I'm going to be removing much of the kata requirements I have on my syllabus for my students.
I truly feel that for my expertise, and goals for my students, not enough time and energy is being spent on really applying the kata. Some of this has to do with logistics, and some of this has to do with a few other things.
I have came to the conclusion that I would rather have somewhere around one kata per belt, I'll definitely keep sanchin and tensho in. Over the next few months I'll be putting more thought on what to keep in.
However, this doesn't mean anybody will rank up any quicker, my standards will remain the same. I'll even have required combinations for belt level, as well (something we did where I trained) similar to Enshin "kata." However, in on way well I watch Enshin vids and copy what my Enshin friends do since I don't do Enshin . In Tjakai we already had fighting combinations, stuff that could be used in Thaiboxing/Knockdown/Real life.
At least half of the reason why I was keeping them in was for my own reasons of mirroring Senshido's syllabus for kata requirements for myself. Due to my schedule the last 1.5+ years or so I don't know what's going to happen, but I do know I want my students to get the most out of what I have to offer, that's the bottom line. Osu!
My dojo pretty much does one kata per rank, though at a few rankings we have to demonstrate that we remember some of the kata we did BEFORE the one we are currently demonstrating, heh!
Every grading do I require some of the previous kata be shown, perhaps not all of them but I'm also randomly asking which kata is shown. I don't make it the same for everybody grading for the same grade, neither.
In past gradings, I didn't necessarily have every kata for that grade being shown, but once again, I would randomly ask them to do which one and switch it up for each person because I typically have anywhere from 2-5 people going for the same rank.
Meguro, I will create "fighting kata," similar to what is done in Enshin, and something that was done at the old Tjakai dojo I used to train in. However, they won't be so focused on tai sabaki, like the Enshin kata are.
I doubt I'll ever create my own classical looking kata and try to give it a Japanese name I'd feel very silly doing so, and sillier giving it an English name, too. Osu!
Last Edit: Jun 23, 2012 12:25:16 GMT -5 by powerof0ne
Fighting kata? Doesn't that just mean combos? Like in boxing, you have your jab, straight, hook. It's natural. That's the way I think-or not think, if you want to get all mushin about it. See an opening, or pattern developing, like your opponent circles when you advance, and have a number of set responses on tap.
That's kind of different than what I think of as a kata kata, which for me would try to capture the essence of my stye, if I had a style. Say I really only like to strike with elbows and knees, my kata, let's call it "kanowupass 1," would feature entry technique to close distance, multifunctoinal block/strikes, and takedowns where again I can demonstrate knees and elbows on the ground. The beauty about creating your own kata is that since it is your creation, there is no ambiguity or pseudo intellectualism. You are the final arbiter, which is much better than what classical kata achieves today.
Post by powerof0ne on Jun 24, 2012 15:33:06 GMT -5
To be frank, part of my reasons for doing this have to do with me only teaching 2-3 times a week, about 1.5 hours each class. The other part is the logistics of where I teach doesn't give me any room for storage, nor will allow me to leave mats where we train. I would have bought mats long ago, but it would be a nightmare to transport them back and forth, to every class.
I bring this up because the applications of what I train and teach with kata involve many takedowns/throws and "finishes."
Meguro, I will call the combinations/"fighting kata" something like: "combo 1" or "blue belt combo," and so on.
I won't lie, my main aim at teaching somebody, is to teach them to be a better fighter which for me involves drills, kihon, pad work, and some sparring. Contrary to much western popular belief, sparring doesn't play as big of a role as many people think it does. Please don't get me wrong, sparring plays an important role, but it's not 70-90% of it like some kickboxing/mma gyms that I know of do. If you sparred all the time, and never worked on your kihon, did bag work, and intelligent/proper pad work that would be like working in a restaurant and all you did was cut and dice meat, vegetables, but never sharpened the knife. Without actually sharpening up your skills, repeatedly bashing away will cause some bad habits to develop.
For me, kata needs to be trained quite a bit, fine tuned, and the oyo/bunkai needs to be drilled, drilled, and drilled. Otherwise, what's the point of just walking through the steps, with no idea what they do, and actually training them?
I feel, with my goals for my students, time and logistic constraints, that I need to minimize the amount of kata that I'm requiring for each belt.
With that being said, that doesn't mean that I wouldn't occasionally teach other kata that won't be required on the syllabus.
I haven't abandoned kata, but I believe instructors and students should really identify what their goals are, and not just blindly show a dance to somebody, expecting that is really going to help them. If you don't really know the applications and really drill them in a kata, all you're doing is dancing.
^is just my opinion though, take it with a grain of salt, I mean no disrespect to anybody by my comments, but it's what I truly feel, and how I'll train anybody that trains under me. Osu!
Last Edit: Jun 24, 2012 15:37:10 GMT -5 by powerof0ne
If you sparred all the time, and never worked on your kihon, did bag work, and intelligent/proper pad work that would be like working in a restaurant and all you did was cut and dice meat, vegetables, but never sharpened the knife. Without actually sharpening up your skills, repeatedly bashing away will cause some bad habits to develop.
Been working a lot of Silat and FMA lately and have never put as much effort into practicing shuto mawashi uke as now-against fists, sticks and training knives as opposed to all the air in traditional kata.
I had knocked our kata list from 22 to 12 required with the rest on what I call the specialty kata list reserved for those that absolutely need more help. Additionally, I have my Black Belts specialize in kata groups so that the lessons keep flowing.
I've been having a lot of phone conversations with an instructor that I think has an account on here, but rarely ever posts. Milkman knows him
This instructor doesn't do any kata...anymore, or require his students to do so, but he definitely keeps a great standard for himself and his students.
I must admit, I'm leaning more and more to how he conducts his classes.
If any of you knew me 17+ years ago, you would have been shocked to hear me talk about such "blasphemy" as removing all kata since I was still practicing most of the shito ryu and goju ryu kata, still (shito has far too much kata).
Having learned anywhere from 4 to 6 variations of some of the most popular kata in my short life is far too much, and ridiculous. Having to have known around 50 different kata, and I'm not just talking 5 pinan, 3 rohai, 2-3 basai, kanku dai and sho...but around 50 totally different kata plus all the different variations is just stupid.
What was the point of me being only 16-17 years old being force fed this many kata? Mind you, this is an extreme example, but what happened to me and probably a part of why I'm so anti kata, now, but this did take a lot of years for me to get to this point.
After years of learning combinations, doing pad work, and other different types of training I don't hold as much value for kata anymore. I'm not saying any of you are wrong that still do kata, but I'm saying it's just not for me anymore. Osu!