I am a fighter. I don’t do kata.

General discussions on Wado Ryu karate and associated martial arts.
AshleyBarai
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:00 pm

I am a fighter. I don’t do kata.

Post by AshleyBarai »

Hi All,

As a habitual forum lurker I feel guilty (and often shamed by Gordon) for my lack of input.

So…

“I am a fighter. I don’t do kata.”

This comment was made to me during a course in January by a fellow student and it made me laugh. But, then it occurred to me that in all his years of training he had never really got the point of kata as a relevant training aid for fighting.

His instructor or association had either failed to give him the information for him to make this connection or perhaps he had failed to listen.

Either way it doesn’t matter. If he is the ultimate fighting champion then indeed Kata is unnecessary.

But, I began thinking how I would explain this to someone if they asked. “Why are we doing this?”

I don’t think I have ever really asked it myself as I just sort of got the point early on.

This morning I scratched down some basic notes:

• Kata illustrates strategies of combat, each kata adds another layer to the whole
• Kata provides an accessible and manageable method of assessing, exploring and training most variations and types of body movement. Each kata adds another layer of variation to the whole.
• Kata involves internal and external principles of application and flow. Many of which I only became to truly understand when searching for the best solution in combat.

To me they are a bit like the reason many musicians continually work through scales, chords and various musical theory. It provides them with the basis to produce great works.

To be fair, not every great work came from classically trained musicians who spent years studying the craft of music as well. But, then the question probably has to be asked, “How much greater could those works have become with that training?”

I suppose my question is “What is the point of Kata?”

Regards
wadoka
Site Admin
Posts: 693
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:38 am
Location: Bournemouth, Dorset, UK.
Contact:

Re: I am a fighter. I don’t do kata.

Post by wadoka »

I would have to agree with the person. If he is a fighter, assuming shiai/competition fighter, then there is nothing better than drilling yourself in point scoring techniques, associated movement and strategies.

If he is a street fighter, then a continual stream of brawling would seem to work for that environment.

I can see the attractiveness of giving kata the aura of a knowledge onion, with many layers to peel and reveal but over time I see no justification required to explain it. It just becomes one of the just-do elements.
andyb28
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:27 pm
Location: Essex
Contact:

Re: I am a fighter. I don’t do kata.

Post by andyb28 »

Interesting, I have mixed feelings about this in how it relates to me personally. I would say I have learnt to fight by fighting, not through practicing kata.
If you took two white belts, taught them both basics, then made one of them only do kumite and the other only kata, as you know the kumite guy will be a lot better at fighting. You could quite possibly even add to the kata guy two man practice and still the kumite only guy would be better.

It is not obvious to me the lessons kata teach us, now that just might be me only being a shodan whilst most of you here are older, wiser and more experienced. Maybe these lessons are waiting to come.

People have pointed some out to me before and I have gone, oh yeah, I see it. Has it been a worthwhile lesson? I am sorry to say no, it was things I was already doing in my own fighting technique. Will doing them over and over make me automatically respond, calling subconsciously on the kata lessons, I don't know the answer, perhaps someone further down the road could tell me.

Perhaps what I need is a good ass-whipping by someone utilising only lessons from kihon kumite and kata, that would prove the point once and for all ;)
Andy Booth
Colchester Traditional Karate Club
oneya
Posts: 857
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:31 pm
Location: Mornington Victoria Australia

Re: I am a fighter. I don’t do kata.

Post by oneya »

... Many people look at the practice of karate and conclude the premise is that fighting is and of itself the end product, but what if that premise is wrong? It seems to me that fear and fighting has been driving homo sapiens' reasoning and logic for the last few thousand years. If we consider the progress of mankind to date and total up the global dead from this primitive logic it seems to me that our reasoning to see fighting as the ultimate skill and reasoning might well be seen as flawed.

What if Ohtsuka meijin's premise really is: kIhon, kata and kumite will raise the level of intellect and its reasoning by teaching one how conquer fear and how to avoid fighting in a very sophisticated way.?

oneya
Reg Kear.
Wado Kokusai San no Ya.

http://www.sannoya.com
mezusmo
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:08 pm

Re: I am a fighter. I don’t do kata.

Post by mezusmo »

I agree with oneya post and it is my aim to discover this more throughout my life and training.From a personal perspective kata has taught me how to fight.Rooting,stable structure ,moving connected and proper technique have taught me more about fighting than point scoring drills..if kumite come from this base all the better..
Martin Duffy
wadoka
Site Admin
Posts: 693
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:38 am
Location: Bournemouth, Dorset, UK.
Contact:

Re: I am a fighter. I don’t do kata.

Post by wadoka »

Thanks for replying but could you update your signature with your full name please.
mezusmo
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:08 pm

Re: I am a fighter. I don’t do kata.

Post by mezusmo »

apologizies wadoka ,i havent been here for a while....
Martin Duffy
Tim49
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:38 pm
Location: Essex UK
Contact:

Re: I am a fighter. I don’t do kata.

Post by Tim49 »

oneya wrote:... Many people look at the practice of karate and conclude the premise is that fighting is and of itself the end product, but what if that premise is wrong? It seems to me that fear and fighting has been driving homo sapiens' reasoning and logic for the last few thousand years. If we consider the progress of mankind to date and total up the global dead from this primitive logic it seems to me that our reasoning to see fighting as the ultimate skill and reasoning might well be seen as flawed.

What if Ohtsuka meijin's premise really is: kIhon, kata and kumite will raise the level of intellect and its reasoning by teaching one how conquer fear and how to avoid fighting in a very sophisticated way.?

oneya
Yes, I'm with this!
So really Oneya you are talking about this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_Awards
Along with all the medals trinkets and gongs our 'fighters' (competition) can have a Darwin Award in pride of place.

Tim Shaw
Essex
UK
wadoka
Site Admin
Posts: 693
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:38 am
Location: Bournemouth, Dorset, UK.
Contact:

Re: I am a fighter. I don’t do kata.

Post by wadoka »

Someone emailed me outside of the forum and made a statement along the lines of Wado is a great art but useless for fighting. Seems apt to drop that in now.

Goes back to the purpose of karate. I started when I was 11, am now 44 and hope to be still training for a long long time still. Maybe that's when kata comes into its own then.
oneya
Posts: 857
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:31 pm
Location: Mornington Victoria Australia

Re: I am a fighter. I don’t do kata.

Post by oneya »

Yes something like that Tim. If - as we often see - a nine letter alphabet rings their bell and kata flies out the door there is always going to be a place for them in the condiment and contest section of Wado Ryu as the meijin knew. Ultimately though it is only the collective paradigm shift that will bring the evolution - much water under many bridges so perhaps not in our lifetime.

oneya
Reg Kear.
Wado Kokusai San no Ya.

http://www.sannoya.com
Post Reply