Kata - form or function.

There are only two ways.

As students of Shotokan Karate we know that kata lies at the heart of our training.

After all it is the essence that holds our style together.

I suspect that it is a rare day in a Shotokan dojo for the practice of kata not to take place. One day you might find yourself in a group setting being asked to stay together. While on another day you might find yourself training alone. A day when you alone can choose how to approach the kata. On those days I have a question for you. Do you prefer to practice for "form" or for "function"?

Form is all about the quality of each and every movement. Here you are simply using the embusen of the kata to improve all of your techniques. Function, on the other hand is all about thinking about attack, defense, spirit, and drive. All the reasons why you are doing each movement. This is where your imagination, or a partner, needs to come into play.

Each of these two different scenarios requires a totally different mindset.

So, I ask you again.

When you get the chance to chose your approach to a kata do you prefer to practice for "form" or for "function"?

Whether you know it or not your answer says a lot about you.

As for me function would be my first choice.

Although form is probably where my heart lies.

Remember: "To succeed at anything, you must remain focused until the end."