practice a kata, it is very important to do it exactly as it is written (how it
has been handed down). If the kata calls for a punch to the midsection and you
throw it several inches off, you are defeating the meaning of the kata.
Practicing this way, your techniques will not be perfect. Kata have been handed
down for thousands of years and the ones who do them correctly are the true
The practice of
kata enables one to react quickly, to detect a movement before it happens. In
practicing the kata, your reflexes and your reactions will become razor sharp.
If you do a kata one thousand times and do the first 500 slow, the movement is
imprinted on your brain and the closer you’ll come to doing it perfectly. When
you have to use a technique from the kata, it will already be in your mind and
in your fists. You will do it automatically. Perfection of technique is what
karate is all about.
You should study
and practice a kata for 10 years to perfect and totally understand it. There
isn’t anyone around today who is willing to do this. For every kata that you study,
it will take 10 years to perfect. If you study 12 kata, then it will take 120
years to perfect them all. Keep one main kata as your “special kata”. Although
you practice one kata constantly, do the others also. Study and know what
everyone else is doing.
Some people say
that kata has no meaning, this is not true. There are many hidden meanings in
kata. Most people do not understand kata or their hidden meanings. Kata made
for show has no true meaning. Not everyone can do kata and understand the true
meaning. Watching a made up kata is like watching someone eat. This was done
thousands of years ago and there are not many ways of changing or doing it
differently. What you are doing now has already been done.
in Okinawa and China, there are people who do not understand kata. There are
three types of people in karate:
1- Those who can
talk loud and do little kata.
2- Those that
can do kata but do not understand it.
3- Those who can
do kata, understand what they do and can use it.
When a situation
occurs, the first thing you use to recognize the situation is your eyes. If
your eyes are used to reacting to an attack, then your mind can react. Train
your eyes and mind before you train your body. Clear your mind before you
engage in practice.
Like using a
sword, there is a time to use it and a time not to use it. Karate in Okinawa
and China was used to protect one’s life, it was for real. Today with sport
karate there is a difference. If you have a technique that is real and not
sport, be careful. Use it only when it is a matter of life and death. Karate is
not something that you go around showing everyone. If you have a million dollar
sword that will cut anything and you go around showing off, then everyone will
know about your sword. The sword is then no longer an advantage.
you know or learning are basic techniques. You must make these your own. The
situations that you come up against will not be the same situations that
everyone else comes against. Perfect the techniques that you are shown and make
these your own. No one forgets his own techniques.
If you display
emotions on your face and your heart is on fire, then you are not using your
mind. When someone attacks you with verbal harassment, use your mind and don’t
display your emotions on your face. Calmly say, “Oh, is that so.” Keep your
spirit in your arms and fists. When he makes his move, then you are ready. It
is not your facial expression that is saying anything, it is your mind and
spirit working for you.
In Okinawa and
China, if you ask if they know karate and they answer, “I only know a little”,
be careful of this person. You are always learning and should remain humble. It
is people who say, “I know everything”, that get hurt when they confront the
person who says, “I know a little”.
You do not need
a mouth to be a karate-ka. You do not have to brag about what you can do and
what someone else can not do. Do not brag that your style is better than
everyone else’s. Even though there are many different styles, we are all still
Think before you
use karate. Karate is defensive, not offensive. You are developing your spirit
for yourself. Do not go around bragging that you know karate. If you know
karate, then you should be enlightened and grateful for the education given to
you by your teachers.
others, you must first understand yourself. To continue your study of karate,
you must study yourself and the human body. Find out where your weakness are
and where your strong points are. Karate is based on strength and weakness of
the human body. Study the techniques and study the points of the body that can
hurt. Know yourself before you try to know others.
When you obtain
the knowledge of karate, do not let it go to the back of your head and force
your nose up, there is always more for you to learn. Let the knowledge that you
learn come to the front of your head so that you will always keep your head low
with humility and respect. You nevere know who is better than you.”