Okinawan Karate and Kobudo Dojo

 

 

 

Kata

Kata is a formal prearranged exercise.  A karate kata consists of movements which can be applied as kicks, punches, blocks, strikes, leg sweeps, throw, holds, chokes and joint punishment techniques.  Kata is the heart of Karate-Do.  All techniques, principles and strategies are derived from kata.  Its practice makes the body stronger, more flexible and better coordinated.  Kata should be practiced with the following points in mind.

1. Form - Each move should be done exactly as taught with correct body positioning.
2. Speed - Each move should be executed quickly.

3. Eyes - The eyes should look straight in the direction of each technique, never out of the corners of the eye sockets.

4. Kiai - Each kata has 2 kiai, each in a prescribed place.  The kiai should be executed forcefully from the abdomen.

5. Concentration - The mind should stay focused on each move of the kata from the beginning Yoi Dachi to the ending Yoi Dachi.

6. Breathing - Breathing should be natural with an exhalation where strength is applied (e.g. a punch).

7. Expansion and contraction - The body should be relaxed (expended) during movement to gain speed and should contract at the end of a movement to apply strength.

8. Commitment - Each movement should be executed as if it were real.  Master Itotsu said, „Kata should be practiced as if you were on a battlefield.š

Each movement of kata can be applied more than one way.  The study of the various applications is the realm of the senior student.  The beginning and junior students will generally be shown one basic application of block, kick, punch or strike to avoid confusion while they are learning the movements of each kata.

The following are the fifteen kata taught in the Shorin-Ryu Shorin Kan system:

1. Naihanchi Shodan
2. Naihanchi Nidan
3. Naihanchi Sandan

4. Pinan Shodan
5. Pinan Nidan
6. Pinan Sandan
7. Pinan Yandan
8. Pinan Godan
9. Passai Sho
10. Passai Dai
11. Kusanku Sho
12. Chinto
13. Kusanku Dai
14. Gojushiho
15. Gorin