Do your kata in groups – 12/3/10 – Friday Karate class

Sensei Brien, like my other Sensei’s, has been helping the students that are testing prepare for their tests.

Don’t point that finger….

We started out with kihon for almost half the class, working on the normal basics. We did most of the moving forward and back blocks, punches and combinations. We then got a partner and did many kicks. One drill that really sticks in my mind is, standing next to our partner, we touched index finger tip to index finger tip and had to keep contact while doing side thrust, side snap and back kicks. Not an easy task at since it makes you keep your body upright as you kick to the side. No leaning far back on this drill.

Do your kata in groups….

Sensei gave some really good advice about kata that I never explained this way before. He said, when you are doing your kata at your exam or even a tournament, do your kata in groups of techniques. This is something that Sensei mentioned in the past but his explanation today really made it clear to me. I hope I can explain it here half as well as he did:

When doing kata, you need to take a group of movements apply the correct rhythm and escalate the intensity move after move. For example, unlike sanbon tsuki, the rhythm is punch followed with a short pause then two more punches with no pause in between. If you were to clap it would look like, clap….clap.clap. The first punch is normally very strong and fast, the second punch is sometimes short and weaker than the first and the third punch is much like the first.

When doing kata and there are groups of movements, instead of using the rhythm of sanbon tsuki, the claps would look like, clap.CLap.CLAP. I am using the capital letters to illustrate the increasing intensity of each movement. For example, when doing Jion, there is a group of moves, moving forward in a horse stance with three palm heel strikes. Most people go hard and fast on the first move, the second move is a short stance and too fast and the third move is normally hard and fast again. The problem is, if the middle move is weak or incomplete, the entire kata is now incomplete. So instead of using the sanbon tsuki rhythm, you would complete each movement but have the speed and intensity increase as each movement is performed.

Sensei counted out a few Hiean katas for us with the rhythm that he explained above and I can understand how it makes the kata more interesting both for the person doing it and the people watching it.

We finished up by picking a group of movements from a kata that we need to work on and doing those movements 10 times. I know, all too well, that I need to improve the rhythm of all of my katas and breaking it down into groups, I believe, will go a long way.

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About doug

Doug is a Shotokan Karate student that enjoys sharing his Karate training experiences with everyone. He is a Computer Consultant, an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, blogger and a freelance writer..

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