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Old March 22, 2005, 10:37 AM   #6
20cows
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 22, 2005
Location: West Texas
Posts: 376
To Kata or Not to Kata

I realize the martial arts class I attend is not run in the traditional manner, very informal, don't bow much and such. And I have never gone to any other style of class I probably only think I know what they do.

Our art is Aikido, though we sometimes bring in other useful techniques as we earn of them from a new student who has come from another school. I'm sure an Aikido purist would think we've "bastardized" it, but we try to be as practical as possible.

We use kata to learn the techneque without hurting anyone. Most of what we do is not solo-form kata, but a student will execute a given attack and another student will practice a given defensive technique. This not what I would have called kata, in that it is done with a partner, but I've read that this would be considered kata as opposed to sparring. We generally work at half to three-quarter speed. Any faster and the risk of injury goes up dramatically (the more energy in an attack, the more energy availible for defense). I mean, if you are practicing a move that uses pain compliance and can dislocate joints or break bones if carried to full completion, you need to go slow or you run out of students.

We do use solo kata forms with weapons (jo, short stick and cane), but once again one cannot practice hitting someone with a stick without hurting them.

I realize this makes it difficult to know how your going to respond in a real situation, but it is the same with a firearm. You train your body and prepare your mind.

Last edited by 20cows; March 23, 2005 at 04:00 PM.
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