What is Kata?

What is Kata?

What is kata? Kata is the breadth and width of karatedo.  It’s depths have been plunged to only discover there is further to go in your study and understanding of the art which you have dedicated yourself to master.  Every move has a meaning and every position and contraction of your muscles and breathing has a purpose.  Kata is the heart of karate and it’s a treasure trove of learning only for the brave who choose to persist and not give up until after they have practiced and practiced some more to have the kata surrender its gems of knowledge preserved within its techniques from the masters of old.  It’s a time capsule of knowledge and a journey to another time when the world was simpler and training was hard.  It’s a trail for us to follow, left for us by legendary masters of the likes of Matsumura, Itsou, Higaonna, Miyagi, Mabuni and Funakoshi to name a few.  Kata is an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the masters.  To see what they saw and challenge our thinking and our body to take our training to the next level.  Kata is like an empty cup and you fill it with yourself.  The form of the cup never changes, but the content of the cup may change depending upon the person who is filling it.  You fill it with your attitude, your understanding of the art, your physical abilities and your effort. Kata means, “form” and you must engage the form to interpret and understand its function.  For every one technique comes many alternate options.  Kata is both exercise and self-defense.  It is both relaxation and tension.  Kata is a complete way to engage the whole student mind, body and spirit. What is kata? Kata is karate.

 

"Way of the Dojo" By Sensei Dave Hanson



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