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David Miller
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 16 Jun 2017
Posts: 25


PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:25 am    Post subject: Which Kata can beat the other Kata. Reply with quote

Hello everyone,
I know I have heard this a lot when people say a good kata can beat any Kata even a white belt Kata can beat a black belt ones, I'm not disagreeing with it I know that your Kata has to be good regardless of what Kata you are doing. But my question here is that which Kata can beat a good Unsu? I know it is a very difficult Kata to beat because it has so many technical moves to perform and if you perform those properly, it can get really tough to beat that Kata. Now, this has happened to me before and I had no clue on what to do against a good Unsu and ended up losing (this was a year ago). So, what Kata can beat a good Unsu? Thanks
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JR 137
KF Sempai
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Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2306
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume you're talking about tournament scores?

If no other kata scores higher than Unsu, then everyone would be performing Unsu. That being said, I think all things being equal technically between two competitors, the competitor doing the more difficult kata would probably score a little higher. It shouldn't, as there's technically no points for difficulty in any judging criteria I've seen, but there usually is some bias. Gymnastics has that figured out with a maximum allowable score according to the individual routine, but as far as I've seen, kata competition doesn't.

A kata such as taikyoku 1 can technically "beat" Unsu, however I highly doubt anyone has scored a 3rd dan who did taikyoku 1 higher than a direct competitor who did a rank appropriate kata such as Unsu. Unless of course the one doing Unsu was disqualified, completely botched it, etc.

What "beats" Unsu? Anything done perfectly. And nothing at all (if it's the highest level of difficulty kata).

Edit: My CI was telling us a story about a tournament he judged a while back. It was our organization's tournament (closed to anyone outside), and the highest ranked guys decided to compete against each other in kata. They were all doing the longest and most elaborate kata in our organization. One of them decided he wasn't going to play their game, so he did Sanchin kata. He took his gi top off to show everyone the tension in his technique. Sanchin is a very simple kata with about 15 counts and taught at 6th kyu. He scored a 10 across the board. The others were doing 3rd and 4th dan kata with 54+ counts and some pretty complex movements. To the best of my teacher's knowledge, the only other person to ever score 10 was William Oliver (of Fighting Black Kings fame).

For reference, Sanchin kata...
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rhy0QlvABd8

A few kata it beat...
Koryu Gojushiho (aka Sushiho in Kyokushin)...
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DTur_vV9JZY

Kanku (Seido/Kyokushin version)...
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X4agf67175Y

Seido Empi No Kata Sho...
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jySXNIxUHd8

None of those were from the tournament I mentioned, but all were performed. The guy who did Sanchin won, hands down. Even his competitors agreed. And the others did extremely well, so it wasn't like a win by default.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14205
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which Kata can beat the other Kata??

No such thing, imho!!

It's dependent on the practitioners execution of said Kata!!

How believable is that practitioners execution of said Kata?!?!?

Rika Usami, in her days, won more that her share of Kata Championships on the worlds stage not from the mere choice of the Kata, but on just how she executed, and how believable her execution was of said Kata!!

I believe that she might've won with Heian Shodan against, for example, Unsu, because of her execution, and how believable she was.



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Nidan Melbourne
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Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2199
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It varies greatly between who is doing the kata.

A terrible unsu can be beaten by an awesome seisan.
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Shizentai
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Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 412

Styles: karate

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think people bring up excellent points about execution being a key element. The things I find to be important while selecting a kata are the following, in order of importance:

a. execution - my ability to perform it well
b. perceived difficulty - advanced kata? sentei? heian?
c. risk - some katas are harder to do than others on an unfamiliar mat, for instance, ones that have a slow foot sweeping motion, or a big jump.

Given this, in shotokan a lot of advanced people choose to perform "the so's, the sho's and the ho's" at tournaments :

sochin
nijushiho
gojushiho-sho
gojushiho-dai
bassai-sho

The perceived difficulty of these katas is high, but there are no risky jumps. More high-risk advanced katas with jumps that are also popular include:

kanku-sho (my tokui)
unsu

Now, this being said, the katta jitte, which is a basic 15 kata, has been used to take first place at the All Japan Championships at least 4 times, and at least twice at the world cup, reason being that Takenori Imura sensei was performing it so darn well:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wvnzd-IX9C0
As others have said, the reason for this is because execution is the #1 most important.
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MatsuShinshii
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Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I take it your speaking in terms of tournaments and not based on combat effectiveness.

I must admit that I do not participate in tournaments and haven't since I was a pre-teen. However as far as technical difficulty goes I personally love Kusanku and Useishi. Admittedly my art does not practice Unsu so I am not sure how these stack up. I would also throw a few others into the mix which is Passai, Rohai, Jitte and definitely my favorite Kata Naihanchi.

Honestly I have never seen Unsu performed so I may be way off base. Of course I do not train Kata to win points either so I'm sure I'm off base.
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Spartacus Maximus
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1696

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The answer to the original question is this: It depends on the judges! It might not seem fair, but kata performances where participants are from different styles of karate always have some kind of bias. The judges often are not from the same dojo, style or lineage as the karateka doing the kata. They may also be of varying experience and rank.

Consider how tournaments are conducted in Okinawa. There are only three styles: Shorin, Goju and Uechi. Anyone sandan or above may be a judge and 8 times out of 10 the winners are Goju ryu or Uechi ryu. That is because there are significantly more judges from those styles. It has come to the point where winning a kata tournament with a Shorin ryu kata is considered something highly exceptional. For some reason, Goju and Uechi kata systematically get higher points.
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David Miller
Yellow Belt
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Joined: 16 Jun 2017
Posts: 25


PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, if that is real point, then that is really unfair! Because I was planning on doing a Shito-Ryu Kata against an Unsu, even if they don't do Unsu, ill do a Shito-Ryu Kata against a high Shotokan Kata. So the judges in my tournament are all from Shotokan, does this mean that the Shotokan Kata will win against a Shito-Ryu one? Aside from the execution part.
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Spartacus Maximus
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1696

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could mean that, but there are no 100% guarantees. The point is that kata performance are usually naturally biased one way or another. A karateka technically qualified to judge Shotokan( for example) will not likely be qualified to judge a different style. The reason for this is that each style( or even sensei or dojo) have different points and criteria.

It makes little sense judging Shotokan by Shitoryu standards. Another issue is how much experience each of the judges have. A Sandan will not see a given kata the same way a Hachidan might see it. Things such as correct power generation or body-mechanics are very difficult to see in action. Often what happens is that kata are judged according to "attitude". There is also the esthetics factor. How impressive or fierce it "looks".

It is probably a better idea to just do kata as best one can. And if it is really necessary to compare, aim to be the best XYZ karateka at the tournament instead of the thinking about "beating" other kata of other styles.
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My school uses the Palgwe forms. When participating in tournaments (typically with other TKD schools) we see a lot of Taegeuk and ITF forms. We tend to take a lot of trophies home, and I often wonder if it's because our forms stand out from the rest simply out of being different.
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