First there is the technique, the form, the movement, the dance.
Then there is the application, the meaning, the understanding, which gives purpose to the movement and dance.
Add the spirit, the feeling and the soul and you give the whole thing power and life.
To perform Kata without any of these attitudes, technique, application and feeling is not enough.
The dance alone may look quite beautiful but means nothing.
To understand the purpose without the dance "technique" is just controlled aggression.
The technique and purpose together will look good - but is not all.
Any athlete can obtain these attributes in sport.
But add spirit and the feeling , the performers natural timing, breathing - so important to fluency of movement and the Kata rises above athletics or sport and into the realms of the martial arts.
Sensei Dave Hazard
Kata (set forms) are pre-arranged sets of movements in which the karateka defends against several imaginary opponents. Each movement of a kata represents a self-defence technique against a potential opponent. These self-defence "applications" are traditionally called bunkai. The movements of a given kata must always be performed in the correct order, and the kata must always start and finish on the same spot.
Kata is one of the earliest forms of karate training. It is how karate passed from one generation to the next. Kata are very dynamic, teaching the student how to move in all directions performing kicks, punches, sweeps, strikes, blocks, dropping to the ground and jumping. Some kata are very strong and sturdy in nature, while others require great speed and agility. Certain techniques are performed slowly and powerfully, while others are executed more sharply and quickly. By practicing kata, the students learn rhythm and timing, expansion and contraction of the body's muscles, and proper breathing.
It is important for every student to remember that as they rise up through the various kyu levels and Dan ranks, the continued regular practice of all of the previous kata's that they have been taught is vital to their future progress.
Learning the pattern of all twenty seven katas found in the Shotokan system is one thing, truly understanding them, however, is a process that will take you an entire lifetime.
Listed are the 27 kata's videos that we practice use them as a guide to help you learn each kata.