kilgor just quick question…what martial arts are you involved in? what is your level of experience and do you compete? as for form/kata training whats the point ive never understood their importance in traditional martial arts ive always assumed they were there for the “artistic” point…anyone know why this is?[/quote]
By the way, sandbag is probably one of the best investment you can make. CHT’s got a good point there.
This is just my experience:
form/kata/kuen/etc are supposed to be used to basically program the basic move’s of the ‘art’ into your mind. Muscle-memory I suppose you could say. A few art’s use forms as a progression to the point where you end up free fighting. Some use them just (as i mentioned before) as a way to practice the basics.
sometimes there would have to be 100 people trained at once. It’s easier to train them all with certain movements, than it is to train each individual one by one.
It all came under circumstance and culture.
From a google search:
“The purposes for Kata are many but most people find they assist in understanding the application of certain techniques in real-life situations.”
"The word kata comes from the Japanese meaning formal exercise. In Japan kata is not just something that is done in the martial arts. Kata has a deeper and spiritual meaning that is done in almost every aspect of life. There is a formal way for a tea ceremony, to enter a room or to greet a friend.
A martial art is a discipline of the mind and body as much as it is a war art. Many different martial arts date back hundreds and even thousands of years. Each generation transmitted their knowledge and secrets to the next generations through kata.
Kata is a series of movements and techniques that are practiced in a pattern. Kata is similar to shadow boxing except each move is prearranged and choreographed in a geometrical pattern. Each kata is designed to teach a central principle or a set of common technique. Each kata is done at a certain speed and tempo. Some kata the speed varies from move to move while others are done at one speed and at one tempo. (In most Tai Chi styles the forms are done at a slow speed with the same tempo such as the long form in the Yang style.)
Through kata we learn proper stance, focus and transition between technique.
Chinese martial arts refer to kata as forms. Kenpo is a Chinese martial art that was imported to Japan about 800 years ago. (In the Japanese language Kenpo translates as fist law or law of the fist. The Chinese word for Kenpo is Chuan fa.) Although Jujitsu principles and techniques were added to Kenpo, the Japanese always referred to Kenpo as a Chinese martial art. ( James Mitose who was the last Great Grand Master called his art Kenpo Jujitsu.) In Kenpo we use the term kata."
…yea well um, there are a few misnomer’s in the above copy and paste. For instance, in Taijichuan only the first few forms are slow, the masterful one’s are actually really, really fast- especially Yang style…
Kata is designed for a function that isn’t functional. Perhaps before it was just like shadow boxing, but now it’s more of a dance routine. Especially if you see the TMA shit on espn or whatever. Holy hell that’s a Performance Art not a Martial Art.
To each their own, but I’d like to see someone try to cartwheel kick me and run way. Just don’t call that bs fighting.