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Remembering a Basic Kata

I remember, a long time ago, that we were practicing a basic kata (I think it was one of the Naihanchi kata). We had a visitor with us. The visitor was quite advanced and said that he would have to practice (review) the kata because he had not done so for a long time because it was so basic.


That is like saying, "I need to practice writing the letter "A". You need to remember all the letters. In Karate, you do not forget or neglect a kata just because it is considered to be a basic or beginner kata.

I do not view kata that way. Our students learn Naihanchi Shodan first. In that respect, it is a basic kata. However, we practice it at almost every training session. In many ways, it is one of the most technically difficult and advanced kata. It is not basic at all.

Kata only seem basic. Fukyugata Ichi is an easy kata to learn but a very difficult kata to do well. If you make any mistakes, they will be obvious. Mistakes are easier to hide in more complex kata.

If you have to remember a "basic" kata, I would say that you know too many kata. Kata are cumulative. The second one is added to the first one. Now you know one longer kata. You keep adding and adding. They are separate, but together they are like one kata. You cannot neglect any part.

It is like the blood circulation in your body -- if the blood does not circulate to your feet they will die. Blood has to circulate throughout your body.

Don't neglect any kata. If it is worth learning, it is worth practicing.


Charles C. Goodin