Any advice for choosing a competition Kata?

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Jayla, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Jayla

    Jayla Valued Member

    Hey guys,

    I'm thinking of entering the EKO nationals next year, particulary interested in doing some kata.

    From training in wado ryu I can do the following katas :

    5 pinans
    Kushan ku

    My instructor says that shotokan katas tend to do very well in these tournaments. I'm thinking to try and learn a shotokan kata to do, as my instructor can also teach these. It also gives me the chance to learn something new.

    Any suggestions on which kata to try to learn? I've done a bit of kungfu in the past so would like to find one which can be done at various speeds / flows smoothly etc. I've heard that "so-shi" might be a good one.

  2. SenseiMattKlein

    SenseiMattKlein Engage, Maverick

    For myself Jayla, I would never pick a kata outside of my style. If you do a Shotokan kata, can you do it better than the people who train in Shotokan, and have practiced it since day one? I think you will be at a distinct disadvantage. I would pick a kata from your own style that showcases it, with regard to variety of stances, strikes, and attacks. If you are at black belt level, you need a certain level of complexity in your kata, so don't pick the easiest one. If most of the judges on the panel have traditional Japanese backgrounds, you will be disadvantaged with the kung fu form. Good luck.
  3. Blade96

    Blade96 shotokan karateka

    Good luck with the tournament =]

    btw I dont have trouble picking a kata. I just decided I'd do every one of my katas in a tournament. First tournament I did heian shodan. Second one, I did heian nidan. Third one, I'm gonna do kata heian sandan. And on it goes. Whatever kata I'm working on at the time, will be the one I do. Just do your own kata. I didnt try to learn a Chito-ryu kata for my second tournament, even though it was being hosted by our sister organization, a chito-ryu one. Maybe that should be what you do too. Maybe. I'm no expert. But that's what i do. btw I got gold medal in the first tournament and bronze in the second one.
  4. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    Hi Jayla, did your instructor mean "sochin"?

    If you youtube it, there'll be plenty of vids of Mr Kanazawa demonstrating it, although his kata tends not to be "competition friendly" in that he focuses on power and spirit more than all the detail and stuff that gets judged at compos.

    I'd agree with Matt, above, and not do a kata from outside your style though. Why not show up and represent the wado ryu with the attitude of proving its superiority over the other schools (like in an old kung fu movie).
  5. Jayla

    Jayla Valued Member

    Awesome responses guys, many thanks.

    I can see your points about sticking to wado-ryu katas, I think that is very good advice. My instructor hasn't pointed me in the direction of shotokan, but merely stated he could teach me some if I wanted to. I may still take up that offer, but not for competition purposes.

    I only really know the katas I listed above, can anyone with a more senior level of experience recommend a good wado-ryu kata to check out?

    No disrespect to my style/club, but I "feel" that the katas I know so far are at a disadvantage to some other styles, such as ****o-ryu when it comes to the visual factor. Our kata feel quite rigid, and I'm worried that if I go for one I listed above I could be on the "back foot" so to speak, when there could be more flambouyant styles entering. I know that at the end of the day, its the student that makes a kata, and not the kata itself. ;)
  6. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Sochin and Unsu are the two Shotokan Kata that seem to come up repeatedly in competition. I did see someone do a Chatanyara Kusanku in competition once, which absolutely blew my mind.

    That said, the best kata for competition is always the kata you do best
  7. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    I understand what you mean about wado kata - shotokan kata can look more dynamic because of the larger stances and ****o kata can have more "flourish", but at the same time, you also see shotokan kata looking clunky and plodding and ****o ryu kata looking girly and wussy unless the performers are on top form. So there's plenty of potential for a solid wado kata to beat either if you're on form on the day.
  8. SenseiMattKlein

    SenseiMattKlein Engage, Maverick

    Not sure if this will help in your style, but in some it really helps to slow down certain parts to showcase the stances, and throw in some tension moves (slow, drawn out, with breath), and speed up other parts. This contrast method serves to create a more dynamic form, and will make the rigidity less apparent.
  9. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    Hmm, Wado kata and competition is an internal battle I have with myself at the moment.

    When done properly they are beautiful to me but not - it would seem - to Kata judges. They have great function though - Wado kata - not kata judges that is.

    Is the competition working to WKF ****ei regs? - if so your best bet is to practice Seishan and Chinto.

    Either way - here is a competition Wado Kushanku which (if you ignore the bit where she nearly falls over) isn't too bad.

    [ame=""]YouTube - Women's Kata Kushanku JKF Wadokai World Championships 2008[/ame]

  10. newy085

    newy085 Valued Member

    I am not good at kata comp, I can't make it look pretty enough :) I have good power and speed, but I miss the whole drama thing that seems to win rounds. In Australia kata that score well for judges are Seienchin, Kusanku (Kanku) Dai, Unsu, Jion (the shotokan version) and Superempi. Members from our club have also had success with Shisochin and Shochin.

    I am with the others though, you should only be performing kata that you really understand. You can see when someone is doing the kata, and when someone is just going through the motions. It takes time and lots of practice to really develop a kata and understand it, and the feeling you get from it is often what the judges with judge on, because it shows in many ways such as the way you move into and out of stances, the moments when you pause, the direction you are looking and even the timing of your breath. If have just been shown how to do the kata and without having enough time to really understand it, it will be obvious to even dodgy judges. So go with what you know, and next year know more (if kata competition is something that really interests you).
  11. armanox

    armanox Kick this Ginger...

    Toss me in as another vote with Mr. Klein's statement - go with what you know. Doing Shorin Ryu kata here were most of my competitors do TKD has left me at a disadvantage - but often times I still place. Chinto can be a very hard kata to do well with, it is very easy to lose points (if yours is similar to mine, can never be certain). Lately I've been focusing on Matsumura Passai (Passai Dai) for tournaments.
  12. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    Really? TKD patterns look shockingly awful - you must have some bizarre judges!
  13. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Burn the witch!

    This is me on video from a recent competition.*



    *True. I'm the slap-headed one sitting down in front of the Scotland flag.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  14. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    I rest my case :hat:

    The holding your leg high in the air trick is very impressive (and I can't do it) but the bouncy movement and flappy hand techniques wouldn't rate well in a karate kata competition.
  15. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    since repeating what the others said would be redundant, i'll address the "which kata to learn?" question: i suggest enpi

    [ame=""]YouTube - Hirokazu Kanazawa 10º Dan Enpi[/ame]

  16. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Well, I just sprayed coffee all over my desk.

    They do say that it's what you do with it that counts.
  17. armanox

    armanox Kick this Ginger...

    Usually it's the Wushu/Kung Fu guys that take first place when they compete. But, the judges make a huge difference. Take these two videos (of me):
    [ame=""]YouTube - Kusanku Sho[/ame]

    [ame=""]YouTube - Kusanku Sho[/ame]

    The first took third place. The second was somewhere around eighth. Neither one was a well delivered kata either.
  18. monkeywrench

    monkeywrench Valued Member

    Whichever kata you choose, know it backwards and forwards. Literally if the kata lends itself to being reversed!

    Someone mentioned doing kata fast, slow, with tension. That's all very good. If your kata is a more "hard" shotokan kata, try doing it not only slow but flowing like a tae chi form as well. Also do it with stances/kicks only with your hands just in guard position or even tucked into your belt. Get to know your stances! Then do the kata standing still and just throwing the hand/arm techniques.
    When you're done with all that your head will be spinning I guarantee you. But if you keep training like that, your kata will have no place to go but up.

    One thing my style, Cuong Nhu (which takes its hard style heavily from Shotokan), harps on is taking a look over your shoulder first before you make turns. This demonstrates that you are aware of what your "opponent" is doing and where they are before you throw your technique. I didn't see this in any of the videos posted here and that is not surprising. We have enough trouble getting our own people to practice this.

    From watching these videos posted here I am reminded that the quality of gi counts. If you can get a heavier weight gi that will give you a nice "snap" for competition that will be a nice touch. No offense to anyone, but the light-weight gis look like wearing tissue paper to me. lol

    One last thing before I bore you to tears.
    Break your kata into pieces and rep those pieces. This will give you depth and you will realize you may have been taking shortcuts when just doing the whole kata as one unit.
  19. SenseiMattKlein

    SenseiMattKlein Engage, Maverick

    The fast/slow tension concept was part of my comment, but I like yours about the "looking in the direction you are moving to next" even better. It really sharpens the form and shows superior focus.
  20. monkeywrench

    monkeywrench Valued Member

    Indeed it does. I say that as a person who learned kata and practiced it in a couple different styles without the looking. Makes a big difference.

    I've heard it said that the greatest compliment you can get on your kata is "wow, I could see the opponent you were going after." Well, a big part of that is looking first before turning and attacking. You wouldn't cross the street without looking first would you? So why attack in a direction assuming an opponent will be there just waiting for you to smack them?
    : )

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