Uselessness of kata in the real world!

Oily Dragon

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I didn't post a Kyokushin video because it wasn't the first video that came up when I googled "kata" videos... didn't you read my post? I explained it to you. I'm starting to believe you are arguing with a fictional version of me that has said things I haven't, and not said things I have.

Do you think I have a problem with kata?
I'm sorry, I might be having flashbacks to 20 years ago when everyone who watched UFC was suddenly convinced my training was crap, and was happy to tell me, even though their best skill was choosing clothes to wear to school, and I was learning grapple fu (starting with wrestling forms).

Pedantic? My argument is that it's all semantics. Kata is a veeeeerrrrry broad term that goes back to before the history of Japan, so it should be used with caution alongside absolutes like "useless".
 

Flying Crane

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Many people may say that the Taiji outside crescent kick can be a foot sweep. But in order to make a foot sweep work, many key requirements are missing in Taiji outside crescent kick.

This is the problem for "abstract" form training. You may think you are training a certain skill, but the truth is you are not.

What will you do if you want to learn hip throw, but your forms don't have it?
There are all kinds of things that my forms do not have. That does not mean my forms dont have huge value. Weve been over this many times: forms are one tool, of many, in ones toolbox. Anyone who does nothing but forms is not training optimally. Forms are not meant to be the end-all. I dont really understand why people want to pretend this hasnt been addressed already, many times.

Anyone who does only heavybag work would also be deficient. This is no mystery. Training needs several components. None of this is meant to stand alone.
 

Oily Dragon

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That's exactly what I was trying to say. One should go beyond his forms.

A: In this form, you will learn everything that you need.
B: Where is hip throw, flying knee, flying side kick, spin kook kick, outer leg twisting, ...
Krav Maga is a good example of a style that tries to do this (cover every base) but flies or dies based on how the person actually trains. Dead or alive, you're gonna have a bad day if you don't train right.

That's how you end up with an art with such diversity in terms of fighting skill. Some are silly, others are literal killers.

And if you watch any of the old clips when it was founded, maintaining the forms of older arts was pretty important.
 

Steve

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I understand.

"aliveness" in the martial arts sense has a very specific meaning, according to certain "modern" schools, and it's not a new concept, obviously sparring has been around for thousands and thousands of years. Roman gladiators sparred, Chinese soldiers sparred, Indian warriors sparred. Whether or not its practiced in a particular school today depends on specifics.

But I think the answer to your question is simple, if you want to keep it specific to Japanese kata. Kata is not for leaning to fight. Never was. It's for learning movements that were developed from older movement sets, a long time ago. Any one of us here who knows a little boxing and a little kata could probably created a 100 move Boxing Kata form containing nothing but functional movements. Without sparring with them, they'd be nothing more than practice, though.

When boxers learn their first movements, they learn dead forms and patterns (kata, in the literal sense), before they ever hit anyone for real. They learn form/pattern and the functional use/skill comes later on. Nobody goes into a boxing gym, gets thrown into the ring, and is told "just go". It just so happens you'll probably be able to do that in a short time, because boxing forms are pretty simple and limited to a small range of attacks and defenses.

As long as something in karate, kung fu, or boxing instills some sort of benefit, it's not "useless". The Shaolin fom you posted teaches balance, grace, and flexibility, and contains specific techniques that can be drilled or sparred with alive. So that video is not representative. The karate kata teaches energetic movement, intention, focus. Also not representative of how kata movements are utilized in full contact competition.

If kata were truly useless, they'd have died out a long time ago. They'd have been left behind for impracticality. Yet millions of people find them helpful, compared to the few critics, and quite a few of their proponents are, and always have been, successful, full contact fighters who train "alive".
I think your logic is a little squirrelly. Many things that are useless in one context are useful in another. A French bulldog, by any objective standard, has no business being alive. It is useless as a dog, but survives still because it is helpless and lovable.

That said, I dont believe kata are useless. I dont think its all that efficient, but inefficient isnt necessarily a bad thing .

Last thing is, I dont care if we keep it to just Japanese Kara or not. I just dont think every pattern is a kata. If we cant agree that boxers dont do kata, the discussion gets silly very quickly.
 

Steve

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I'm sorry, I might be having flashbacks to 20 years ago when everyone who watched UFC was suddenly convinced my training was crap, and was happy to tell me, even though their best skill was choosing clothes to wear to school, and I was learning grapple fu (starting with wrestling forms).

Pedantic? My argument is that it's all semantics. Kata is a veeeeerrrrry broad term that goes back to before the history of Japan, so it should be used with caution alongside absolutes like "useless".
So at least we now agree that kata is Japanese. Thats a start.
 

Oily Dragon

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I think your logic is a little squirrelly. Many things that are useless in one context are useful in another. A French bulldog, by any objective standard, has no business being alive. It is useless as a dog, but survives still because it is helpless and lovable.

That said, I dont believe kata are useless. I dont think its all that efficient, but inefficient isnt necessarily a bad thing .

Last thing is, I dont care if we keep it to just Japanese Kara or not. I just dont think every pattern is a kata. If we cant agree that boxers dont do kata, the discussion gets silly very quickly.
Every pattern is kata. It's just basic Japanese language. The southern Chinese name for it is "jing", "hing". "hying". I could bore you with paragraphs about the 5, 10, 36 Hying Fist.

Or I can agree with you that not everything that boxers do is kata, but it's definitely how they learn boxing. Through patterns.

敶​

 

Steve

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There are all kinds of things that my forms do not have. That does not mean my forms dont have huge value. Weve been over this many times: forms are one tool, of many, in ones toolbox. Anyone who does nothing but forms is not training optimally. Forms are not meant to be the end-all. I dont really understand why people want to pretend this hasnt been addressed already, many times.

Anyone who does only heavybag work would also be deficient. This is no mystery. Training needs several components. None of this is meant to stand alone.
Every pattern is kata. It's just basic Japanese language. The southern Chinese name for it is "jing", "hing". "hying".

I can agree with you that not everything that boxers do is kata, but it's definitely how they learn boxing. Through patterns.

敶​

Do I need to post those videos again?
 

Oily Dragon

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Do I need to post those videos again?
I'd prefer you post new videos, but that's just me. I just see patterns all the way down.

Let me ask you a new question: how many people who want to learn boxing actually learn it? 10%? Kata has a much higher acceptance rate, doesn't it?
 

Steve

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I'd prefer you post new videos, but that's just me. I just see patterns all the way down.

I could google some new videos, but if you dont see a difference between the ones I already posted, I dont think it will make a difference.
Let me ask you a new question: how many people who want to learn boxing actually learn it? 10%? Kata has a much higher acceptance rate, doesn't it?
I must not get your point because I think 100% of folks who have boxed have learned to box. And 100% of people who have done kata have learned kata.
 

Oily Dragon

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I could google some new videos, but if you dont see a difference between the ones I already posted, I dont think it will make a difference.

I must not get your point because I think 100% of folks who have boxed have learned to box. And 100% of people who have done kata have learned kata.

That's 100%. I agree.

It's all kata.
 
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drop bear

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On a different/same note, I understand what he says and can agree with it up to a point. Reason I am saying up to a point is that a lot of Krav Maga seems to be using that model to teach and by the end of a curriculum most people end up fighting with relatively weak MMA skills and add a few groin shots/illegal moves to UFC and that is the result. Of course this is a stereotype but

Those angles, the foot work the tactics are still technical details. Timing as well. It is just a different technical detail. And you do learn them if you have a good instructor.

Being able to perform good ring craft with good timing makes your whole Fighting better.

So fighting with relatively weak MMA skills (or better yet good ones) is almost the aim. Because the Timing, the angles and the little details that allow you to succeed in that environment are these more meta skills.
 

drop bear

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I think your logic is a little squirrelly. Many things that are useless in one context are useful in another. A French bulldog, by any objective standard, has no business being alive. It is useless as a dog, but survives still because it is helpless and lovable.

That said, I dont believe kata are useless. I dont think its all that efficient, but inefficient isnt necessarily a bad thing .

Last thing is, I dont care if we keep it to just Japanese Kara or not. I just dont think every pattern is a kata. If we cant agree that boxers dont do kata, the discussion gets silly very quickly.

If kata was just movement training then it would be pretty reasonable. And the less realistic the better.

Bunkai is where stuff gets weird.
 

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