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Kata Should Not Change Unless...

On the subject to kata, and whether or not they should change...

If my Sensei tells me to do a certain kata a certain way, that is how I will do it. If he later tells me to change it back, I will do so. If he tells me to perform the kata backwards, that is what I will do.

My Sensei is my Sensei. I learn from the kata, but they are not my Sensei. Kata are tools, not memorials. A kata cannot take the place of a skilled Sensei.

I learn kata from my Sensei and will perform the kata as he directs. Of course, this does not mean that I cannot study and appreciate other versions.


Charles C. Goodin