"The Author, it must be remembered, writes from his own standpoint!"
My personal "Interpretive" Lens!

Do You Have A Question?

If you have a question not covered in this blog feel free to send it to me at my email address, i.e. "snow" dot here "covered" dot here "bamboo" AT symbol here "gmail" dot here "com"

"One thing has always been true: That book ... or ... that person who can give me an idea or a new slant on an old idea is my friend." - Louis L'Amour

"Ideally, your self-defense will never get physical. Avoiding the situation and running or talking you way out - either of these is a higher order of strategy than winning a physical battle." - Wise Words of Rory Miller, Facing Violence: Chapter 7: after, subparagraph 7.1:medical

"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider..." - Francis Bacon

Warning, Caveat and Note: The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

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Are kata really all that complicated?

Depends on your perception. If your Asian it would seem culturally speaking the simplicity of them is the truism in practice but if your western then complicated is the norm. Culturally speaking simplicity, harmony and stoicism is the hallmark of the marital artists and therefore their practices even in martial arts.

Culturally speaking complexity, complexity and convolution is the hallmark of the martial artists in the west and is also how westerners appear to live their lives.

Kata are not all that complicated. There is depth and breadth to the study and practice of kata but that applies to all aspects of martial systems be they Asian or Western or European. How one culture looks to the training and practice depends a lot on their culture, their beliefs and their perceptions, etc.

In reality my perception is that human beings can either make things simple or make them complicated. All of it unique to the individual. So, take it to where you want.

The only caveat I have here is if you want it to be your blueprint to self-defense tactics then keep it as simple as you can but if your there to feed the ego, the monkey, or fill yourself with pride and be the envy of all who bow down to you then go ahead and make it as complex as you want.

When asked and when demonstrating the kata I practice most always look for something complicated and make assumptions that if it ain't then it ain't gook karate kata - just my perception.


  1. Hi Charles,

    Kata are both simple and complicated at the same time. When you are new to learning kata they seem complicated because none of the moves have been practised before and none of it has been committed to memory. As you progress it becomes easier to learn new kata since many of the moves feel familiar from previous kata. Kata appears to get simpler!

    It also depends on what you are learning the kata for. If you only want performance kata for competition then kata is very simple - you just learn the pattern and practice it a lot. If you want to UNDERSTAND the kata and all the permutations of its applications then it can become a lot more complicated, even if each separate bunkai in itself is simple.

    In my opinion kata is as simple or complicated as you want to make it depending on whether you just want a superficial understanding or an in depth one. Either way kata are infinitely fascinating!

    1. As I have come to expect, a very insightful comment - thanks Sue :-)