August 27, 2015
Kata- The Forms and Movements
Kata is a Japanese word, which refers to the detailed movements. The choreographed patterns and techniques of different art forms are known as Kata. It can be practiced either alone or in a group. It is not only used in Japanese arts, but is also used in other non-Japanese arts.
However, traditionally Kata is used in Japanese arts, including schools of tea ceremony (chado) and theatre forms like kabuki. The most common forms of Kata are used in martial arts. Both Okinawan and Japanese martial arts practice it, like judo, aikido, karate, kendo, etc.
History of Kata
It originated as the one of the training and teaching methods of combat and sparring. The term came from judo-kata of Jigoro Kano in the 1950s and as karate kata in the 1970s.
Nevertheless, now it is used as a generic term for all styles of martial arts as well as other art forms. In the earlier times, people used it to fight in a systematic manner within a group, rather than in a rowdy manner as individuals.
The main goal of it is to teach as well as preserve the proven techniques.
It is ideal for learning self defense techniques. If practiced regularly, you can learn Kata techniques by heart while performing them in a very natural and flexible way. It is not meant to be practiced in a rigid manner; instead it is meant to internalize the techniques and movements, so that the practitioner can execute them in any kind of situation.
It can be adapted very naturally in different circumstances, without any previous thought or hesitation. The video below will demonstrate the flow of motion without any sort of hesitation. Keep in mind these martial artists have been doing this for a long time so you will not get to their level over night.
There are a large number of Kata, forms, patterns, and moves of martial arts, such as Shotokan Karate and Taekwondo. In all forms it basically means movements and techniques, it comprises of all the martial arts moves. Every martial art is different from the other, with its own techniques and movements. The Virginia Beach Taekwondo website has helpful info about differences in all of the martial arts disciplines.
So, Kata of every martial art differs in its form. For instance, Karate Kata is different from Judo’s, Tang Soo Do’s is different from Tai Chi’s, etc. Moreover, if martial arts practitioners get confused about a particular Kata, they can take help from their martial arts school or instructor, because every one of them can vary for different dojos.
The Application Of The Movements
Various forms of martial arts use these patterns to teach different techniques and movements to students, including kicking, striking, punching, self defense techniques, etc. Kata improves the physical conditioning, muscle strength, focus, concentration, and balance of the body as well as the mind.
To gain mastery, students should practice the forms alone, imagining that they are fighting with an opponent. This actually helps to improve their offensive and defensive techniques, rather than just passing a belt test. Such as the testing that takes place at this Virginia Beach Karate academy.
In several martial arts, portions of a particular Kata are taken out to teach self defense techniques in particular situations. This is done between two people – the attacker and the defender. This technique is known as Bunkai in Japanese martial arts.
The student should practice the correct pattern, with accurate power, speed, and timing of movements. He should know how to balance and concentrate properly. Then only, he or she can excel in Kata.