KATA: FORMS

 

Shotokai Kata and their names in Kanji

There are 19 kata in the core training of Shotokai, many others are standardized and practiced but the essential ones are the following:

Master Shigeru Egami says:

" If one has the time, he might practice other ancient kata - but to do so to brag about knowing a great number of kata would be pointless. It is said that in former days a single kata was practiced for a minimum of three years. Try to imagine what this means."

"A kata may be regarded as an integration of offensive and defensive techniques, but it is more than that. One should try to understand the spirit of the master karateka who created the kata, for it has a life of its own and requires five or six years to be mastered."

Due to changes that have taken place in the technique and the underlying spirit, the kata, even though their general layout has not changed considerably, the technical, rhythm and speed have been modified.

A Shotokai kata should be done fluidly from the initial position in hachiji-dachi to the same final position. As Master Egami said: "it should be beautiful, rhythmic, and the performer, full of vitality radiating power. Body and spirit must be one entity, and the power must be concentrated. Breathing must coninue without interruption. In former practice there used to be a pause between one movement and the next; now movement continues rhythmically, without pausing and is fluid and flexible." Every movement and every defensive or offensive technique has its meaning, and a serious trainee must take this into consideration and practice accordingly, trying to understand the meanings and when they will actually be effective.

The movements within a kata must take into consideration the three pairs of opposites established by Master Gichin Funakoshi:


Technique index

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