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Errors In Kata

I have noticed that some senior Karate instructors tend to make errors in their kata when they are demonstrating or being filmed. Of course, errors do happen. But I am speaking about senior instructors who are extremely unlikely to make an error, particularly in a kata they would agree to demonstrate in public.

My conclusion is that at least some senior instructors make errors on purpose. Perhaps this is to prevent people from selling copies of the film -- who would want to see one with an error? Perhaps it is to conceal the actual pattern of the kata. Perhaps it is just out of a sense of humor.

No suprisingly, people who watch such imperfect kata might copy them. We thus can see many incorrect forms of kata. There are even cases where wrong photographs have been shown in books leading to public confusion about the correct form of the kata.

My own sensei has a very flexible attitude about kata. Sometimes he will modify a movement to help students overcome a weakness or correct a problem. Later, he might change the movement back -- now the students will be able to do the movement correctly. But there will be some students who will not get the instruction to change the movement back -- now there will be two versions of the kata.

But I still find it interesting that some senior instructors seem to make errors on purpose. Perhaps it is an inside joke.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin