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Keen on Kata

The word “kata” in Japanese means “way of doing”, referring specifically to “the form and order of the process”. The idea is that once a kata has been practiced over and over, it is committed to muscle memory, and can be enacted by the mere thinking of it. This can apply to tea making ceremonies, traditional Japanese kabuki theatre, even software development. But is most often associated with martial arts.

The kata forms an integral part of many forms of martial arts originating in Japan, China and Korea. Wikipedia describes the kata as “a detailed choreographed pattern of movements” – when combined with breathing and intention, the kata are used in Shukokai karate to commit to memory a series of fighting stances and actions that can be used in combat.

Kata are practiced frequently in the dojo, but the Hout Bay Samurai karateka decided to try something a little different. When practiced blindfolded, the kata presents a whole new challenge in balance, spacial orientation – and of course, fun.

For more on the history of Shukokai karate and the kata, read here.