Is Kata still useful in modern day martial arts? Is it still a useful training tool martial artists should practice?.
Kata is a prearranged sequence of movements replicating a fight situation or movements within combat. They have been used for thousands of years by many styles of martial arts including karate. So what is the use of practicing kata?
Kata has had many uses over the years including, a way of passing on techniques and attacks with out having to make written records, this was so rival schools and the wrong people didn't get there hands on the techniques of a style.
So what use is kata to the martial artist of today? Well to begin with it is a great way through constant repetition of a kata to develop muscle memory. This means that your body will start to memorise the movements of the kata, which therefore leaves your mind to be free during a fight situation. This is the aim of every martial artist to develop every technique into muscle memory, kata is a great way to do this.
Kata also allows the martial artist, to invent and use his own ideas. The bunkai or application of a kata technique can vary from person to person, style to style. So everybody has there own application of kata , just be sure that what you practice works, don't practice techniques that don't work. If you look deep into kata techniques you will find locks, throws, Holds and more, not just strikes and blocks. So remember use your imagination.
Another benefit of practicing kata is fitness and muscular endurance through hard practice. Vary the speed you practice your kata , the depth of your stances and the amount of repetitions of the kata you perform.
Harmonize your breathing with the techniques you are performing. Breathe in on your blocks out on your strikes and so on. This provokes Ki or inner energy to develop within your body, as well as calms your mind which develops Mu or empty mind.
These are just a few of the benefits of practicing karate kata. It is very important to any martial artist and I hope this article helps to understand why. So remember train hard, have fun and good luck.
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