Structure of kata

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Structure of kata[edit]

If the theory behind Kaisai no genri is correct, and there is independent historical information about Chinese martial art forms which suggests that it is, then a kata is a concatenation of multiple drill sequences. Each sequence which would deal with a common type of hazard and should take the practitioner from the initial position of weakness, through several movements to a position of strength.

Drill sequence

If an individual drill sequence looks like the above, then the structure of a kata should look approximately as follows, with multiple variable length drill sequences strung together one after another.

Kata sequence

When you add in an example embusen, then the sequences would no longer be in a line one after another but spread along the shape of the embusen of the kata, with natural changes in direction caused by the techniques, and by the choice by the creator such as the angle of attack given by the A components. In the example below, the B movement may have a natural turn which allows the kata creator to fit the sequence to the embusen.

Kata embusen

To find applications, or as close to the original applications as you can, then it's fairly important to find and define the starting and ending points of each application or drill sequence within the overall sequence of the kata. Without this it's going to be very difficult to produce anything like the original application. With it, the chances are higher.

Drills within a kata

Often it's not quite so clear cut where the end of one sequence and the start of the next is within a kata, in fact often they can be part of the same movement with the end of one drill merged into the beginning of the next.

Combined sequences within a kata