NOTE: You should understand that my teaching style is often VERY direct. At times, I even use explicit language…which may offend some people. This teaching style often goes against what many people “expect” from a teacher or instructor. And, sometimes this offends what many people in the West call “the Ego”. If this teaching style is NOT for you then I strongly encourage you to find another teacher that better matches your current needs and expectations.
Each [professional] field of endeavor has its own language…letters, words, phrases and sentences. This specialized language is taught, to those wishing to learn the discipline or advance further within it. Once the proper usage of the language is learned, it becomes integrated in peer to peer communications and general writings. It then becomes an integral part of engaging all of the members of the discipline. This is no different in Japanese and, especially, Okinawan based combative and personal protections arts and methods. Not learning how to analyze kata, discern the combative application of the moves and then develop principle drive combative variations (bunkai, oyo and henka in the language of our discipline) is akin to removing half or more of your own personal language abilities.
Since they are directly related to the topic of kata analysis, I would recommend that you have a look at the two following posts as they may help to enlighten you as to where I am coming from and how I ended up (through much trial and error!) with the principles I am presenting here.
William Shakespeare practiced the same kata as you or I do. To wit, the letters of the alphabet.Peter Urban ~ founder of American Goju-ryu Karate-do
Take Apart and Analyze
To Put To Use
The martial arts have numerous varieties of kata. Predecessors, over long periods of time, created kata through experience, changes and imagination. It is obvious that these kata must be trained and practiced sufficiently, but one must not be “stuck” in them. One must withdraw from kata to produce forms with no limits or else it becomes useless. It is important to alter the form of the trained kata without hesitation to produce countless other forms by training.Hironori Otsuka ~ founder of Wado-ryu Karate-do
I present, in no particular order, the following key points regarding kata analysis for your review and consideration. Comments, as always, are welcome by using the message system located at the bottom of the page.
All movements in the katas should be evaluated within the sphere of a personal combative and self-protection paradigm.
Nothing is more harmful to the world than a martial art that is not effective in actual self-defense.Motobu Choki
In a personal combative and self-protection paradigm, you must always consider that moves in a kata might be a pre-emptive attack as well as a more reactive or defensive strategy.
A kata is not fixed or immoveable. Like water, it’s ever changing and fits itself to the shape of the vessel containing it. However, kata are not some kind of beautiful competitive dance, but a grand martial art of self-defense…which determines life and deathMabuni Kenwa ~ Founder of Shito-ryu Karate-do
Beginning his martial training almost 50 years ago, Michael Davis has spent almost his entire adult life attempting to internalize, add to and propagate the body of knowledge that makes up the principles and techniques of the life preserving combative arts and sciences. Michael has taught or assisted with the teaching of seminars and events in 17 US states and four countries. In addition to training every day martial artists, he has taught members of the US military as well as law enforcement at every level...from local LEOs to Federal Marshalls and US Secret Service agents (protective detail). He has co-authored a martial arts book, written numerous magazine articles that were published internationally as well as appearing in and assisting with the production of martial arts videos and other training materials.