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Do You Know What That Means?

Sometimes when I watch a Karate student performing a movement in a kata, I will ask him, "Do you know what that movement means?"

Often, the student will answer that he does not. This is not too surprising. But what gets me is that most students do not seem to think that they are supposed to know that a movement means (how it can be used). They seem to think that just doing the movement is enough.

[Please remember that in this blog, I use the term "student" to include anyone who studies Karate. This includes students and instructors. We are all students.]

This is my view:

You should try to learn to meanings of each and every movement of each and every kata you learn. Otherwise, you are just mimicking the kata. The physical movements of the kata are meaningless without the associated meanings. Kata have no value at all if they just "look good." They only have value if they "work well." It is better for kata to look bad and work well, than to look good and not work at all.
Always ask yourself, "How can I use this?" If you don't know or are not sure, you might politely ask your Sensei and seniors.

Please see: "The Why of Bunkai: A Guide For Beginners."


Charles C. Goodin