicks said:
No actually he's aiming it at my recent thread. But trouble is maybe if somebody trained for so long in one art and they love it so much they just refuse to except what is thrown in their faces. I wasn't bad mouthing Kata my friend, I was just giving across my view point.

Well, anyone who belives that there style is the best and will not exept that cross training is essential, is not very smart or dont have enough real fights under there belt. At my school we cross train in boxing. We do go ju for the first class and boxing the next. I wish we did some grappling but we dont do much of that. I know how do do a good arm bar and a sleeper hold, thats about as far as my grappling skill goes. Cross training is a must. But when your learning karate you should learn the kata. Once you make black belt and you have an understanding of how to properly link together the stances and techniques, I can understand leaving kata behind for more practical training. But its a must for beginners. However, one of the katas in our style make go ju unique from alot of other styles. Its called sanchin breathing kata. That kata can give you so many benifits if you know how to do it properly, it is the most practical kata IMO. This kata strengthens you lungs, teaches you to breath properly, conditions your body to take blows, improves concentration when getting hit, teaches you to deal with pain. But alot of people are not familliar with this kata.
 

ppko

Master Black Belt
Joined
May 18, 2004
Messages
1,266
Reaction score
34
Location
Rose Barracks Vilseck,Germany
MJS said:
Of course, taking the moves in the kata, such as what Dillman does, and being able to apply them...well, that is half the battle there. In addition, making sure that you're doing them on someone with some alivenss and ressitance..well that is also a big part.
Mike
Another nice thing that Mr. Dillman has taught us is that as long as you find a sensible application to the kata than you are not wrong, in 1 move their may be as many as 50 different applications (if not more).

PPKO
 

lonecoyote

Brown Belt
Joined
May 13, 2004
Messages
413
Reaction score
10
Focus, concentration, balance, flow, These are what kata can teach, and these things are definitely applicable in a real fight .
 

ppko

Master Black Belt
Joined
May 18, 2004
Messages
1,266
Reaction score
34
Location
Rose Barracks Vilseck,Germany
DeLamar.J said:
Well, anyone who belives that there style is the best and will not exept that cross training is essential, is not very smart or dont have enough real fights under there belt. At my school we cross train in boxing. We do go ju for the first class and boxing the next. I wish we did some grappling but we dont do much of that. I know how do do a good arm bar and a sleeper hold, thats about as far as my grappling skill goes. Cross training is a must. But when your learning karate you should learn the kata. Once you make black belt and you have an understanding of how to properly link together the stances and techniques, I can understand leaving kata behind for more practical training. But its a must for beginners. However, one of the katas in our style make go ju unique from alot of other styles. Its called sanchin breathing kata. That kata can give you so many benifits if you know how to do it properly, it is the most practical kata IMO. This kata strengthens you lungs, teaches you to breath properly, conditions your body to take blows, improves concentration when getting hit, teaches you to deal with pain. But alot of people are not familliar with this kata.
I am very familiar with Sanchin as I also do this kata it is a very good kata some people believe it helps to heal the body (you are in a yang stance which is supposed to heal the body). If done properly the first couple of times you do it you should get a head rush. But you should never leave behind kata once you think you know it you don't know it, as their are so many applications to kata. This is one way the masters preserved their techniques, have you ever heard about Karate masters that only knew one kata and was considered deadly, well if you know your kata well enough than you'd understand what the stories were saying. I would suggest never throwing away kata unless you can not find someone that can help uncovering better applications for them, unless you know what you are doing with kata than they are useless (in self defense) and are just for good excersize.

Best Regards
PPKO
 

MichiganTKD

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
52
Location
Michigan, USA
I agree. Each move in a form could very likely have more than one application. Really analyzing form to understand what it is you are doing can take years. It makes me appreciate them all the more when I understand what they are doing. Personally, doing form without understanding what you are doing is just as bad as not knowing form. Then you're just going through the motions.
But to digress. Form has many functions that people that don't practice form or look down on it can't understand. It is certainly not just a mechanical method to teach technique and self defense.
First, practicing form makes your body stronger because of the waist action, isometric tension, and stopping power. Not to mention exercising the legs from stance practice. Practicing form properly is HARD.
Second, form teaches gracefulness and fluidity. Guys tend to want to emphasize strenghth and force. Forms teaches them about agility, flow, gracefulness, and combination. For women, it is a good way to build up strength and power.
Finally, forms provides a good way of teaching technique application and putting combinations in proper context. It is not rigid at all. Quite the opposite.
Remember, if all you want is self defense buy a gun.
 

ppko

Master Black Belt
Joined
May 18, 2004
Messages
1,266
Reaction score
34
Location
Rose Barracks Vilseck,Germany
MichiganTKD said:
I agree. Each move in a form could very likely have more than one application. Really analyzing form to understand what it is you are doing can take years. It makes me appreciate them all the more when I understand what they are doing. Personally, doing form without understanding what you are doing is just as bad as not knowing form. Then you're just going through the motions.
But to digress. Form has many functions that people that don't practice form or look down on it can't understand. It is certainly not just a mechanical method to teach technique and self defense.
First, practicing form makes your body stronger because of the waist action, isometric tension, and stopping power. Not to mention exercising the legs from stance practice. Practicing form properly is HARD.
Second, form teaches gracefulness and fluidity. Guys tend to want to emphasize strenghth and force. Forms teaches them about agility, flow, gracefulness, and combination. For women, it is a good way to build up strength and power.
Finally, forms provides a good way of teaching technique application and putting combinations in proper context. It is not rigid at all. Quite the opposite.
Remember, if all you want is self defense buy a gun.
I have a gun, but in all seriousness good post.

PPKO
 

Sarah

Senior Master
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
2,248
Reaction score
13
Location
Hamilton, New Zealand
I love your post.

I am a beginner and we do Hyungs and one step, I really enjoy them. They are like a dance we learn to transition from stance to stance we learn co-ordination, balance, to focus power, timing, and when you get them good they look really impressive.

When we started one step it got my imagination working, we try different things, break them down see if they are effective, we try different locks, submission moves, and aggressive moves. It makes us think!

My Instructor was a bit of a naughty boy when he was younger, he use to practise move's on the street (this is in New Zealand). Now days he teaches the police, so we know that the techniques we are using for one step do actually work.
 

ppko

Master Black Belt
Joined
May 18, 2004
Messages
1,266
Reaction score
34
Location
Rose Barracks Vilseck,Germany
Sarah said:
I love your post.

I am a beginner and we do Hyungs and one step, I really enjoy them. They are like a dance we learn to transition from stance to stance we learn co-ordination, balance, to focus power, timing, and when you get them good they look really impressive.

When we started one step it got my imagination working, we try different things, break them down see if they are effective, we try different locks, submission moves, and aggressive moves. It makes us think!

My Instructor was a bit of a naughty boy when he was younger, he use to practise move's on the street (this is in New Zealand). Now days he teaches the police, so we know that the techniques we are using for one step do actually work.
Are you talking about me, if so thank you, I am glad that your instructor can see all of those things many people will just say they are blocks or punches (as this is what we were told by we I mean Americans).

PPKO
 

Sarah

Senior Master
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
2,248
Reaction score
13
Location
Hamilton, New Zealand
ppko said:
Are you talking about me, if so thank you, I am glad that your instructor can see all of those things many people will just say they are blocks or punches (as this is what we were told by we I mean Americans).

PPKO

Yep, one thing we do a lot is break down the Hyung's and learn the application for each move and the pressure points you are working on etc etc. It is really interesting and gives meaning to the moves, so when we are doing them we do them with more commitment and power, you can imagine someone there and it is no longer just a bunch of moves in sequence.
I also agree with the point you made about know one kata well. There is a saying that goes something like:

'Fear not a man that knows a thousand kicks, fear the man that knows one kick and practises it a thousand times a day'

Also what is this Sanchin Kata sounds interesting??

 

Bammx2

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Apr 11, 2004
Messages
786
Reaction score
18
Location
London England
DeLamar.J said:
I get you completely. Thats exactly what I was wanting was an honest opinion. And I dont have much of an argument about what you do. I do have a question though. How do you teach the basic movements in combinations? I would assume you just put everyone in free fighting position and then call out the move your working on. And what about changing from stance to stance? But if you dont teach kata then I would think the only stance you would use is free fighting stance. Its just hard for me to think of ways to teach the art of karate skipping the kata.
When I teach,I break things down to almost the"molecular" level.
When I was a yung'un...I used to ask "why" and all I got was...because!
I need to know more,so I started learning about the human body,i.e....physiology,kineseology, sports medicine and so forth.
I learned what was putting undue stress on the body and how better to help people adapt to thier best abilities.
My syllabus for my first belt(yellow) is based in traditional basics so I can show people where the things I am teaching are comming from and then I can help them make the transition to thier own freestyle application.
I have a slight mix of applications...I like japanese base stances and linear movement as opposed to circular. I like savate kicking techniques as opposed to tkd. And I like western boxing combined with some japanese hand techniques. Oh yea....the muay thai knees and elbows
icon10.gif

I understand completely about the whole "skipping the katas" part as not making the art whole and Lord knows I will never downplay tradition...God bless those who came before us!
But personally...as I got older and recieved a couple of permanent injuries,I realised there were traditional things I could no longer do...and that just just sucked!
So I learned to adapt ways around those problems,which meant letting some things go,and now I try to pass that education on the best I can.
I still go step by step,and to be honest...I lose most of my students in the first syllabus because its so damn monotonous and repetative.But it tests thier patience and makes damn sure they have a good grasp on the basic body mechanics and movements to achieve the choices of freestyle movements as they see fit.
Damn I am long winded
icon11.gif

Where most classes are and hour...mine are 2. I will explain down to the very last detail I can and give both theoretical and practical applications.....not just "because".
I cater to the individual,not the masses,the best I can.
Good fighters are nice...but I like to train better teachers.
This is the short version of how I teach!
If I can answer anything else...please ask!
 
Top