Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Create a Kata!

There are many ideas taught about what is possible when interpreting a kata, such as multiple layers of application, hidden/secret techniques, forms applicable armed and simultaneously unarmed and many more. One exercise to explore if these ideas are actually possible and relevent to understanding forms is to create a kata and attempt to put these ideas into practise from the beginning of the process. If it is indeed possible to record for example many layers of techniques in a simplified repertoire then the process should not pose to much of a challenge to create a form that will reflect the intended techniques and hold value as a practise. The results may also help point towards the original functions of the antique kata (forms inherited from China) or eliminate ideas and theories that have proved impossible when creating a form. Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling.

Self defence - Create a self defence kata, what would be the starting point? would the techniques be pro-active or reactive? how many techniques would be enough? where would it be applied e.g indoors or outdoors, how would this effect footwork and posture etc? is it against one person or more? would it include headbutting, biting, gouging?

Multiple layers - Create a kata with multiple layers of techniques, encode 2 or more techniques in each single movement. Does the movement honestly reflect the intended techniques? how many layers are possible? can a strike also be a lock and/or a throw etc? how is the solo movement to be executed in order to be a valuable exercise representing the multiple layers?

Armed/Unarmed - Create a kata that pulls double duty as unarmed techniques and armed. Use of weapons is very different from empty hand fighting so how are the differences resolved in the chosen movements and techniques? Can a comprehensive repertoire of both armed and unarmed be recorded in one set of movements? would there be any real value in doing this?

As shown above there are many criteria and questions to be answered in creating a form based on one or more of the many ideas used in creative interpretation of kata today. If these ideas turn out to be ineffective as a starting point and basis for creating a kata, is it likely that this is how the antique forms were originally conceived?

Please contact us with any comments, questions or most importantly for training please email Tom Maxwell at kodoryutmaxwell@gmail.com, thanks for reading!!!

1 comment:

  1. My former instructor tried his hand at creating kata once upon a time: two of them. While they were all technically quite useful, there was something inherently flawed about them. The techniques were put together in an incompatible order, or something. I never could figure out what felt so wrong about them. It wasn't that they weren't "real kata" or "traditional kata", or anything. They just didn't flow right for one reason on another.

    So, I would recommend that such concepts be looked at as well. Not aesthetics, but the feel. It has to FEEL like a kata, too. I hope this is making sense.