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scohen0300
Orange Belt
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Joined: 09 Feb 2016
Posts: 210
Location: It varies
Styles: Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu, Tang Soo Do

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2022 12:52 pm    Post subject: Is kata beneficial? Reply with quote

Iíd love to hear your own personal opinions on this. I was listening to a podcast and the host said that every time heís had a debate with someone on why itís beneficial to training, the person (who believed it to be a waste of time) has always walked away with their mind changed.

If you believe kata to be beneficial to training, what would be your reasoning for that?

If you believe kata is not beneficial to training, what would be your reasoning for that as well?

I believe kata is crucial to my own training. I believe itís the core of karate. Itís how each technique, unique to each style, is passed on. The same way a boxer/kickboxer uses shadow boxing to run through their techniques or train without a partner, I think kata is used the same way, but far more complex.

What say you?
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ashworth
Brown Belt
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Joined: 13 Nov 2006
Posts: 669
Location: UK
Styles: Shotokan, IJR Karate, Iaido, Kobudo

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2022 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally... I love kata! It's something I just really enjoy doing, so for me whether it's practical or not doesn't really bother me, I'll continue practising it mainly because I enjoy doing it

Aside from that I do believe that it is actually beneficial as well, sections of kata can be drilled with a partner when working on application. (I hear many say well what's the point in doing the kata then, why not just work on the drills) For me when I perform the kata I get totally in the zone, this is the time where I can visualise the opponent and put everything I have into the technique without fear of harming my partner...

Karate can never be perfect, you can always be sharper, always generate more power, kata is where I push myself to perform those moves, faster and stronger every time I perform it...
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aurik
Blue Belt
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 269
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2022 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find kata to be an invaluable tool -- one of the biggest benefits to kata is that it can be performed without a partner, and you can get the full benefit of it practicing alone. During the worst parts of the pandemic, we were unable to perform any contact or two-person drills. However, we could still perform kata!
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aurik
Blue Belt
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 269
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2022 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ashworth wrote:

Karate can never be perfect, you can always be sharper, always generate more power, kata is where I push myself to perform those moves, faster and stronger every time I perform it...


Funny that you mention this today -- last Saturday, my sensei brought up this very point, in the context that you don't "do" martial arts, you "practice" them, similar to law, medicine, and certain other professions. This has a couple of implications -- first, things are never the same any two days you come into the dojo (or the office). And most importantly, martial arts is a journey of self-improvement, where you are always looking for ways to improve.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15773
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2022 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kata IS Karate, Karate IS Kata!!

Neither of the two can survive without each other. Effectiveness CAN be birthed by training in every aspect of Kata. Training in just one or the other are without any fruit.

Is Kata beneficial?? I'll answer that question with my own question...Is air beneficial?? Without either, there is no effective body. Imagine there's no floor...without no floor, how's one going to go forward?!? Without Kata, how's one going to go forward in one's knowledge and experience?!?

Kata IS a tool. A tool that trains the mind, body, and soul in various applications. With Kata, there must be serious intent. Kata helps to train breathing, balance, focus, speed, power, transitions, stances, develops proper body mechanics, and improves muscle memory.

Tools have to be properly trained in before anyone can teach and/or learn how to effectively use them. The three K's are all tools, and without these tools, there's no effectiveness whatsoever.

Sure, Bruce Lee labeled Kata/Forms is akin to "swimming on dry land." That's one man's opinion. That's alright to have opinions because many ancient cultures once had an opinion that the Earth was flat.

Is Kata beneficial?? As beneficial as the air is.

Imho!!



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BoothJ9
White Belt
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Joined: 15 Feb 2022
Posts: 23
Location: Wales
Styles: Shukokai

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2022 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really enjoy katas, not only performing the techniques but the state of mind that comes with a well-practised kata where muscle memory almost completely takes over. I find it peaceful. Whenever things in my life are getting on top of me, I'll specifically take the time to work on kata after kata after kata as it focuses my mind on that. On the benefits to defence and fighting, I see kata as the base on which techniques and combinations are built, it provides sequences of techniques that can be practised and used in other scenarios. It's a plan from which I can take ideas and put them into use elsewhere. I also think that working out the practical applications of katas can really enhance my understanding of techniques.

I think kata is an extremely important aspect of karate as kata develops shin, gi and tai if practised with the right mindset.

Just my opinion
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
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Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2628
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2022 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll get the benefits of improved fitness, balance, and coordination, regardless, but that comes from pretty much any exercise. The benefits beyond that are really going to be determined by the mindset with which you train--you get out what you put in, essentially. If all you practice them for is because they're required for your next belt, then you aren't really going to get anything out of them besides the basic benefits of exercise. If you train them for enjoyment, then you'll get some stress relief, as well, and maybe some moving meditation. If you train them for their use as structural and combative templates, then the benefits go a LOT further, in my opinion.

The way that I teach kata training, I have had students who didn't enjoy solo kata, certainly, but I have never had a student who felt it was useless, or not beneficial. From conversations I've had with them, and with other martial artists, this seems to stem from the fact that I provide purpose and context for the kata, without mysticism, symbolism, or romanticism--just practical reasons for doing what you are doing. It's easy to hate something and say that it is useless when you are never really told why you are doing it, or how you will benefit from it, after all.
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crash
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Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 143

Styles: karate,

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2022 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kata is beneficial in a number of ways. but that being said, it also depends on the teaching and the focus put into it. at the very least it teaches proper, strong, form and technique. intensity, form, flexibility, strength, are all things that will develop from proper kata training. learning the intensity and "snap" of a movement with excellent form can be a beautiful thing to watch. going through a kata repetitively, slow, then building up to full speed once the moves are mastered goes a long way in showing where you are at as far as training. but again it has to be taught properly and then practiced with discipline and desire. not just thrown out there with a "meh" attitude. its a way to keep in touch with the basics while also learning advanced skills. a good, positive all around practice.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15773
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2022 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another reason Kata is beneficial...

"Through sparring practice, the practical meaning of Kata becomes apparent."~Chojun Miyagi



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crash
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Joined: 21 Jan 2003
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Styles: karate,

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2022 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Another reason Kata is beneficial...

"Through sparring practice, the practical meaning of Kata becomes apparent."~Chojun Miyagi




looked for the thumbs up button, here ya go..lol..... very true about sparring. another good exercise for sparring is somewhere in-between kata and one steps.
place two students facing each other in fighting positions, like one step practice. have one remain frozen in position while the other circles in increments, throwing techniques at found openings, once the circle is complete they reverse and go back around in the opposite direction, then switch and the other performs the exercise. repeat with changing the fighting position of the stagnant participant, forward position, side position, left, right, etc.....sounds basic, (and it is) but is very good at teaching to look for all openings and how to position to get the hit, kick, or whatever in. trains the eye and the footwork, im sure you have all seen this or incorporate a version of such exercises. just made me think of this with sparring type practices.
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