I’ve studied Shotokan, Wado and Goju for 36+ years now. My conclusion of the Kata is that they are not performed how they were originally intended. The reasons are too numerous to mention specifically, except that style and instructor variants and the dangerousness of the techniques for children to practice has paid a huge part in changing them from their original killing interpretations.
Perhaps I said it simply…….too simply? To add further insult to injury I have deduced that Kata as performed by the “modern masters” is the core of the confusion that surrounds how Kata should be performed and how it was original intended to be performed.
For example: if you decrease the range of confrontation (of a Kata application) to that of a telephone box (not a Tardis) and still be confident that each segment was in it’s own right a definitive effective application. You should see a big difference in how it might be effective and more useful in reality and as a memory aid, by form.
For me!! And I’m not saying I’m right, although I think I am. I need to take modern Kata with a big pinch of salt or a spoon full of sugar, because the reality aspects of them are hard to swallow. The moves are there, some say hidden, I think seriously lost in translation.
Example: if a (heian/pinan shodan or gekki-sai) gedan barai, cannot STOP a situation in it’s tracks you’re in big trouble........... Imagine there is no second attack in karate?
Choki Motobu says…………………….
“Karate is sente (first strike)”
“The blocking hand must be able to become the attacking hand in an instant. Blocking with one hand and then attacking with the other is not true bujutsu. Real bujutsu presses forward and blocks and counters in the same motion.”
“One cannot use continuous attacks against true karate. That is because the blocks of true karate make it impossible for the opponent to launch a second attack”.
It is also quite clear that sport Kata is subjective to the discretion of a decision by a group of judges. The true test of how effective a technique is cannot be assessed without seeing the total effect.