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Are traditional Kodokan kata still needed... If it doesn't work as a learning tool anymore...? Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Mitesco 

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 10:29 AM

What is kata? What CK-sensei said earlier, Kata = all "scripted exercise '. Different from randori which is free exercise = non scripted. Simple, or?


You have a number of established kata from the Kodokan, and other personal kata, including our technique training.

I am thinking and puzzling about this for weeks, and also the ‘Modifications’ topic is sometimes flabbergasting me. If it is so simple, why do we make it so complicated?


When I think about the origins of the kata…. Why did Jigoro Kano devise/compile kata? As a tool to teach judo techniques in a proper manner. Kata is not a goal in itself but an instrument! Reading the reason why Kano established kata in Mind Over Muscle, p. 24. Pure practical, because the number of students was increasing too much, he needed to do something systematically…

Kata is therefore still relevant. I say with Kano: kata is part of judo. Sure. But what kata? And that is the question.

Kata originated in a time without a lot of books, internet and youtube. At the time of Kano judo was still often related to the teaching methodes of jujutsu, and the real "secret" of judo was (is?) still undiscovered. It was not passed in theory, because I understand that was inappropriate in the Old Japan. There was not a sort of Kito Ryu 'compendium' or? Of course not!

For Kano the question was: How should the techniques be passed to the judoka of the future? In all Japan? Therefore he made his "handbook" as it always was used in Ancient Japan: a kata...

For all educational forms of judo he made grammar books / kata, for randori (katame- and nage-no-kata) and for physical education (first ju-no-kata and decades later the seiryoku-Zenyo-Kokumin- taiiku) and the real self-defense in Shobu-kata. And yes, the old traditions and principles in koshiki- and itsutsu-no-kata. ... But the hidden mysteries remained, so who really understands today what it´s really about? Be real, just a couple of higher dangrades and 99% of all judoka… will never understand more than maybe a bit of NNK. What are those tools worth, if not understood anymore? If almost never practiced? Do they really help in judo-education? Can they be the cornerstones in judo if we use them like we do now? What do we need a grammar for if nobody use nor understand it?

No surprise that it becomes more part of a ‘performance’ !

It may sound amazing from me as a ‘traditional judoka’ to ask myself: do we still really need kata? The purpose of kata is not kata, but learning. What to learn? Exactly: judo. Judo is not a secret esoteric school, but simply a practical system of education. With kata it is maybe like with the blackboard and chalk. Or the book. As a learning tool is not completely discarded, but the digital revolution has not only outdated encyclopedia but also the teaching methods have changed drastically. When I graduated, I had to really read books, my first thesis in 1990 I made on an electric typewriter, my second in 2000, fully digital and my third in 2003 ... almost without books. A friend who is now at a college, uses his laptop and sometimes even the few books he should buy. In all educational systems we have adapted ourselves. In judo?

We currently have outstanding judo books, and for the exact execution of judo techniques... also internet and DVD. The books and advice of great sensei as a reference to see if one’s judo teaching is technically correct (there is a lot of BS on the Web of course) and for the rest ... you do it on the tatami. Your teacher will also learn a lot for himself through digital means. F.e. you have more reference in "Wurftechniken of Kodokan" from Daigo-sensei, and there will soon be a moment that also these books are overruled by a flatscreen in the dojo, where the sensei occurs via wifi connection. Not? Why not?

The reason why the Dutch 'Busen' school (after all these decades of 'stupidity') suddenly goes down, is this: Internet creates new international standards. We can find anything - if we want - and even a guy like me, who cannot learn the lot in his own club, can learn a lot about judo. I just need a partner to do everything. But ... should it be necessarily a traditional Kodokan kata?

The point of judo kata is teaching us proper judo. Judo with principles. Educational judo. Kata can be a means/tool to understand. But are traditional Kodokan kata the ultimate or exclusive tool for that? Or are those tools maybe.. in fact outdated?

When I read what T.P.Leggett and even CK-sensei write about the reason and sense for uki-otoshi, the light went out for me. Really. If THAT would be true like that, and if indeed almost no judoka really understands uki-otoshi, OMG, why do we keep it in NNK as the first technique? Just because we love traditions? Not to insult the Founder? Fine. But stop telling me that kata is a learning tool, make it a sacred cow instead. When we admit that uki-otoshi is a monstrum in the first kata ever learned… and the reasons why… sorry to say, CK-sensei, but with all respect to Kito-Ryu and the roots of judo, nobody wants such a tool for learning judo… Not for our days.

The judo world gives the answer. No, not the one-sided competition judoka. Perfect feeling perhaps, but less education and principles. But all the others, the experts? Do they need a Kodokan kata to tell exactly how a technique works? Yes, it can be a tool. No, they have many other methods and tools to teach judo. ... So why do we still need Kodokan kata?

Shouldn’t we focus on teaching judo techniques the ‘modern’ kata way? Kata in the broader sense of all scripted exercises? With the exact steps, balance, proper execution, left-right, etc. Doing the whole Gokyo like that. If we do so, it’s like CK-sensei writes, ALL kata. The traditional Kodokan kata could be part of judo tradition, and sometimes exectuted for those who love to. But if all above written is consistently considered, it’s over and out for the well known Kodokan kata in the rest of the judo world. In fact, it is already. Now I think I understand why. And for the first time in my life I think: they are right…

:o


Well, this is a confession, huh?

I hope to be flamed with arguments, and if someone can convert me back, try to!



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#2 User is offline   Jonesy 

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 10:42 AM

It is only in judo that the debate about the relevance of kata training and mastering the traditional kata takes place. In other "do" and "jutsu" systems, kata is accepted and valued.

Why do contemporary judo coaches and leaders think they know better than the founder and the early masters who used kata as a component of judo instruction alongside randori, shiai, mondo etc?

My view is because the "do" component has been lost and it is all about sport and winning.
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#3 User is offline   Tsurumaki 

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 01:05 PM

View PostJonesy, on 19 November 2011 - 07:42 PM, said:

It is only in judo that the debate about the relevance of kata training and mastering the traditional kata takes place. In other "do" and "jutsu" systems, kata is accepted and valued.

Why do contemporary judo coaches and leaders think they know better than the founder and the early masters who used kata as a component of judo instruction alongside randori, shiai, mondo etc?

My view is because the "do" component has been lost and it is all about sport and winning.


Well, even the sainted Leggett broached the subject of changes to the kata, and he was as orthodox as they come, as I'm sure you'll agree. I'll have to dig up what he said on the subject. I seem to remember he used changes in language usage and grammar to draw a parallel.
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#4 User is offline   Ronald41sensei 

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 01:30 PM

Your post challenging the usefulness of kata is very entertaining, especially for those wishing to tackle difficult situations and learn from them. At page 140 of Mind over muscle, it is said that " You should pursue kata practice with the same enthousiasm as randori". This recommendation by professor Kano has to be taken as a guide to follow in order to continue to make improvements in our physical-social and mental attitudes. Of course, judo beginners are far from accepting the judo practices as moral and ethical exercises, for most they are engaged in the sport of judo where gratifications and challenges are abondant.After years of competition, some may reach a certain degree of maturity and view their acquired skills as means to acheive greater growth,happiness,self sufficiency and wellness.
Kodokan Kata or other forms of kata are not final exercises by themselves, each practice and each movement must reunite the physical gesture with the spirit, the essence and the principle. Each one of us must make use of it to fullfil our human desire to make improvements.
Where the difficulties arise, is in the teaching and interpretation. Judo coaches and sensei have different formations and background from which they acquired their skills and interpretation. Thus,their goals and methods in teaching kata may differ. Wether a technique is placed at the forefront, in the first set or the last set of a kata routine is irrelevent as long as one can comprehend the principle and the essence of what it represent. Remember, that not all musical artists perform the same way and not all the professionals follow the same path to acheive their goals.

This post has been edited by Ronald41sensei: 19 November 2011 - 01:33 PM

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#5 User is offline   BomberH 

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 01:46 PM

I believe that the different layers of detail and complexity make the kata the useful training tool that they are. One doesn't have to master them to benefit from the practice.

Take nage no kata as an example. When a kyu grades starts learning nage no kata they concentrate of the general mechanical outline of the techniques. They don't perfect the techniques and they can't do uke otoshi properly, however, they still benefit from striving to learn it. Their body management and fundamental skills improve as they learn all manner of throws both left and right handed. As the same judoka moves into the early dan ranks, if they continue to practice nage no kata they will continue to benefit from it. Rather than learning the overall mechanical outline (already learned) they start to develop and refine the underlying principles involved with each set of techniques. Also by studying under different teachers they start to realise that there are many different ways to perform the same techniques.
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#6 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 01:51 PM

View PostMitesco, on 19 November 2011 - 07:29 PM, said:

For all educational forms of judo he made grammar books / kata, for randori (katame- and nage-no-kata) and for physical education (first ju-no-kata and decades later the seiryoku-Zenyo-Kokumin- taiiku) and the real self-defense in Shobu-kata. And yes, the old traditions and principles in koshiki- and itsutsu-no-kata. ... But the hidden mysteries remained, so who really understands today what it´s really about? Be real, just a couple of higher dangrades and 99% of all judoka… will never understand more than maybe a bit of NNK. What are those tools worth, if not understood anymore? If almost never practiced? Do they really help in judo-education? Can they be the cornerstones in judo if we use them like we do now? What do we need a grammar for if nobody use nor understand it?

No surprise that it becomes more part of a ‘performance’ !


Mitesco,

I am not sure if what you are writing is truly a criticism on jûdô itself or an expression of frustration with where you find yourself on the way of jûdô. That frustration is normal. We all have had it. I had it already during my first jûdô class where I could not get on top of mastering those ukemi. It seemed ridiculous that people would just hit the tatami with their hands. It looked like an unnecessary element of show for me. Little did I know.

Jûdô is not easy to learn and not easy to teach. In an age of DVDs, electronic books, blackboard, podcasts, international courses, libraries, it is difficult not feeling entitled to get and understand it all. Pointing out that one may not for quite some time may even provoke feelings of hostility. These remarks are not made to create separations within the jûdô family. On the contrary. Do you know music ? You may or may not. If not you can learn it. If you practice with certain regularity you will be able to play recognizable tunes. This may or may not satisfy you depending on what it is you want to achieve. But if your desire is that you insist on fully mastering the field of music, you are going to be in for a challenge.

Take Beethoven's op. 111, if that is what you are after ... you are going to need half a life time and then some. If you are really talented you may be able to get on top of the mechanics, but that does not mean you come even close to understanding it. It is a piece of transcendence, very complicated, something that reflects the utmost geniality, something that signals a new era, a new form, a new dimension to music, and with the 9th symphony, and the last quartet, Beethoven's testament. Very few have been able to really and fully get it, but ... it is not impossible though a serious challenge. I don't think that any true musician would contest what I wrote.

Kanô was not Beethoven. He was an educator and therefore pragmatic, since being an educator and not being pragmatic is somewhat contradictory. But that does not mean that all of his underpinning ideas were at "boulevard literature" level. You must give yourself time. Rome and Paris were not built in one day. The requirement of time is no synonym for "better giving up because it can't be done". What is time ? We are not talking in terms of physics. We are talking about the layers of the onion, the need for things to settle, the "Aha Erlebnis".


View PostMitesco, on 19 November 2011 - 07:29 PM, said:

It may sound amazing from me as a ‘traditional judoka’ to ask myself: do we still really need kata? The purpose of kata is not kata, but learning. What to learn? Exactly: judo. Judo is not a secret esoteric school, but simply a practical system of education.


"Yes, but..."

That's the answer. Call it the paradox of jûdô. That paradox is present already during Kanô's life. "Jûdô for everyone without anything esoteric", yet he infuses it with two esoteric kata that contain the okuden of jûdô, which officially does not exist. It's not that complicated. Kanô did not exactly excel in anticipating things. For example, he did not do that well in conceiving jûdô in the absence of himself and his direct students ... which is what our current situation is.

You must embrace the paradox of jûdô just like one must embrace these in so many arts. Of all composers, Mozart writes music in one of the most simple ways, sometimes almost childish, but with a depth that requires considerable intellectual maturity to understand, which paradoxically makes Mozart one of the most difficult composers to play. It's a paradox. The unesoteric pedaogical nature of jûdô too is partly a paradox. Our lack of understanding today is the major justification for arguing that it is all simple.

You are not expected to save the world of jûdô. It is not a matter of life and death. You can live without understandig the op. 111 even without knowing about its existence. You're entitled if you wish to know it, learn it, master it, but it is not a matter of life and dead though its understanding may enrich your life. Point is, don't despair about things jûdô that seem overly complicated, not make sense. It's water. Snow, ice, it's all water. Just go with the flow as it arrives in your life.
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#7 User is offline   Leano 

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 02:01 PM

View PostJonesy, on 19 November 2011 - 10:42 AM, said:

It is only in judo that the debate about the relevance of kata training and mastering the traditional kata takes place. In other "do" and "jutsu" systems, kata is accepted and valued.

Why do contemporary judo coaches and leaders think they know better than the founder and the early masters who used kata as a component of judo instruction alongside randori, shiai, mondo etc?

My view is because the "do" component has been lost and it is all about sport and winning.


You need to get out more Jonesy. Debates about he general merits of kata, performance "value", deconstruction of principles, bunkai extraction etc etc etc are widespread in the martial arts. Karateka debate and argue endlessly about kata for instance. Any google search will reveal this.
"If my opponents could see in my face what I feel in my heart, no one would ever fight me" Y. Yamashita Sensei
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#8 User is offline   Jonesy 

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 05:08 PM

View PostMaxis500, on 19 November 2011 - 02:01 PM, said:

You need to get out more Jonesy. Debates about he general merits of kata, performance "value", deconstruction of principles, bunkai extraction etc etc etc are widespread in the martial arts. Karateka debate and argue endlessly about kata for instance. Any google search will reveal this.

I agree that karateka debate kata, but I do not know of other systems where kata is so widespreadly rejected as it is in judo.
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#9 User is offline   secret squirrel 

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 07:45 PM

View PostJonesy, on 19 November 2011 - 10:42 AM, said:

Why do contemporary judo coaches and leaders think they know better than the founder and the early masters who used kata as a component of judo instruction alongside randori, shiai, mondo etc?

In most fields one expects knowledge to evolve over the course of a hundred plus years. I find it much more surprising that people (a good many people at that) seem to believe that this 'wisdom of the ancients' is intrinsically superior.
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#10 User is offline   danguy 

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 08:27 PM

My observations of folks involved in the subject:
  • Modern=do what works now
  • What works now=Works in shiai, whether or not I can make it work in shiai, but that is what the great player use
  • Modern Coach=teach what works now
  • Modern Training=learn and practice what works no in shiai
  • Modern shiai rule change=The sky has fallen, for They took away the one (or more) things I practiced that worked
  • Injury=I am fncked, I can do what works
  • Kata=Forced practice of things I don't think work now
  • Kata=Shows things that work now in ways they don't work now
  • Kata=wastes my time on things that don't work now and takes away from time spent to practice what works now
  • Kata with modern shiai rule change=Well then I know these other techniques to use as I learned them in kata
  • Kata with injury=Oh, I can use these techniques I learned in kata I can even use the other side (left or right) while I heal because i know them form kata
  • Mifuni kata style randori=Who the fnck has time to practice that much, I have gaming to do and football is on TV
  • Modern=I am done with shiai, now to do something else, can I sell my gi for any money?
  • Modern=I have a Black Belt, I know it all
  • Kata=There is more to learn that I find each time; Judo learning can last a lifetime



So if you are there to take the a few hours of "sport Judo" and leave, judo kata is not for you; nor do I want you for a student in my dojo, just keep moving, nothing to look at here.

Why do you want to learn all that useless Judo stuff which i don't teach anyway, keep moving I only want real competitors in my Gym. Are you interested in MMA?

This post has been edited by danguy: 20 November 2011 - 08:30 PM

If I am doing "win," sloppy and sissy is fine; if I am doing Judo, beautiful is my rule and goal. Judo is far more important and rewarding than "win."

"What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball [Judo] player." --John Wooden 1910-2010

"You should first try to negotiate nicely but you can be strong after there's resistance, and know, just like in judo, when to catch them." --Rusty Kanokogi, 2008, on negotiating.
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#11 User is offline   wdax 

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 04:27 PM

I was thinking a while, if I want to respond, but here I am. Let me discuss my point using a concrete example, Uki-otoshi in Nage-no-Kata.

Thanks to Budoitaly we can all see, on which points Daigo-sensei emphasizes: creating space/distance by moving backward with longer steps then Uke makes forward (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp8ygZChWdY ca. 7:30) and pulling from the body and not (primarily) with one´s hands (ca. 10:20).

Then I came across this video:


Mifune doesn´t step backwards in typical tsugi-ashi. But what he does is creating distance and then pulling from the body to throw Uke. He does exactly, what Daigo-sensei explained as the critical points in Uki-otoshi as it formalized in Nage-no-Kata.

Now let´s look at Uki-otoshi in Nage-no-Kata.


What is explained by Daigo-sensei and what is done bey Mifune is hardly visible here. Steps look the same length, there is no or only minimal increasing distance for kuzushi.

So, do we need formalized kata?

We don´t need formalized kata, if we do not try to get the points Daigo-sensei explaines and then with this understanding expand the kata to a free form like Mifune showed it. There are other ways to directly teach, how Mifune throws skipping Nage-no-Kata.

Can we really pull out the main points of each technique in the kata, explain the theory behind it and then bring it into praxis, teaching analogies etc. If we can, traditional kata can be very helpful, if we can´t, they don´t make sense.

BTW: I´m doing randori every week with a member of our women´s national team. We work specially on ashi-waza. Although she is very good in ashi-harai, she usually misses my foot or attacks when my weight is completely on the foot she is attacking. Yesterday I explained her how I move and how it is possible, that my old feet are faster then her young ones. She then suddenly said: "Hey - you move like in Kata".
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#12 User is offline   Mitesco 

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 05:14 PM

@ CK-sensei

Thank you very much for your encouraging reply.

I love the comparison with Beethoven op. 111, because I live with the living memory and experience of it - my father used to play it, I have listened and seen him play this on the Steinway in our house...
I find the comparison interesting, because playing the piano is more than anything else in judo 'Fingerspitzengefühl', and the complete feeling of the music. When my father played, we shouldn't try to disturb him, he WAS the music while playing. The years before he died, in a wheelchair because of partly paralyzed after attacks, he listened the Sonatas on cd and we knew he wanted specific masters playing, he knew every part, and heard every mistake. I know the difference between the expert and the superficial listener who thinks "nice piece, is this like Chopin?"

I give myself time, even while I know I will neither be the pianist for Beethoven op 111, nor the judoka for Itsutsu no kata.
I'm not frustrated about that btw, I enjoy my own level, with my restrictions.

The only thing I ask myself, understanding that the highest levels are not achieved in the first years of practice or maybe never in a lifetime, is: IF some elements of kata are so complicated to master (as if it was Beethoven) are they useful as learning tools in judo?
Do we teach a kid playing piano with other things than scales and the books by 'C.L. Hanon' (not to be confused with the famous Judoka with the same name) and his "The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 exercises" (which I always needed to play!)? Hanon was one of the greatest basic piano pedagogues, while Beethoven was probably the genius. What do we take for teaching? Hanon or Beethoven?

For judo my question is the same. I see and estimate the value of kata. What I experienced about it, I love it. I just wonder: is it still useful as a tool in our Western judo world? Isn't it underestimated, even hated, because only the happy few understand what it's about? It's like wanting the little kid play op 111, or maybe 110 if you like it, getting frustrated because he feels he never masters it. Do we want to motivate a kid on his own level, or do we over-demand him? If a kid can do more than Hanon, give him more. If not, don't do it. Every education is adapted to the student, what he can swallow.

What we see in judo is, that judoka don't swallow the kata, generally spoken. It's a turn-off, and how can we accept that? They don't grasp the principles behind it, and even a lot of teachers don't, they just deliver the candidates for the grading, knowing that behind the table maybe the big ones don't know the principles themselves? Who has the feeling for kata, like the greatest pianists had it for op. 111? Why do we make judoka perform op. 111 in judo without feeling for the instrument, letting them playing the piano as if it were an pipe or electric organ. You know why I make that comparison as a pianist!

The question by wadx-sensei makes sense: "Can we really pull out the main points of each technique in the kata, explain the theory behind it and then bring it into praxis, teaching analogies etc. If we can, traditional kata can be very helpful, if we can´t, they don´t make sense."

Who can?

If we should draw the conclusion that we can't...
... in that case we need new tools for teaching judo.

We need C.L. Hanon for judo or so...

And we have so many modern ways to teach judo... so many new means.
After the judoka really learned judo, they will appreciate maybe the kata.
Like the kid starting with the scales, maybe once plays Beethoven op. 111.
The only point is: do we have the proper education program?



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#13 User is offline   Taigyo 

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 05:59 PM

I would disagree. The whole issue of being able to explain the points, the riai inherent in the kata is the point of the thing. The kata serve to illustrate and perhaps even exaggerate the riai. It is true that one rarely hears the riai explained. In fact, Daigo sensei's lecture is probably the first time that I have heard it explicitly stated. Of course that fits with the traditional Japanese manner of teaching, not a lot of talk, just a lot of doing. Kata are supposed to lay the basic groundwork, they are the equivalent of "training wheels" for learning principles. They provide a very consistent environment for learning. In randori there are so many variables that you can never be sure if the thing you changed or did is what produced the desired result.

The other important point is that kata serve as a means of storing and transmitting information as well as training. They educate the mind and the eye to recognize specific situations, as this happens the Judoka become aware of other aspects of the kata. This is by no means anything magic, but is a microcosm of Judo learning in general. As you practice and your mind becomes educated you can understand and see more things going on. Randori goes from where you start desperately gripping your partners gi and not being aware of anything but not falling down to where as soon as you take your grip you feel the distribution of weight in his body, you are sizing up his rhythm and timing. In the case of randori what you have the opportunity to notice and learn from is rather random. In formal kata, the situation is carefully designed.

I guess in a way it also depends on your view of Judo. Is anything that is not directly related to the current fashions of competition outmoded and unnecessary? Is there a world beyond the 9 meter square? It is also a fact that the official kata of Judo have changed over time. The Kodokan follows the practice of putting a 8th or 9th dan "in charge" of a particular kata and they often make some tweaks during their tenure.

I have always enjoyed kata, so perhaps I have a problem understanding why some people have such a negative response and strong resistance to it. No one really likes pushups or situps but they do them with gusto to improve their Judo. How is training in kata any different?

This post has been edited by Taigyo: 23 November 2011 - 06:01 PM

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#14 User is offline   Jacob3 

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 07:44 PM

We have had extensive discussion about this topic through mail Mitesco, but I would like to state the same here. Since the video of Wdax sensei completely illustrates what I ment.

Let me explain first about my own history in Kata:
I have been practicing NNK for over 20 years now. At first, before our whole 'busen' vs 'Kodokan' discussion, we were used to a quite lively form of kata. We had no idea where it came from, nor where we aware of any discussion about the correctness of it. We did what we did, because my old sensei learned it like that himself, and taught us the same. He was taught by Hirano sensei at several occasions, so at no point did any of us ever doubt the correctness of it. It was alive and therefore interesting. Although I must admit that we too learned it simply because it was a requirement for dan-grades. And my sensei also never told us anything about the real background or use of kata. I have no idea if he was even aware of that himself. I cannot ask him that anymore sadly ( well, I can, but I would not get any serious answers anymore ).

Then suddenly, struck by lightning!! There appeared to be two different styles of kata! My new sensei ( grandson of ) decided that it would be best to start concentrating on the Kodokan system, since that was accepted world-wide, whilst the busen version was only allowed in Holland. The JBN had decided that both styles were allowed for dangrades, and they promoted the book of De Korte as a standard for busen, and a DVD as a standard for Kodokan.

We started to work with that dvd...... omg...... every movement was shown like the second clip of Wdax sensei. So motionless and empty....Appearantly our style was very much like what was from then on called busen ( not really a surprise, since mr. De Korte and my old sensei were quite close in the past ), and this Kodokan style seemed almost the complete opposite. And it was introduced as a STANDARD. What we saw, needed to be 'copied' sort of. And we did although it made me personally very sad that we had to do that. My interest for this 'new' style was below freezing temperature. Try to explain to anyone who does not yet practice kata, and watches this performance, that it is usefull to do so at that stage. No one will understand. It looks totally like a dance.

Later we (I) learned, that this dvd was more intended as a reference for starting teachers at the Kodokan, showing merely the steps/choreography. It was never intended as an absolute standard.

But it was introduced as such. As are kata as a whole. So many people take it for what they see. A mere performance. It was never introduced as a way of practice. So little people seem to know that. And if the teachers themselves do not know that, neither will their students. They will become the next teachers, and there we go. People simply do not know any better. Copying but not understanding. We need more people who can explain the principles behind them and what to look for, and what to take from it that is usefull in everyday practice.

I see more and more people rising, who are capable of explaining those principles. Remarkably most of these people seem to be the ones who are regularly participating in kata-competition! ( At least the people I meet around here....). I would never have expected that, but it seems to be a fact. I hope and expect, that tendency to grow further, and hopefully within several years kata will be accepted for more then just the dance....
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#15 User is offline   Hedgehogey 

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 07:55 PM

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It is only in judo that the debate about the relevance of kata training and mastering the traditional kata takes place. In other "do" and "jutsu" systems, kata is accepted and valued.


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