Saturday, 24 March 2012
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Who, if any of us, can truly say that they actually know a kata?


What is the ultimate test? Can you start from the last move and perform the kata in reverse? Is that a good measure of mastery?

more than a month ago
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#62
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Mastering a kata (or form) is not so much as remembering the form front to back and vice versa. Traditionally, katas were developed to pass on skills to the next generation. To truly master a kata, is to fully master each move of that kata. Every action in a kata represents skills that must be understood and the martial artist must be able to explain, demonstrate and understand the movement for all of the kata before it can be said that the kata has been mastered. One could say that a kata is never truly mastered. I believe that it can. When you've mastered each step and skill in a kata and can perform that skill on multiple/different opponents you have mastered the kata. You can continue to expound on the lessons of your kata, however you cannot reach that level of understanding unless you have mastered the skills necessary to ponder the possibilities. Does that make sense? The original form can go very far in teaching you many things. Form, pace, speed, timing and so on. It does not however, teach you how to utilize the skills in real time which is sad to say that in many modern dojos/studios this is not the case.
more than a month ago
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#55
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you can not posibly ever master a kata you learn something new every time you do it again you just get beter at doing the kata and when you think you have mastered it you must keep your mind open because there is always ways to improve
more than a month ago
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#52
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One might consider themselves a master of a kata when they move from the associative stage to the autonomous stage of learning it; I don't believe this makes them a master of the kata. Being able to perform a kata in reverse is moreless just memorizing another kata in itself. I don't believe that there can be an ultimite test either. I believe kata is an expression of ones art. I also believe that a person takes all knowledge of the outside world and channels it into their kata. Thus your kata is always changing. Being from a karate background my kata used to be solid and hard. After training in kali for a while though my kata is now more fluid. Think of kata as something as an entitiy in itself. Let it grow. As you learn techniques you like don't be afraid to change your kata. Kata is a learning tool first and foremost. Also through time katas have changed and the true bunkai of the techniques have been "lost in translation". Ie. In Unsu, there are two kicks thrown from the ground at attackers coming in behind you. Originally I was taught the kata the traditional way and performed them as I learnt. Then I learnt some Malaysian wrestling technique. I used the technique which I thought was most effective for the position I was put in. So while the technique changed the attackers and the tempo of the kata remained the same. Lots of karateka probably won't agree with me. I'm just young though and still a student of the universe. Hope this jumbling of information makes sense. Best of training, Ryan!
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