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40

There are a mix of answers already offered on this question. I would like to rebut a couple of points proffered in some of those answers. These rebuttals are made with due respect - we all have different teachers, walked different paths and have learnt different things. Please don't be offended if I have chosen to critique one of your statements. Kata's ...


23

There are a couple of different reasons I can see for the use of forms. The first is that they are a functional mechanism of communicating patterns of movement that tend to go together, and to ingrain those movements into muscle memory. I've seen a few people talk about doing something in real life, only to realize later that it was part of some form that ...


13

Your intuition is correct. It is a very vulnerable position. That should give you a clue about its bunkai. For those that don't know, Bunkai is the Okinawan karate term used to refer to the practice of analyzing a kata for its self-defense applications. Right off the bat, you know this is not a block. And you can conclude that because it would be insane to ...


12

This is a good question. And to answer it, you have to understand why karate kata (forms) exist, what their original purpose was, and how kata practice differs from sparring. The original purpose of karate kata was to pass on self-defense technique to students. Each self-defense technique consists of one to three movements strung together in the sequence of ...


11

I think the main purpose of forms(kata) is muscle memory, drill something enough, and it you will be able to do it without thinking. the precision and exactness of the forms also encourages the participant to focus on the little details of a technique which will make their over all technique much better. the final reason i see for doing forms/kata is ...


10

One application is to capture a punch. If you enter the puncher's space, there's an arm break and/or a relatively violent takedown similar to some silat takedowns. It can be a deflection and striking/throwing entry without any capturing or breaks. One application Attacker steps in with a right-hand punch. Defender outward-deflects punch using the right ...


10

Improve your leg Strength. Do this first because it feeds into any activity requiring balance. Try: Hindu squats. These are great because they have you coming up on the ball of your foot while squatting low. Dynamic/Plyometric squats. For example, box-jumping. It's simple, just get a crate or some of those stackable aerobics platforms. Squat and jump ...


10

There are several reasons, but in my opinion, they are somewhat of a cop-out - and yet a relief. Keep in mind, getting into the Olympics is a herculean task: there needs to be a federation representing 75 countries on 4 continents (for men) and 40 countries on 3 continents (for women), anti-doping policies, "modern appeal", media interest, promote gender ...


10

The answer is simple: Because the vast majority of karate is taught by instructors who don't know what realistic bunkai is. And that's because their instructors were never taught it. And their instructors' instructors were never taught it, etc. This goes back many generations. But why? I gave a good overview of the subject at this link. And you should ...


9

There are a number of video resources available. As was pointed out in the comments depending on your style (and even instructor) there may be small changes. I included most of the ones I've been taught over the years. My instructors were generally influenced by Saito Sensei. For Jo: 31 Count Jo Kata 13 Count Jo Kata (Saito) 20 Jo Suburi (basic attacks) (...


9

Just because a karate style may include weapon katas does not mean that the name "karate" is invalidated. You can think of Kobudo as an extension, or sister art(s) to Karate. Okinawan weapon arts are supposed to have been based on farming tools that the practitioners would have had readily available. Additionally, as has been noted elsewhere, Kara in the ...


9

This may be new information to you, or it might be something you already understand. Taiji is done slowly for a very good reason. It's not for meditation, although many Taiji schools teach it that way. The real reason it's done slowly is because you're trying to move your body in a very special way that requires your brain to concentrate on many variables at ...


9

Are you doing Taiji entirely for meditation, relaxation, and chi-kung? If so, go ahead and do it with your eyes closed. Or better yet, do it sitting down on the floor while just "thinking" of how the movement should feel. You'll make more progress at your intended purpose that way. If, however, your purpose for learning Taiji is at least partially for ...


8

Forms are a way to transfer the knowledge from instructor to the student. In many cases, forms are what defines specific martial art. Change the form and you have different martial art. If only one practitioner is left of the entire art, the art still can be resurrected via forms. That's what I was taught and this is my belief as student and instructor. I ...


8

Yes and no. The techniques you use while standing have to be modified to work from the ground. If the art you are studying does not have a ground combat set of techniques, you need to get back to a stance where your art works. You have a different set of vulnerabilities and tactical advantages than you may be used to. Some things don't change: Power ...


8

You are indeed looking for the 'Pinan' (or 'Heian') forms. The wiki article sheds quite a lot of light upon them. Short story - they are in Shito, Wado, Shorin, Kobayashi, Kyokushin Shorei, Matsubayashi, and Shindo Jinen Ryu, as well as Shukokai and Shotokan. They were created by Anko Itosu. They consist of pieces of the larger forms KankuDai / Kusanku and ...


8

Traditional teachers of different style say many different things, of which, some have more, or less validity. Here's some things I've heard said about forms in general: It teaches you how to relax into all of the positions/movements for most efficient energy use The movements specifically work to stretch/strengthen various muscles in a given order The ...


8

I don't believe there is a "traditional taekwondo black belt bo form". The Kukkiwon (at the Foreign Taekwondo Master Training Course in 2013) says there are no weapons in Taekwondo, but some schools add them to boost their curriculum. I had a quick look in General Choi's encyclopaedias (the 1965 one and the multi-volume set) and can't find any references ...


7

I'm very pleased with Autrelle Holland's Aiki-jo manual, which contains the Suburi and Kihon (I believe those are what you refer to as "small kata". I've also been impressed with Stanford Aikido's discussion of the Jo Suburi, which contains some very precise, practical advice and a wonderful sense of humor. Of course for video the Saito Aiki-Ken and Aiki-...


7

There are some excellent answers here. There is a use for kata that goes beyond muscle memory or instilling discipline through boredom. I am reminded of it just now when reading this answer. Stilling your mind is difficult just sitting down. Stilling your mind while standing is harder. Stilling your mind while walking is harder still. It is most difficult ...


7

Forms are good to check your posture and correct execution of the techniques. For some time I knew my posture was wrong : I am arching my back when I should not, which mean that on some blocks I would not correctly transfer the strenght of the attack to my legs and the floor. By working my form, I am now able to slowly but sure correct this bad back ...


7

If you look at the forms tag you'll notice it's description is a sequence of movements traditionally used in the practice and performance of a martial art. An important word here is 'traditionally'. A form is not only a method to teach and learn a particular technique, it has also been used to preserve and pass on a proven technique in a formal and ...


7

The answer to this question entirely depends on the form and the history behind it. Most forms have changed in small and often big ways since they were first created. Sometimes movements are repeated slowly just because someone thought it would look better in a demonstration. That's the truth for most of what you'll see out there when you see something ...


6

A slightly different answer than the others above: forms are excellent relevant exercise. Using myself as a specific example: if I perform every poomse from Taeguk Il Jang to Taebaek with total focus on form, accuracy and power, I will have tested my flexibility, exercised my core and soaked myself in sweat. When I have an hour that I can dedicate, I'll ...


6

Magic is not real, so I am afraid that ying/yang energy is out. It is most likely that endorphins are being released after exercise. They can also be released during meditation.


6

Kata is sparring. Due to the facts that: kata are a static sequence of moves for most junior members (and even some senior members) sparring is a free form unplanned sequence of moves (for new people it tends to be totally random) it can take many years to get your head around this concept. Gradually the two start to merge, so that when you are ...


6

A simple practical exercise that will improve your kicking balance: Do straight leg kicks without ever setting the kicking leg down. You don't have to do them aggressively or high at first. Even a 30 or 45 degree kick is sufficient to start you off. But when the leg returns, either don't set it down, or do the lightest toe-touch possible. Gentle, ...


6

These are official videos. There are also coach's documents available you can get from TeamUSA, or from your country's Olympic site. The coach's document specifies competition-specific details, such as timing, height of kicks, placement of feet, and other nuances that are completely irrelevant when you need the forms for advancement or local competitions. ...


5

According to The 1995 Condensed, 1999 Condensed and 2008 15 Volume (as well as the original 1985? 15 Volume) these are Hooking Blocks (16 and 19 preformed as the first half of a Connecting Motion). Online resources back this up as well, such as http://chk-taekwondo.com/id28.html which is an excellent, excellent resource. My own writeup on the patterns is ...


5

Dave Lowry wrote a book each on bokken and jo work: Bokken, Art of the Sword and Jo: Art of the Japanese Short Staff These go through basics as well as single and partner kata. Lowry has also written many books on Japanese martial arts that explore philosophy, culture, and experience, all of which you can easily find on Amazon. He has a polished written ...


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