"The Author, it must be remembered, writes from his own standpoint!"
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"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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How Many Kata Does It Take?

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

A question bantered about the internet about mastering kata, i.e., is it better to master six kata as to depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding and proficiency as to mastery or is it better to learn a slew, i.e., twenty or more kata, of kata superficially yet beautiful as to presentation. Then there is the often asked question relating kata to ability in self-defense. 

Focus is so heavy on kata as to quantity vs. presentation vs. application we fail to recognize that it is not a matter of how many kata we learn or how well we understand those kata. We fail to realize that we don’t have to actually learn one or even one hundred kata but what we actually need to learn are those principles found in all kata regardless of its origins, i.e., as to a personal kata by an individual to those of a system or style created also by an individual perception and perspective, etc. 

All basics, both upper and lower; all kata, regardless of style such as Isshinryu, Gojuryu, Shorinryu and so on and all drills contrived from kata and basics are all based on and rise up from principles such as, “Theory, Physiokinetic, Technique, Philosophy, Self-Defense and Chemical Cocktail.” This with a strong emphasis on the physiokinetic principles of, “Breathing, posture, triangle guard, centerline, primary gate, spinal alignment, axis, minor axis, structure, heaviness, relaxation, wave energy, convergence, centeredness, triangulation point, the dynamic sphere, body-mind, void, centripetal force, centrifugal force, sequential locking and sequential relaxation, peripheral vision, tactile sensitivity, rooting, attack hubs, attack posture, possibly the chemical cocktail, Multiple Methodologies [actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc. are best for stopping a threat].”

There is an old story of a student who was required to practice certain basic fundamentals of an art form for years. The student was learning about the art of telling a story. He got a bit disappointed that he was not taught other stories so he finally got to a point where he just quit. He was traveling the roads when he stopped at an Inn to beg for food and drink. There was a round of story telling occurring at that Inn and he was asked if he knew a story to tell. If the story was good he would be fed and given drink. The young student told his story. During the telling the room got very, very quiet, i.e., as if a hush of emptiness enveloped everyone so that they could hear every word, syllable and nuance of the telling. When the story finished everyone within hearing simple sat with dumfounded looks of surprise and satisfaction. The Inn keeper immediately brought a plate of his very best along with the most expensive drink he stored at the Inn and simply placed them reverently in front of the student. The student thanked him profusely and asked what was the matter as the atmosphere had changed significantly after his story were told. The Inn keeper simply stated, “We have heard from a Master story teller.” Needless to say, the student was totally taken aback but then realized that his teacher’s methods were in and of themselves masterful and the student realized why he was required to practice the same story over and over again toward certain foundational principles rather than many, many stories. The master was providing the student with those principles that would provide a masterful story regardless of what story was told. The student finished his meal and drink, excused himself to all those at the Inn and especially the Inn keeper and sped off back to the Master where he requested he be allowed to continue his studies.

As can be seen it is not a matter of what kata or how many but how it is told. If the foundation is solid and the principles mastered then no matter what kata or basics or drills practiced all would show mastery regardless. Any kata, basic or drill learned would be learned rapidly and the underlying mastered principles would make that kata, masterful. 

Herein lies the secret to kata and to how many one should learn. Learn the principles and practice those principles and no matter the system, the style of the individual kata - all will be as if a master was demonstrating the discipline. 

Bibliography (Click the link)