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DarthPenguin
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2022 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wastelander wrote:
DarthPenguin wrote:
Personally i think Kata is good for picking up body control and awareness of where your limbs are / how your weight is shifting etc. It is good for co-ordination etc too. I especially think it is good when you are having to perform it at a tempo that isn't your personal natural temp for performing a combination.

What i am not a huge fan of is the bunkai tbh. This will likely be controversial but it does seem rather contrived / shoehorned it often. It looks like take this technique in kata X, change it so it is a totally different technique and perform it like this. This is the application of the technique for fighting. No it isn't, it is a different technique that is superficially similar. It is especially apparent (in my view) with the 'hidden throws' etc that when performed look noticeably different to the technique performed in the kata

This isn't me saying the bunkai are not decent and are useless, just that they aren't in the kata (in my view!)


This may be getting a bit off-topic, and I'm not trying to be inflammatory or confrontational, but I can't help but ask the question; what do you think kata were designed for, and why were they built the way they were?

If it was just for body control, awareness, and coordination, then why would they bother to design the kata the way they did? Gymnastics/acrobatics accomplish the same things--arguably far better--so why not simply do that? Weightlifting, too, has proven to have the same benefits. Seems like a waste of time to do kata if they have no other purpose, especially given the fact that the Okinawans who developed karate had plenty of access to both gymnastics/acrobatics and weightlifting, and many actually did those in addition to their kata. Kihon training also accomplish the same things, but the basics are essentially just movements already used in the kata, which you've already said aren't useful for application, which then brings the practice of basics into question, entirely.

What, then, makes karate a "martial" art, exactly? Sparring? The only sparring most karateka do, nowadays, was invented in the 1940's/50's, more-or-less, so that certainly doesn't get back to the intent of the art. I have seen it argued that the kata and kihon improve your sparring, but really, the skillsets used in the vast majority of modern kumite are completely different than the movements, postures, and mechanics you use in kata and kihon. That, again, begs the question of why not just do gymnastics/acrobatics or weightlifting while training sparring, if they essentially serve the same purpose as the kata and kihon, but more effectively? That's what modern competitive fighters tend to do, already, in fact.


I possibly didn't phrase it the best (and i knew it would be a controversial view!). By co-ordination i meant more body co-ordination and awareness when flowing between different martial arts techniques. I think of it as more like planned shadowboxing in a sense, though where you don't pick the techniques.

I have always thought that katas/forms are designed to teach the practitioner to 'free up their movements' and learn to have greater freedom to perform different movements/techniques in a sequence than they would have possibly done themselves as an example of a combination from a pattern in a former style you threw a head target backfist, then dropped to a lower target backfist with same hand then back up to head backfist with other hand. In reality it is a combination i doubt i would ever throw in a fight or have tried myself, but it teaches movement and hip rotation.

I think basics / kihon are important to learn a technique and make sure you are performing it properly either in isolation or short combinations; then move into kata which helps you practice techniques in larger sequences and then onto sparring which lets you see if you can actually perform the technique properly under pressure.

Everyone is going to always have different views on this one and is very much a personal opinion with no right or wrong answer tbh
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DarthPenguin
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Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2022 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
DarthPenguin wrote:
Personally i think Kata is good for picking up body control and awareness of where your limbs are / how your weight is shifting etc. It is good for co-ordination etc too. I especially think it is good when you are having to perform it at a tempo that isn't your personal natural temp for performing a combination.

What i am not a huge fan of is the bunkai tbh. This will likely be controversial but it does seem rather contrived / shoehorned it often. It looks like take this technique in kata X, change it so it is a totally different technique and perform it like this. This is the application of the technique for fighting. No it isn't, it is a different technique that is superficially similar. It is especially apparent (in my view) with the 'hidden throws' etc that when performed look noticeably different to the technique performed in the kata

This isn't me saying the bunkai are not decent and are useless, just that they aren't in the kata (in my view!)


This is an interesting take, however, not the first time I've heard it, either.

I'm kind of the opposite; I really like finding some applications to apply to techniques from the forms. I don't know which one's you don't particularly care for, but I've seen some that are very similar to the techniques done as they are in the forms.

I take it you're not a fan of Iain Abernethy?


I think his stuff is good (and he is much much better than i am!!) but i do think some of it does seem to be adjusting the kata to demonstrate a bunkai.

This isn't saying that the techniques he is demonstrating are not effective etc just that i think they could be taught as techniques / sequences in their own right rather than as being lifted from a kata.

Again though is just a personal view. I would like to note that i am not disputing the validity of what is being taught - more disputing the 'packaging' of it
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Wastelander
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2022 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DarthPenguin wrote:

I possibly didn't phrase it the best (and i knew it would be a controversial view!). By co-ordination i meant more body co-ordination and awareness when flowing between different martial arts techniques. I think of it as more like planned shadowboxing in a sense, though where you don't pick the techniques.

I have always thought that katas/forms are designed to teach the practitioner to 'free up their movements' and learn to have greater freedom to perform different movements/techniques in a sequence than they would have possibly done themselves as an example of a combination from a pattern in a former style you threw a head target backfist, then dropped to a lower target backfist with same hand then back up to head backfist with other hand. In reality it is a combination i doubt i would ever throw in a fight or have tried myself, but it teaches movement and hip rotation.

I think basics / kihon are important to learn a technique and make sure you are performing it properly either in isolation or short combinations; then move into kata which helps you practice techniques in larger sequences and then onto sparring which lets you see if you can actually perform the technique properly under pressure.

Everyone is going to always have different views on this one and is very much a personal opinion with no right or wrong answer tbh


Admittedly, I may not be explaining my questions properly, myself. I'm a bit confused, because--and this is just my interpretation--you've essentially stated that the movements of kata are not combatively applicable, but you're saying that you see kata as developing the ability to flow between martial arts techniques, like shadowboxing with pre-defined combinations. Shadowboxing, though, is intended to be directly combatively applicable, and if the techniques of kata are not, then I'm not sure how they can be likened to shadowboxing in a meaningful way, nor do I see how they even qualify as being "martial" techniques, at all. Additionally, what value is there in practicing combinations of techniques that don't have combative applications in the first place? And we agree that practicing kihon is important for learning to perform techniques properly, but what is "proper?" I would argue that, if the techniques are martial in nature, then combative functionality should be the measure of what is "proper," but if the techniques aren't combatively applicable, what, then, is the metric by which you judge a technique to be "properly" performed? Am I making sense, or just muddling things further? Sometimes, I can't tell, lol!
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DarthPenguin
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2022 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wastelander wrote:
DarthPenguin wrote:

I possibly didn't phrase it the best (and i knew it would be a controversial view!). By co-ordination i meant more body co-ordination and awareness when flowing between different martial arts techniques. I think of it as more like planned shadowboxing in a sense, though where you don't pick the techniques.

I have always thought that katas/forms are designed to teach the practitioner to 'free up their movements' and learn to have greater freedom to perform different movements/techniques in a sequence than they would have possibly done themselves as an example of a combination from a pattern in a former style you threw a head target backfist, then dropped to a lower target backfist with same hand then back up to head backfist with other hand. In reality it is a combination i doubt i would ever throw in a fight or have tried myself, but it teaches movement and hip rotation.

I think basics / kihon are important to learn a technique and make sure you are performing it properly either in isolation or short combinations; then move into kata which helps you practice techniques in larger sequences and then onto sparring which lets you see if you can actually perform the technique properly under pressure.

Everyone is going to always have different views on this one and is very much a personal opinion with no right or wrong answer tbh


Admittedly, I may not be explaining my questions properly, myself. I'm a bit confused, because--and this is just my interpretation--you've essentially stated that the movements of kata are not combatively applicable, but you're saying that you see kata as developing the ability to flow between martial arts techniques, like shadowboxing with pre-defined combinations. Shadowboxing, though, is intended to be directly combatively applicable, and if the techniques of kata are not, then I'm not sure how they can be likened to shadowboxing in a meaningful way, nor do I see how they even qualify as being "martial" techniques, at all. Additionally, what value is there in practicing combinations of techniques that don't have combative applications in the first place? And we agree that practicing kihon is important for learning to perform techniques properly, but what is "proper?" I would argue that, if the techniques are martial in nature, then combative functionality should be the measure of what is "proper," but if the techniques aren't combatively applicable, what, then, is the metric by which you judge a technique to be "properly" performed? Am I making sense, or just muddling things further? Sometimes, I can't tell, lol!


I think we actually have a similar view but are phrasing it in a totally different manner (and both not phrasing it the best!)

I think there can be a benefit to practising combinations of techniques that don't have a pure combative application in the first place, if you are clear that you are practicing them for other benefits such as co-ordination, improved movement etc in a way that would directly transfer into other more applicable techniques. In this instance i would view it similar to doing weights or some other exercise to improve a specific quality : best example i can think of from other exercises is i personally found i noticed an almost immediate benefit to bjj from performing the barbell snatch as the hip explosion was directly transferable)

I agree wholeheartedly on the "proper" definition too. I had an interesting conversation on this topic with my old bjj coach years ago after a seminar with one of the Gracies. He performed a few techniques differently from my coach (who is a bb under him) and i found it interesting. My coachs response was that there is a theoretical way to perform a technique but they should all be adapted for our own body and what feels comfortable to us/works for us. Simple example he gave is that he is 5'8, i am 6'4, so we will naturally end up in slightly different alignments when performing arm bars etc

For combative application i personally think/find that only drilling against a resisting opponent and/or sparring let you really develop the timing, distance and confidence in your technique (though admittedly my time in bjj might have coloured my perspective on this) for it to be reliably combat applicable

Is always interesting to get different perspectives, and i think we actually do have the same view, we are just expressing it totally differently - reminds me of one of those conversations when you say "but i mean this" and someone says "ahh, when i said X i meant Y but yeah if it's that way i agree with you, i'm just referring to that in a different way"
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LionsDen
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

depends on what you mean by beneficial.
the simple fact that it is a physical activity makes it beneficial for burning calories, and just generally staying in shape.

if you mean for fighting, then yes i believe it is. while kata, and shadow boxing are different, i believe they share a similar space. in the years leading up to the pandemic i saw YT of BJJ instructors teaching their own homemade kata, despite not using that term, and i'm sure such things got popular as some schools tried transitioning to an online class format.

if you mean, can you learn to fight from kata? then no. if all your dojo does is kata and compliant partner drills you're delusional if you think you know anything about fighting.

if you mean are there other benefits many may not have thought about, outside of just fighting? then yes. kata has been shown to improve cognitive and memory capabilities, it's been shown to help people with PTSD, and some other psychological disorders.
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RW
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2022 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find this subject tough.

Beneficial in what way? Exercise in general has a series of benefits for the body and mind, and kata counts as exercise too, for which kata is beneficial in the same way that running or jogging or doing calisthenics is beneficial.

Is it beneficial for your karate proficiency? Well, karate is judged in part regarding how clean and crisp technique is, and kata will help you achieve that. Kata will also give you the muscle memory to correctly perform the different stances, strikes, blocks and movements that comprise karate.

Kata is also beneficial to karate in the sense that it's a living history book of where karate comes from and its tradition and lineage. If you join a karate school and it has katas with names like "angry tiger" and "screaming eagle" and they have no idea what pinan sandan/heian sandan or empi are, is it really a karate school? It'd be a red flag for sure.

However, is kata beneficial for fighting? I can't say yes. It's not detrimental, but I don't feel it's a training method geared for fighting or sparring. You fight how you train, and you train how you fight, and no one will fight or spar doing a neko ashi dache shuto uke followed by a zenkutsu dachi oi tsuki with the opposite arm on hikite. That's just not a thing. Can you imagine doing tsuki strikes from shiko/kiba dachi in a fight or sparring situation? Sure, there are practical applications and bunkai, but those are yet another training method, and not solo practice.
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LionsDen
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2022 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RW wrote:
I find this subject tough.

Beneficial in what way? Exercise in general has a series of benefits for the body and mind, and kata counts as exercise too, for which kata is beneficial in the same way that running or jogging or doing calisthenics is beneficial.

Is it beneficial for your karate proficiency? Well, karate is judged in part regarding how clean and crisp technique is, and kata will help you achieve that. Kata will also give you the muscle memory to correctly perform the different stances, strikes, blocks and movements that comprise karate.

Kata is also beneficial to karate in the sense that it's a living history book of where karate comes from and its tradition and lineage. If you join a karate school and it has katas with names like "angry tiger" and "screaming eagle" and they have no idea what pinan sandan/heian sandan or empi are, is it really a karate school? It'd be a red flag for sure.

However, is kata beneficial for fighting? I can't say yes. It's not detrimental, but I don't feel it's a training method geared for fighting or sparring. You fight how you train, and you train how you fight, and no one will fight or spar doing a neko ashi dache shuto uke followed by a zenkutsu dachi oi tsuki with the opposite arm on hikite. That's just not a thing. Can you imagine doing tsuki strikes from shiko/kiba dachi in a fight or sparring situation? Sure, there are practical applications and bunkai, but those are yet another training method, and not solo practice.
i mean I know I’ve done stances in sparring, in sport fights, and while protecting myself and others while working, and you can see just about every major stance done in MMA.

I’ve done hikite while sparring, sport fighting, and again protecting myself and others.

Will you do a specific combination of stances and techniques from a kata? Probably not, but everything in kata is 100% perfectly reasonable in a fight if you understand how it should be used.

While I can’t argue karate being judged by how clean and crisp technique is, it’s a standard i really wish people would try to move away from. No one in the history of the world has been so good at karate that their techniques look like kihon or kata levels of crisp while actually fighting. Even point fighting.
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Sailor Sindbad
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2022 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beneficial for what? Fighting/self-defense?

If two karateka were to engage in a Karate Combat style match, and I were to make predictions... none of it would be based on who has the better looking kata.
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aurik
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2022 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't say kata is beneficial. Kata is one of the core components of "karate" as I see it. The kata of a system define the system to a great degree.

For one thing, kata is an exercise that you can do without a partner on your own every day as long as you have a little bit of space to work in. Kata lets you drill motions into your brain, lets you develop power and technique on your own, and most of all it gives you ideas to work with.

For example, when I was studying Shuri-Ryu, the first kata we learned was Wansu. In that kata we had a sequence where the student would step into a kiba-dachi (horse stence), execute a gedan barai uke (low hammer block), then shift into a zenkutsu dachi (front stance) to do a reverse seiken-tsuki. As a student gained more understanding, they would learn how to develop a LOT of power in that hip shift from the kiba dachi to zenkutsu-dachi.

Likewise, in our first Uechi-Ryu rank kata, the first three sequences involve the following:
- Start in a neutral stance
- Pivot on the left foot, facing left into a left sanchin-dachi. Perform a left wa-uke followed by right seiken-zuki
- Pivot on the right foot, turning 180 degrees into a right sanchin-dachi. Right wa-uke, left seiken-zuki
- Shift direction to face the (original) front, ending in a left sanchin-dachi. Left wa-uke, right seiken-zuki.

One of the key elements here is to get off the line of attack. It's not just applicable in this kata, but that concept extends into all of our yakusoku kumite drills. To quote Mr Myagi (from the Karate Kid), "Best way to block a punch, no be there".
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sensei8
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2022 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is Kata beneficial?

**To whom is it beneficial?

OR

**For what is it beneficial?

In both cases, someone or something is receiving something beneficial/good. Either a person is or a thing is still benefitting whatever's needed.

The phrase “beneficial to” answers “beneficial to whom?,” while “beneficial for” answers “beneficial for what?” Whatever the receiver benefits from Kata, TO or FOR, is the betterment one way or another, and I've no right to question the reason(s) no matter what they might be.

The context is that which is beneficial "to" or "for" should always be allowed the opportunity of discovering said path of knowledge and experience, and shouldn't be swayed away from their own MA journey.

Imho.




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