why do people hate kata

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brandon

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i am a blue belt in go-ju ryu and i always read articles that are so anti-kata.What is with you people kata have been preformed since the begining and they trained for real combat not like us who mostly do it for sport .What makes these so called reality based martial arts think they have it figured out .Kata are not preformed to teach self defense,but are used as a conditioning tool.Also to fine tune technique,teach accuracy and control.After all these methods have been used for hunderds of years and we dismiss them because we think we know it all.I think its a shame to see a black who does not teach kata ,but a guess i am a traditionalist . please fell free to give tour thoughts
 

tshadowchaser

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I for one like doing kata, forms, or whatever someone wants to call them.
I feel they teach a person the basics of stance, movement, and strikes. Are they the only thing someone should train in, no. Are they a good way to learn how to move your body and to learn certian combinations of moves, yes.
They are one of the baics by which the arts have been past down for many, many years. And yes, there are schools/systems that did or do not use them but I sometime wonder if techniques will be lost in those schools over time and have to be "rediscoverd" down the line.
 

TigerWoman

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All the women I know, LIKE kata. Maybe its because of flexibility or other physical differences. But flexibility is not a given, we all have to work on it unless we happened to be a gymnast in our teens. So is it just a man thing, that they would rather leave kata, poomse, or forms, than take it and embrace it?

I learned so much from forms. Strength, balance, agility, and I learned how my body moved and what it took to get better. I learned to become much more aware of the right way to do techniques before I got into sparring. Doing those kicks, blocks and punches over and over and over builds strength too and you are concentrating so much on what it should look like that you tend to strive for that goal. I think it is a wonderful way to get the feel down.

Just because its difficult doesn't mean it should go. After all, I think breaking for women as compared to men's musculature and weight is more difficult for them. But we still have to do it. And its hard. But I wouldn't have not wanted to do it, because now I know I can. So men have to focus on what forms is supposed to teach them. Patience maybe? Then all the other stuff. :asian:
 

Storm

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I too love Kata (forms) for the same reasons that the others have put down however I do not feel its a female thing.

I strive to do it as well (haha) as my Instructors, both male. The other person who I love to watch and would love to have half of his talent is a huge 6 foot something 120kg + guy who is so light on his feet yet you know every move he moves has the power to take out what is in his path.

The "form" to me is also the "Art" part of MA which is really important. Kata is meant to look good IMO. It is also the area that I love to try and perfect. Everytime I do it, I find something different to correct, work on something to make it look and work better. Even Short form one which is the first one I ever learnt.

Forms are what you make them, you get out what you put in.
 

TigerWoman

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Storm said:
I too love Kata (forms) for the same reasons that the others have put down however I do not feel its a female thing.

Forms are what you make them, you get out what you put in.

I too, love to watch my instructor (5th dan) do form. And I have seen some teens do it really well. But most of the guys that I have seen in tournaments do Karate forms and its seems powerful but not as artistic. I have never been impressed as a judge by all the hissing and gutteral noises. I am more impressed by balance and lightness as you said, power shown with high held kicks, jumping and landing perfectly etc. But again, those are the few guys who obviously love it and put their all into perfecting it. I was speaking generally, of course. I hear alot of guys grumble but no women. As you said, whether its a man or a woman, the hours and work shows in properly executed form. :asian:
 

Storm

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TigerWoman said:
I too, love to watch my instructor (5th dan) do form. And I have seen some teens do it really well. But most of the guys that I have seen in tournaments do Karate forms and its seems powerful but not as artistic. . :asian:

You are most likely correct, I probably spend alot of time being involved myself and concerning myself with my mentors rather than looking at the ovrall picture.

I havent had the benifit of seeing alot of Forms first hand in tournaments nor with judging. Have started within our club judging the children in thier competitions but only twice so far and have been once again more concerned whether Im choosing right or not. (still alot of learning needed on my part).

I will definitely take a good look the next time forms are performed to get a better over all view. :asian:

Cheers
 
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goju.glenn

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Kata would be my favourite aspect of my karate.

It is a conditioning tool for the body as well as the mind. Because it takes a long time "learn" a kata, I find it a great "place" to put your mind. All the basics of karate in the kata, so by focusing your mind on either the whole kata or one part is a great training tool. :asian:
 

Han-Mi

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My impression of why some schools advertise "modern day" MA without forms, is so that lazy people who want to learn how to fight, and only fight, can do so. Takes all the the real mental aspect out of the art though, it becomes completely physical. That's only half the battle, and that's being generous.
 
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goju.glenn

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Han-Mi said:
Takes all the the real mental aspect out of the art though, it becomes completely physical. That's only half the battle, and that's being generous.

I agree 100%. The physcial side of he MA is a small portion. One's mental attitude is extremeley important. :asian:
 

MJS

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brandon said:
i am a blue belt in go-ju ryu and i always read articles that are so anti-kata.What is with you people kata have been preformed since the begining and they trained for real combat not like us who mostly do it for sport .What makes these so called reality based martial arts think they have it figured out .Kata are not preformed to teach self defense,but are used as a conditioning tool.Also to fine tune technique,teach accuracy and control.After all these methods have been used for hunderds of years and we dismiss them because we think we know it all.I think its a shame to see a black who does not teach kata ,but a guess i am a traditionalist . please fell free to give tour thoughts

Here is a quote of mine from a post that I responded to in the Gen. MA section under the topic 'Reality' I hope that this is a help to you and answers your questions. In it, I'm addressing Kata as well as the RBSD (Reality Based Self Defense) arts that are out there.



Good question. Back when I first started training, I'd always hear people talking about the RBSD (reality based self defense) and I'd sit here thinking, "Gee, well I'm training to defend myself, so yeah, I must be training for that reality also." If you look at some of the RBSD instructors that you have out there such as Peyton Quinn, Sammy Franco, Marc MacYoung, Geoff Thompson, you'll notice a slightly different approach to their training.

One thing is that many of them seem to incorporate different training/aliveness drills. Peyton Quinn uses his adrenal stress classes, to prepare the student mentally and physically for a confrontation. Many of them also take out the fancy, flashy stuff that you find in many arts. Like I said in a previous post, I dont want to turn this into yet another bashing of arts session, but take a look at some of the arts out there. It shouldnt be too hard to figure out. Yet another thing that they've removed is the kata. If you really stop and think about it, what is it doing to help you fight?? IMO, nothing! Now, I've been doing kata for a long time, and still do them. And yes, they do contain hidden applications. Look at Dillman. Hes great at showing what the moves in kata can be used for. However, during the course of my training, I've come across few inst. that can actually tell you what you're doing in the kata. The typical conversation goes like this.

Me- "Can you tell me why we are doing this move and what its doing?"

Instructor- "Well,..........because thats the way its done."

Gee, doesnt sound like a good answer to me. So, I tried to figure it out myself, and fortuantely, by me doing that, and with the help of a few other instructors who also relized the benefits of knowing what you're doing, I was able to finally understand.

Now, back to the kata. Most of the RBSD teachers find that spending more time doing sparring and more alive training, they get more out of it, instead of standing there doing a dead pattern in the air, with no attacker, no resistance, etc.

In addition, many of them have taken the time and have really done their homework researching street fights, assaults, weapon attacks, etc, and base their training/instruction off of what they've found.

Mike
 

oldnewbie

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I too love kata. If in fact they are what I like best. I find I can "center" my self after doing several kata. I was told once that Kata were a "collection" of moves, kinda of a visual encylopedia of moves, that by doing kata, you were "study-ing"...

Anyway, just thought I add my 2 cents..
 

kroh

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I have seen the argument from both sides of the tracks on this issue. But the core reason that people in this country (America) do not like kata, is the people who are teaching the kata do not understand them. I am not saying that all who teach kata do not understand them. But because many martial arts studios have strayed from their sources over the years due to many reasons, the arts they teach have been americanized and they have lost sights of many aspects of their original training. Kata is one of these precepts.

Kata is like a lesson plan for the martial art you are doing. It should contain the main defining principles for the system. Each Kata should contain four distinct aspects. The form ( the choreographed series of movements), the interpretations of each movement, the applications of each movement and lastly and most importantly, the controlling principle behind each movement (some of you might know the japanese words for these componenets but i am going to give them in english for those on the board who don't "spreken").

Most instructors only know the form itself and then they teach a bunch of defense scenarios and some other combination work that have nothing to do with the lesson plan (form) of the system. IMHO, they should drop the kata in that case as they are not realling using them as intended anyway. They should just use the short combo's that they have constructed to teach and work their system. And in many cases these worked up combo's are serving their teaching audience better than the kata would. ( I have seen some schools who work these combo's to devestating effect...the stuff they are doing is really tight! :asian: )

The real question this all brings up should be why don't people like "Traditional" Forms? If ya think about it, lets take a JKD class from today. Jkd advocates no forms what so ever...or so the story goes. When working the pads ( lets say focus mits ), the pair starts working a jab, cross, hook combo. The pair then adds a round kick and a knee after every one. Then they start to mix things up. They add incomming attacks to break up the rythm. The drill becomes some what free form based around those frist three punches. So what do you have? You have a combination of movements designed to illustrate a principle (kata = jab, cross, hook). You have it's interpretation against the pads( pads acting as targets for the real thing ), and then its application against a live excersize. Lastly you have the overiding principle ( striking to the face to distract followed by a powerfull circular strike to knock down or out).

So do all these systems use kata...yes....do they call it that or lend the mystery to their forms as the traditionalists do...no.

Why do the people who do reality self defense hate kata...they do not understand them. But that is why forums like this are so good. Maybe a RSD practictioner will see this thread and read about forms and think " Hey, I could use this in my training." It's all good

Train well, play hard and have fun
WalT
 

BushidoUK

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In the freestyle system of Karate I was taught, katas were always very important.
They teach balance, co-ordination, timing etc.
Also I have always found great satisfaction in asking someone who has just learnt a kata..."Now show me what all those moves mean to you"
then once they have figured out some meaning behind the moves asking...
"Now show me what else they could mean".
For each kata move we can interpret them in so many ways.
e.g. a downward block could be just that, or breaking someones grip on your wrist by hitting it with a hammerfist. or breaking someones arm by pulling it straight with the reaction arm and striking with the blocking arm or even attacking the atemi points. the possibilities are infinite, yet we must all work harder and harder to find more meanings..... and that's what puts a lot of people off.... they want to be shown, they dont want to discover.

BTW for every grading we hold, its usually the kata that seals the fate.
From a kata you can see good technique, it cant be hidden.
 

Trent

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I think that "kata, djurus, langkas, kuen or forms" greatly assist with placing the "art" in the martial. Some folks just wish to get down to business. And that's cool, but they are missing out on something that will refine them physically and mentally for later years, not to mention much of the system is usually contained in the forms but is not revealed until more understanding of movement is gained.
 

Rick Wade

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I am going to only speak from experience I was originally in American Kenpo and then moved to Hawaii where I couldn't find an AK school. So I took up Okinawan Kenpo. We met Mmonday Wednesday and Friday. I was told Monday Kata, Wednesday Kobudo, and Friday Sparring. I'm thinking cool works for me Monday 2 hours of Kata (not my favorite but I will hang in there) Wednesday more empty hand Kata (wait were's the Kobudo) ok Friday I like me some sparring (1 1/2 Kata and 1/2 sparring). As far as sparring goes NONE of them could hold a candle for most AK stylist thay I have seen. Now I am not saying AK is better than OK. I am saying that sometimes we loose sight on what we like and we as instructors can lean to heavy to that side (whether it be Kata, sparringor even self defense) it takesa a really good Instructor to get a good balance in class and those are the true Masters.

Rrespectfully
Rick

P.S.
I didn't try the school for a week and then leave I was with the school for a year.

They wanted to teach me all 54 Katas to black belt and then let me help instruct.

Respectfully
 

Trent

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I think you are correct Rick. It is difficult to maintain that balance. Sparring, and yes, hard sparring, are also necessary for higher level activity. It should be done often as well especially if you wish to learn how to use all those form movements properly in a dynamic environment. As it's been said in the past, you should especially work on the things you don't like.
 
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WildCater

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I really enjoy katas, but I think the reason why people hate katas is, because they over look there true power. I hold a 1st Dan in Shotokan Karate, and there are lots of katas. Just as in Tea Kwon Do. They think that since there are lots of them, there hard to learn. And in actual life, if you had directions on how to do one it wouldnt take but 2 hours, to over half way, or get the feel of the kata. The thing is that a Karateka will come and expect to learn how to fight. Wich totaly throghs off Karate philosophey. And if they have no "martial intelligence," then they expect to get a black belt in 1-2 years or less. The sad truth is they inrole in a class and expect to do nothing but self defence, and Kihon. They never think about katas. But you can also use katas as a self defence advantage, by taking out moves and techniques of Katas, and learn how to make it into a self defence rutine. I belive this is why people hate katas.
 

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WildCater said:
I really enjoy katas, but I think the reason why people hate katas is, because they over look there true power. I hold a 1st Dan in Shotokan Karate, and there are lots of katas. Just as in Tea Kwon Do. They think that since there are lots of them, there hard to learn. And in actual life, if you had directions on how to do one it wouldnt take but 2 hours, to over half way, or get the feel of the kata. The thing is that a Karateka will come and expect to learn how to fight. Wich totaly throghs off Karate philosophey. And if they have no "martial intelligence," then they expect to get a black belt in 1-2 years or less. The sad truth is they inrole in a class and expect to do nothing but self defence, and Kihon. They never think about katas. But you can also use katas as a self defence advantage, by taking out moves and techniques of Katas, and learn how to make it into a self defence rutine. I belive this is why people hate katas.

Yes!!! And this is exactly what Dillman does!! When it comes to breaking down a kata and showing application, he's an expert! Now, dont take this as a 'plug' for Dillman, because its not. All I'm saying is, and I addressed it in my post, is that there are many times when the student does not know what they're doing in the kata, and neither does the instructor. The Inst. needs to guide the student, and by not knowing themselves...well, IMO, they are not guiding them too well.

Self Defense techs. do play a part in the learning process, but when it comes down to the meat of it, you need to be able to apply your skills against an alive opponent in the ring. Its easy to do something when someone is standing there, but add a little movement and it all changes.

Mike
 

Cthulhu

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Most people who are against kata either never did them or never did them correctly.

Cthulhu
 
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brandon

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thanks for all the feed back i really enjoyed to read them .but i was very suprised to see so may people for katas.it is very nice to see as i hope we never lose the tradittion of passing on kata and forms as i one day hope to open a school,and pass on all my knowledge .i would just like to add that you should not limit yourself to one style at my dojo for aech grading you must learn one kata from a different style wich is very fun.
 
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