Karate is most commonly practised as a mid- to long-range kicking and punching system. And whilst karate practitioners tend to be very skilled at impacting at this range, they are often found wanting should the fight go to close-range. This is because most modern dojos do not include close-range striking and fundamental grappling skills in their training. A chain is only ever as strong as its weakest link and it is this lack of close-range skills that could be the karateka's undoing in a live situation.
Kushanku kata (also known as ‘Kanku-Dai’ and ‘Kosokun’) is one of the most popular forms in modern karate. It is a physically demanding and visually impressive form (when performed correctly) and it is one of the most popular kata in modern competition. As well as being a popular form with kata competitors, it also has a great deal to offer the practically minded karateka.
Practically all karateka practise kata; however, most only practise the initial stage and therefore they do not develop a rounded and more complete understanding of what kata has to offer. In this article we shall discuss all four stages of kata practise.
In this article, I thought we’d have a brief look at exactly what it is that the katas record. Katas are not simply a record of techniques; rather each and every kata is designed to record the key principles and strategies of a complete style of fighting!