What is Kata?

432153_2282309515805_24707471_nEvery Karate school has forms that they study. Kihon(s) are basic movements, in our school we would call them combinations. But Katas are more complex, they involve blocks, strikes and kicks as well as proper stances and turns. They are choreographed and must be memorized. Each belt rank has certain katas that are part of the requirement of the rank.

My karate school, Bushido Karate Dojo, studies a blend of two major systems: Isshinryu and Kyokushin. Our katas, both empty hand and weapons, draw from both styles. We also regularly practice 2 bo forms from our Tae Kwon Do friends and gatekeeper from our Kung Fu friends.

Kata Defines Your School
Sparring tendencies, stance preferences, and body movement are all found in kata. Kata is practiced over and over. It defines the individual. It defines the school.

In our school we have a process called the Eagle 50.
In order to test for a new belt rank, students are required to practice their list of katas 50 times each. For example the adult white belts learn Pinan Shodan (Kyokushin), and Seisan (Isshinryu). As a part of the process of becoming yellow belt they must document the practice of their 100 katas. Every rank has to do it. My list has 22 katas.

I invented the Eagle 50 about 10 years ago. It has increased the quality of our katas as a school and has been the single best addition to our programming that we have ever made.

Personal Practice Time is the Key to Success.
Defining Person Practice Time Makes it Tangible.
Tangible Things Get Done.

Great Kata Comes to Life.
One of the best katas I have ever seen was during a student’s Black Belt test. He was completely immersed in the moment. To tired to think about the testing panel. Drawing on every bit of focus to stay within the thought and process of Kankudai.  Performing a kata that complimented his long reach and lean form, we could just picture the imaginary attackers surrounding him as he turned and dispensed with each one.

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