What is kata, and why do we deed it?
No two answers are ever exactly the same.
Neither of the following two questions questions will get you exactly the same answer if you were to ask two karate-ka. For the simple reason that we do not all see kata in the same way. Yes, there will always be a similar theme running though any number of answers to these two questions. But, it is precisely our personal points of view that is the dividing line that separates each of us as individuals.
“What is kata”?
Here is my answer to the first question.
“Kata is amongst other things, a means by which we can self practice in a fixed form, the basic fundamentals that are the underlying foundation of what is referred to as classical karate”. While my answer does not dwell on the “other things” that kata has to offer, this is intentional. Because I want to make a specific point about what kata is not intended to do.
While we are all bound by the unique and unchangeable pattern and movements found in any kata. Our practice is not intended to make us believe that these specific movements are the only responses we could use. They are simply one possible example.
“Why do we need it”?
Here is my answer to the second question,
“Kata defines us as classical martial artists”.
Without kata the art of classical karate-do has no center, no soul if it were. Kata is where we find function in the basics that we are taught. The how, and the why. Anywhere, at any time, without the aid of a partner, or any equipment. Kata is the primary means by which we can seek to perfect our character, while at the same time seeking to dive below the surface of karate, and seek what else lies underneath.
Do you agree with my thoughts, or not?
How would you respond if you were asked these same two questions?
Let me know.
Remember: "How we think about what we know, often determines how we use it"