Kata is an important part of karate training. Each Kata consists of a series of blocks and counter attacks designed to ward off an imaginary opponent. In order to become proficient at performing kata, students must focus their concentration, pay attention to details of the movement, and call upon their imagination to bring the movement to life. Beginner katas are made up of basic movements while advanced katas include more elaborate techniques. The ability to perform and understand the meaning of the katas assigned to each rank is an essential part of the requirements for promotion.
Each movement of every Kata has unique characteristic and specific defensive or offensive applications. These movements serve as learning tools for the student. Through constant repetition of these movements, correct form, balance, application of power, speed, timing, distance and breathing are ingrained and incorporated into all movement.
Express proper attitude, concentration, spirit, and character. Always have your opponent present. Demonstrate this with the intensity of your attacks and defenses.
Your eyes should lead your body; do not look down.
Use the correct stance, foot position and proper distribution of body weight. Each stance should be clear as to what type of stance it is.
The length/width of your stance should be in proportion to your body.
Be stable in each stance during the execution of each technique and in transition from one stance to the next. Hip level should be low, shoulders down, and elbows in.
Do not rise up or lift your feet during transition from stance to stance.
Maintain balance during fast and slow movements, turning, and jumping.
Your body should move as one unit; blocks and punches arrive in coordination with your movements and stance.
Techniques should be controlled and demonstrate focus. Kata is a blend of fast and slow movements. Each movement is different; demonstrate that this is so.
Eliminate unnecessary movement and noise.
Be aware of your breathing; do not hold your breath or make your breathing audible.
Fast and slow movements should be performed at the proper speed. Be aware of combined and single movement techniques. Each Kata has a distinctive rhythm.
Follow the correct embu-sen (lines of movement). Pay attention to 45 degree turns.
Ki-ai should be short and sharp, originating from the stomach.Back