The deeper teaching of kata

Kata contain many messages that are not obvious, but offer a wealth of knowledge.

This knowledge not only relates directly to the kata itself, but goes beyond it, influencing and shaping the way the karateka thinks and acts in society.

It is an invisible and insidious process that decisively changes the character.

The precise execution of the techniques requires the karateka to study them intensively. This is a very important aspect for success in life: attention to detail.

This kind of focus is only effective if a second important aspect is added: the continuity of practice in order to automate the precision achieved. In this way, the exact desired movement or posture is expressed by the body - spontaneously, without thinking and without involving the mind - in other words, simply automated.

The interplay of attention to detail and constant practice shapes people on a psychological level, so that they begin to become who they are when they practise the kata. At work, when shopping, in their free time, this karateka will over time adapt their habits to their behavior in dōjō.

The different rhythms in the kata also have an effect on the character. There are fast and slow passages. Fast passages are not always equally fast, just as slow movements are subject to different speeds. The observation and internalization of these phases follows certain combat actions. The amount of energy required therefore varies depending on the situation. Even a whole working day needs breaks to recharge the batteries. Rest periods are often crucial for good results!

Bunkai (the understanding of a technique or kata) is the most obvious aspect of the meaning of the techniques performed in the kata. It completes the knowledge of the kata.

It is like seeing beyond seeing. Every view of the martial art is a personal interpretation. At a certain level, it must be adapted to one's own abilities. To do this, the karateka must go one step further: He must extend what he has learned beyond the interaction with a partner.

That's life: Our thoughts and ideas always meet other people in a society. The way we deal with them positions us in society. The determined way of acting that bunkai teaches also influences the karateka in this sense: determined, goal-oriented, but respectful and thoughtful.

For the above reasons, which can enrich the karateka if he/she allows it, my advice is to understand and practice the kata in its expanded aspects. In Japanese society, kata is present everywhere: from the tea ceremony (sadō or chadō) to the way flower arrangements (ikebana) or calligraphy (shodō) are made. And beyond.

Would you like to learn more about the complex world of kata and its impact on life? In the FT-KARATE online coaching you will receive further information and practical instructions for your own journey.

In the book "The Karate Essence" you will learn how you can achieve a profound development of your own karate in a structured and systematic way.