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Kata Crazy!!!

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  • neanderthal
    started a topic Kata Crazy!!!

    Kata Crazy!!!

    I know many of you get to practice kata often so it is no bother to you at all. i really wish i were you now. here n japan ive only ever been shown near exam time and i havent been mentally or physically in the right place for 5 years to take my 2 dan. so ive been out of practice.

    i have all the books and dvds that you could have for studying kata.

    however after this last weekends camp being a shodan im needing to learn from scratch kata 3 and 4 for my 2 dan. ( 7 more weeks )
    have you any good tips on remembering it as my mind and body dont seem to function together.

    one of the teachers is willing to go through them all after general practice so my muscle memory gets it. also there will be kata seminars 4 days before the actual exam.

    ive found this you tube clip excellent - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrH6QTAyk9A

    1 to 5 in just 3 mins. but from actually doing it im missing the finer points especially in 3 and 4.

    id even appreciate a list of foot movements - like left, right, left, left, right - or whatever the case maybe.

    honestly its not sinking in. kata no.4 slowly is going in though as i found that fun and a cool way of deflecting the shidachi's bokuto.

    but i still feel im in the deep end with arm bands on!!!

    any tips will be greatly appreciated forever!!!

  • Herringbone
    replied
    Hi Steve. I've linked the book over here -> http://www.renshinjuku.nl/study-materials/ (at the bottom)

    I've also refered to your "Fundamental theorem of kendo" article through my own site -> http://www.kilala.nl/index.php?id=2145

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve
    replied
    I'm flattered that people wish to use the little kata booklet I put together, really.

    /begin official disclaimer

    As a disclaimer, please use it as a guide...no more. While I attempt to keep the descriptions in line with what the AJKF recommends, it may or may not conflict in some details compared to that of your own sensei, so obviously please follow your senseis teaching. Any errors are my own.

    /end disclaimer

    The booklet was put together to aid the students at my current club, Kingston Kendo Club, and in particular my previous club the Halifax Kendo Club. It is by no means an official guide of any sorts.

    It is updated periodically with error corrections and refinements to the descriptions, etc... so if interested please check to make sure your copy is the most up to date.

    The booklet is free to use with a few small caveats:

    (1) You may not sell or make profit directly or indirectly through the use or distribution of the booklet.
    (2) You may not alter the booklet. Any errors, comments, or suggestions you can send to me directly and I'll work on adding them to the next version.
    (3) If you wish to reference/post/use a clip or specific part or image of the booklet, please add a link to the whole booklet as well as a section, subsection, and page number from where it occurred in the original. Preferably the booklet is linked as a whole.
    (4) You may link the booklet to your dojo website however I ask that you:
    (a) Link from the Kingston website directly, either our kendo info section (www.kingstonkendo.org/technique.html) or to the document directly (www.kingstonkendo.org/Kata.pdf)
    (b) Please send me a link to your website. This is more of a personal thing as I simply enjoy seeing how many places around the world people end up finding this thing.

    That's it. Please enjoy, and again I'm flattered!

    Originally posted by verissimus View Post
    Does anyone know how to get in touch with the author (Stephen Quinlan)? I'd like to post a link to this document on our dojo website, but I am not sure if it's meant for public circulation, since I couldn't find an explicit link to this document on www.kingstonkendo.org.

    Leave a comment:


  • Herringbone
    replied
    Originally posted by verissimus View Post
    Does anyone know how to get in touch with the author (Stephen Quinlan)? I'd like to post a link to this document on our dojo website, but I am not sure if it's meant for public circulation, since I couldn't find an explicit link to this document on www.kingstonkendo.org.
    Very late to the party, but mr Quinlan is both a member of these fora ("Steve") and is also on Facebook. No doubt he can also be reached through the Kingston Kendo club.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sky_Paladin
    replied
    I attended training at the 37th Australian Kendo championships. Roughly a third of the seminar was focused on kata over two days.

    During the training, one of the sensei was talking about the 'kata story'. I was very interested as I had only heard the first part before. It is the story of the two meeting on the bridge, and neither being willing to give way, so they draw swords. Also, I am paraphrasing from several months ago, if my representation here is incorrect, it's my own misunderstanding.

    After the first kata, the shidachi reflects back on what happened. They feel that 'killing' the uchidan was wrong and resolves to find a better way.
    In the second kata, the shidachi 'injures' instead of killing. But they still feel that there must be a better way.
    In the third kata, the shidachi defeats the spirit of the uchidan. They are able to win without leaving a mark on the uchidan's body.

    Understanding the meaning behind these three kata has helped my kata to improve, and I am interested to know the rest of the kata story. I searched on the Internet but couldn't find it. Is there anybody who could share it here, or point me in a direction to find out more?

    Leave a comment:


  • Charlie
    replied
    Congrats! Frankly, let, you can do kata by yourself, just going through all the steps.

    Leave a comment:


  • dillon
    replied
    If you go through them a couple of times each day, even if it's just in your head, it should help with retention. Gambatte with your grading!

    Leave a comment:


  • neanderthal
    replied
    Ive finally cracked it!!! with only 20 minute short teachings after practice with one teacher - ive managed to remember both sides and can execute them confidently!!! 20 days before my test and 7 more practices to go i feel i will be confident on the day!!! i was even teaching my 9 year old daughter 1-5 kata. hmmmm probably all forgoten tomorrow ( me...... ) but if my daughter reminds me everyday i can practice without a teacher.
    finally im confident in what im doing!!! i wasnt for my shodan and let the seminar before teach me.....this time the seminar will be to boost my confidence and help others. im feeling very pleased!!!! thank you all for your on going support!!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • neanderthal
    replied
    i agree totally on studying kata as often as possible. but here it seems that clubs cater more for the kids and so dont bother with kata. they leave it to the junior high school teams. im just getting 1 and 5 confused a little now. 2,3 and 4 im fine. 1 and 5 are too similar.

    Leave a comment:


  • stealth_monkey
    replied
    In my club there is a heavy focus placed on kata. It would be unusual for a member to move into bogu without knowing 1-7 at least.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tamaki :)
    replied
    just a little playlist I put together that has a detailed explanation on how to do the kata, I only have 1-7 on the playlist but i'm sure there are more if you look around
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVN57...=plpp_play_all

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeW
    replied
    To add on to the discussion Josh and Charlie were having I'd say we practice kata combining both worlds. We emphasis correct technique but also spirit. We often explain that you cannot approach kata as a set of exercises but to approach it as a real fight. We explain that not all uchitachi are going to have the same timing and movement and that as a shitachi you must be intent upon your 'opponent' and use your best timing based on them, not on what you know is going to happen. you must approach each cut, both as uchitachi and shitachi, as a realistic cut with proper extension, motion, posture, foot movement, placement, etc. So technical skill and spirit are both addressed simultaneously.

    Leave a comment:


  • enkorat
    replied
    About a year ago, I had a discussion with the other instructors about the need of a uniform cool-down, initially from concerns from how to be safer from more intensive training. After analyzing our practices and what could be used as a cool-down, we decided to start doing kata for approximately 15 minutes at the end of our advanced practice, almost every practice. Now, its only on fairly rare occasions that we miss doing kata now, normally when we run out of time doing something else. Mind you we also instituted a change where we also do some form of kakarigeiko or an equivalent every practice, so we redesigned our later practices to be more intensive in the front.

    When we made kata a deliberate part of our practices for more than one reason, it became more an integral part of our weekly routine, and its been very useful fora number of different reasons. I also think that its made people's kendo better overall, not just their kata.

    Leave a comment:


  • Charlie
    replied
    Josh, thanks for that. I really don't know but I *think* kata in kendo is practiced exactly the opposite of the way you described - that first comes technique, later comes intent. But I'm really not sure if that's how it "always way" or "was always supposed to be." At any rate, this seems to be how I was taught and am coached by Japanese sensei, with an emphasis on technique and only later with feeling - which is not to say they aren't practice intently but just that's where the emphasis is.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hisham
    replied
    Originally posted by Josh Reyer View Post
    I can only speak for my particular line of YSR.

    Yes, first the basic movements of the kata have to be learned. But this is exceedingly simple, and the basic movements are learned in a couple weeks of regular practice, if that. I mean, you can practice the basic movements of the kata indoors, miming the sword. But in these early days, more important than doing the moves "right" are doing the movements "zenshin-zenrei" - full body and spirit. Better crappy technique full of intent and spirit than lifeless, though technically "correct", movement. It's considered easy to go full throttle and polish off the rough edges than to try and add intensity to mannered movement.

    From day one, students are taught that the kata doesn't stop because someone makes a mistake, or if shidachi fails to win. And if someone makes a mistake like getting the order wrong, rather than stop in the middle and start over, they should do that mistake with full commitment, with their partner responding appropriately. Not even a year in, some of my seniors would make a mistake(?) and cut for my hands instead of my legs. If I got hit because of that, it was my fault for mindlessly doing the kata instead of watching my aite. Only a couple months in, my teacher told me not to overthink things during the kata, but to do it with mushin.

    About six months in, seniors started varying maai and timing within the kata and nailing me.

    It's said in our dojo, "The kata is the outcome of proper practice, not the goal." In other words, once the basic moves are learned, which doesn't take long, then the point of practice is to approach the kata with full intent and intensity, watching aite and being ready for anything, because it's only in that state that the kata start to unlock their secrets.

    Shu-ha-ri is not a single, linear process. It's concentric circles feeding back on themselves without end. It starts with the very first cut.
    I'd bet that in Itto ryu, the view and practice of kata isn't that far from how it is in YSR.
    I sometimes wonder what Takano Sasaburo sensei (and the other sensei that took part in creating the kendo kata) would say about the way kata is learned in today's kendo, was it this way from the start or was it toned down/made "safe" post WW2?
    My second sensei thought us to do kata as you said with full body and spirit, the thing is come shinsa as was pointed out by other members, we'd have to just do it mechanically for the obvious reason that most kenshi at low dan levels do it that way.

    Leave a comment:

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