Literally Kata means, Form or Shape. Kata are pre-arranged forms of demonstrating methods of attack, defense and counter-attack. It use blocks, punches or kicks directed from one or more stances, it involves movement to the sides, forward or backward.
Sosai Masutatsu Oyama wrote on one of his books: "We should perform these exercises (kata) so exactly that they become a part of our very lives because as fundamentals of karate they may be compared to the letters of an alphabet in that, just as letters are the building blocks of words and sentences, so these fundamentals are the building blocks from which karate is built."
He also wrote: "Think of karate as a language: the basic techniques can be thought of as the letters of an alphabet; the kata (forms) will be the equivalent of words and sentences; the kumite (sparring) will be analogous to conversations."
Sosai Masutatsu Oyama believed that is better to perfect one kata than to half-master many. He wrote that if a person practices any given kata over 3000 times, any questions he might have about it will be resolved, and a proper understanding of the exercise will naturally emerge.
All kata has a name, given by the master who developed the kata. These names are clues to the deepest meaning of the katas, unfortunately most students ignore them as just labels. Below I will try to describe the meaning of the different katas with the hope that it will help you to understand better your forms. I used the book written by Shihan Tadashi Nakamura to describe the meaning of these katas.
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