We had seen some time ago in training videos why some stagnate in karate and especially why they have difficulty retaining a Kata.
So we had a lecture, with my friends Fabien Monjo from Martial Passion, the Blog of Martial Arts Enthusiasts, entitled " how to learn a kata and never forget it Or I gave you a method to learn a good Kata and Fabien taught you how to keep it in the long run.
These different techniques make it possible to know the sequences of a kata, but it would be interesting also to recall the importance of the Kata in Karate. Indeed, katas are too often perceived as a banal choreography staging various more or less complicated movements. Too often put in the background, we forget their martial function and we neglect their work. Yet, the sequence of movements is undoubtedly a essential element in many martial arts... Kata in karate, Tao in Kung Fu, Poomsae in Taekwondo etc. These different names designate the same learning technique.
We will see together the wealth that represents the Kata.
The kata is in the heart of Karate:
It is important to understand that the Kata does not have a purely practical role in Karate: he is at the heart of Karate, he is at the base of the martial artit is what embodies the essence of the style practiced.
Indeed, the grouping of different katas of a school can be conceived as the encyclopedia of this schoolinasmuch as most of the techniques practiced are concentrated within the movements. So you will notice that many kihon are derivatives of movements found in a Kata : you can forget a Combinations Kihonbut if you retain the katasyou will have the basis of most kihon. The katas are a concentrate of movements, various and varied blows, postures, breathing techniques, blockages ... It is not a simple component -accessory- of the martial art, but the illustration of this art.
Let's not forget that katas that you learn are an ancient heritage that the masters have bequeathed to their followers. This link between the present and the past is a real treasure that continues. Is not this something extraordinary?
Let's not forget that many katas have disappeared with their master and are lost forever. It is therefore essential to preserve this teaching and perfect it so that we can transmit it in our turn.
The kata is a real fight:
Le Kata allows to acquire a set of combat techniques whose effectiveness is not negligible. Many practitioners believe that this is an abstract method, far removed from reality. Yet, by dint of repeating the movements, displacements, blockages and blows, you will integrate automatisms and reflexes. You will not necessarily do the same choreography in a fight, but you will have acquired basic techniques, engine patterns that it will be possible to implement instantly. Performing the katas in different ways (slow, fast, strong ...) and in different places or orientations, you also have the possibility to perform effective movements, whatever your position.
Kata is a real fight against imaginary opponents. Once you have passed the learning phase of the kata, you must "live" your kata as you live a fight, with the same fears, the same doubts, the same mistakes that you have to work on to progress. Each repetition must be a new fight in which you will try to improve, be more alert (the zanchin), more stable, work your breathing, your explosiveness, etc. All these qualities are necessary in combat and the kata must become your working support to really progress in real combat.
The kata is a library of self defense techniques:
In addition, Le Kata is a real panel of application of self defense techniques : repeating it gives you the opportunity to integrate them. We had already spoken about it in the study of BunkaiKata makes it possible to put yourself in a real-life situation and make an attack: the shots that you give are intended for an opponent and the intention must be directed towards this opponent, at a specific place in his body (head, throat , belly ...). Likewise for your blockages: they must not be deployed at random. So it's a great mental job for the fighter. Moreover, it is obvious that visualizing the opponent and being attentive to his movements improves your concentration. Your opponent, or aggressor must really be present in your mind during Kata, you must learn to visualize and feel it. This mental visualization work is essential in the study of a kata.
Kata is a great gym for body and mind:
I would also like to emphasize the physical virtues of Kata. Whether short or long (up to sixty techniques), the Kata allows to acquire some physical form. It makes work endurance, strength, precision, distance management, power, Ki (internal vital energy), flexibility, balance, speed and sheathing (especially regarding the center, called Hara). It's also a great way to work synchronization and coordination which are often lacking for beginners.
The sequence of movements calls for a certain neuromuscular capacity that develops through repeated work. It is therefore a very good physical training for the body and I invite you to work your katas in different ways to experience the bodily sensations you may feel Kata without taking a break, for example, continuously, or on the contrary all in strength with long breaks).
memorization, general acuteness ... You will develop your zanchin or "spirit of availability. In fact over the rehearsals of a kata, your state of concentration and openness, and all your senses, take you little by little into almost meditative states. Your mind does not wander more than one thought to another, but follow the kata ...
Without kata, there is no real Karate:
So we saw how much Kata represents a complete method of training. Not only, it allows to transmit the fundamental principles of martial artbut it also gives the practitioner a real technical encyclopedia of self defense. Across the katasyou will be able to work the psychological aspect which is undeniable in Karate and you can maintain your body.
Do not neglect the work of your katasbecause it is at the forefront of your martial practice.
Some think that the kata does not represent the reality when in fact, it is the opposite, without Kata, there is no real karate!
Good job and see you soon!
Now, tell me in a comment below how personally you see the practice of kata!
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