Should you only learn your own styles' kata?

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Jayla, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Jayla

    Jayla Valued Member

    (Fish, if you're about you might have some input on this since you've got videos of multiple styles)

    I've only ever done wado ryu, but theres plenty of other kata out there that wado doesn't use. I'm wondering, is there any reason why you shouldn't learn and practice kata from other styles?

    I went on a kata course recently, and learned a ****o-ryu kata (can't remember its name, but you circle your hands out at the start and strike with open palms) and it was a real eye opener, it was completely different to anything I've ever done in wado.

    Any comments/advice? I think learning more techniques is probably a good thing
  2. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Please note I'm not a Karate guy.

    It seems to me that perhaps a kata will centre around certain aspects of it's parent style?

    Footwork, power generation, timing etc

    So to actually do it you'd have to switch mindset and alter how you would usually do your art? You'd risk conflicting movement?

    I appreciate though that there may be some overlap between styles due to how they have evolved.

    Surely kata is more than just waza?
  3. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    if you don't learn the actual way that style moves, it's not any different than just stringing together moves from your own style. if you do learn it, why not?
  4. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    It's interesting to get different viewpoints from other styles , it's also worth remembering that the same kata can be found in different styles but be quite different Tekki/Naihanchi are good examples.
  5. TheMadhoose

    TheMadhoose Carpe Jugulum

    It can be confusing enough learning your own Kata never mind those of another system.
  6. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Plus some are very different. The kata of Enshin/Ashihara are very different from those of many other styles in terms of movement, principles etc. I don't know, but I assume other styles will also differ, ie Goju will work differently to Shotokan.

    And that's the point isn't it? Learning a kata should be about learning principles, and they are not easy to learn and can be contradictory.

    Having said that, if you're aware of the issues and fancy having a go, why not?

  7. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    Once you have a reasonable foundation in your own system's kata, there's nothing wrong with looking at the way other systems perform it and seeing how you can use it to improve your own practice. Especially for certain kata which seem to be in the majority of karate styles, i.e. Sanchin kata. Sanchin kata is one of my favorites, as it's so simple yet so difficult all in one. And there are many, many different ways to do Sanchin kata. Just watch these few videos and you can see how different each style interprets Sanchin kata.

    [ame=""]YouTube - Sanchin Kyokushinkai kata[/ame]

    [ame=""]YouTube - GoJu Ryu Sanchin Kata[/ame]

    [ame=""]YouTube - SHINSHINKAN KARATE DO 心 身 館 空 手 SANCHIN KATA Sensei Andres Diaz[/ame]

    [ame=""]YouTube - Sanchin Uechi-ryu[/ame]

    [ame=""]YouTube - Sanchin Kata Isshinryu[/ame]

    So I'd say go for it, you can only learn from the experience. Just make sure you practice your own system's diligently.
  8. cejames

    cejames Valued Member

    Just a thought but are you sure you have learned your kata completely?

    Personally, if you have done the duty so to speak and thoroughly know your systems kata, in and out, backward and forward, nuances, stance transitions, individually and in series/combinations as originally intended and so on then go for it with others.

    My understanding and philosophy is this, spend an exorbitant amount of time learning one kata, etc. When you have accomplished that gargantuan task then all others fall into place so much faster.

    Just a thought!
  9. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    This is a difficult one imo, especially when it comes to Wado-ryu.

    Remembering of course that Wado sits appart from Okinawan karate in many ways (due to its Koryu Bujutsu roots) - the solo Kata practiced were carefully developed by Otsuka to engender specific principles and concepts central to Wado.

    In fact, if you consider that over his long life, Otsuka actually pared down the amount of solo Kata he taught and toward the end of his days refused to teach any Kata beyond Chinto, suggesting they were not necessary (from a Wado perspective). So stricktly speaking, Wado-ryu only has nine Kata including the pinans.

    In a nutshell, yes, learning Kata from other styles can be fun, but it will not improve your Wado one bit. In fact as Dean says - there is a risk that it may conflict with what you have already internalised, sending you backward.

    Just my opinion.

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  10. Blade96

    Blade96 shotokan karateka

    i dont much seeing anything wrong with learning a kata from another style if the person really wants to.

    Myself, I'm happy to stick with my own shotokan katas. :)
  11. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    colour me interested. would you be averse to writing a bit about such differences?
  12. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    Not sure I am qualified to do so Fish, in that I do not know enough about Okinawan karate to write about the differences.

    What I do understand however is that Wado works the way it does - and the balance is quite specific between the solo kata and the paired kata that is practiced in the style.

    The key to understanding how to get the most out of the style imo, is realising how these come together [edit] and the expanding upon this.

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  13. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    maybe resurrect my old kihon thread and write about different techniques in the way they are done in wado?
  14. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    Blige!! - how long is a peice of string?
  15. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    hey, i wrote an article on the tsuki (although i've since disowned it). now it's your turn :evil:
  16. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I recall Shihan Mack of Shudokan Karate was up to 160-170 kata that he knew, maybe more now. I seem to remember that around 80 were in the belt requirements for his school. I think that is what my friend Sensei Tracy told me when I went to visit last. All the Goju-ryu kata I knew up to black belt were included in that and covered in like one belt rank for them.

    It takes a very good understanding and a lot of dedication to learn all the kata for other systems enough to be qualified to teach them to others, then take the next step and actually teach them to the masses. I think very few can do this, Shihan Mack being one of them and long time black belts from his school also.

    When learning kata from another system, I suggest that you focus on the movements exactly as shown to you from the other teacher. This may cause your body to make movements you are not used to but this helps ensure that when you pass that knowledge on to others, it is as close to what you were taught as possible. And always give credit where credit is due.

    With that said, it is little use to learn a new kata if you aren't going to practice it regularly. It is very easy to forget things that you don't practice. For me, I like to learn small segments of kata and break them down to the detail of application. This way I only have to remember a few applications and a few variations of each, instead of a whole kata.

    So my suggestion is find some movements in a kata you like and get down to every detail of the bunkai for it. Like me, at least you can remember that segment of the kata because the application will be something you know, even if you forget the rest of the kata.

    P.S. This is assuming it is okay with your Sensei to learn kata outside the system. Probably should get his/her permission if this is going to be a regular thing.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  17. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    Good Lord. 160-170 kata? That might be a tad too much. I'd rather know a few kata very very well than a hundred in only a cursory fashion.
  18. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    double post
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  19. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    counting shotokan variants and the two gekisai from goju, i know about 44 kata (some better than others), plus i can make crude imitations of a couple others and know about half the moves from some others (some of which i knew but forgot). don't really train them much though, but i occasionally go through the motions and take some kihon sequences that i like to train them in isolation, and very occasionally do them in parts when i have the space, or print out my handy txt list of the katas i know and head up to the terrace to do them properly.

    don't really have much problem with forgetting the kata themselves, but i tend to forget ABOUT the kata in the first place, hence my keeping a list in a notepad file.

    oh, and a yang tai chi long form, a version of northern shaolin's lien bu chuan, and the beginning parts of dun da (which i'm learning in class right now)

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