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Mark F
Mark F's picture
Desperately Seeking Kata

Have ever performed a technique in kata based sparring that feels the most natural move to do but have no idea what, if any kata it belongs to?

Do you just smile and put it down to the karate gods messing with your techniques and joining them all up together or desperately seek the kata?!

Anf's picture

Aren't most 'techniques' just teaching aids to train the body to find its own natural movement? I keep accidentally finding applications in all sorts of basic techniques that naturally come together. I once found that a chop can diffuse a takedown attempt, flip the attacker, and end with him in a strangle hold. I'm not sure how reliable it would be. I need more time to play with it. But although it is the physical movement of a chop, there was no chop or block going on in the application I stumbled across. I think this is the whole point of basics and kata. Sure there's intentional applications in there, but when you consider that masters of old insisted on students learning forms/kata in depth, often with minimal application being taught, I think it's clear that it's principles we learn rather than specifics. In fact you see that when people show applications. They are rarely the exact verbatim technique from the form, but quite clearly apply the principles of the form.

Wastelander's picture

That is a sign that your training is working, and that the concepts and principles of the techniques you have learned have become natural. It's nice to be able to place the kata, but it's not terribly important.

Marc's picture

Usually for me it happens the other way around: I see a move that works, visualise it without the opponent in it and say "hey, that's a great application for xxx in kata yyy!"

If instead you do a move that works and you can't see it in your katas, I would suggest two things:

1) Examine the principle(s) that made the move work as a technique. Then go back to your katas and look for something that applies the same principle(s). Maybe it's there but the kata used a different example or it encoded the principles in other ways.

2) If your move, your technique, is really nowhere to be found, or you really like your move as you default go-to example to describe the underlying principle(s), then start creating your own kata. Especially if you have this experience more often.

Take care,