Kata Waza 型技
Kata contains all the techniques, backgrounds and strategies needed for combat and are a succession of defense and attack techniques in different modes and movements in different directions. The number of movements and their order are accurately recorded. The balance between offensive and defensive techniques, the postures, direction and execution of the movements give each Kata its own specific character.
Kata means fairly translated 'pattern or form' and literally translated 'way of doing things'. The Kanji for Kata Waza is composed of: Katachi - 形 (form of pattern), Kai - 刻 (cutting), Tsuchi - 土 (earth or soul) and Waza - 技 (technique, skill or skill). Literally Kata means ‘shape which cuts the ground’ and Kata Waza thus 'practice Kata'.
Kata are poured in a particular pattern, also called the Embusen - 演武線. For each Kata, the Embusen is fixed and should be followed precisely for a good control of the style. Japanese Kata start and end at or around the same point on the floor, Kiten - 起点 (starting point), of the mostly small Dojo’s. Many of the original Okinawan versions have been modified to comply. In many Embusen movements are symmetrical and mirrored in the opposite direction.
The basic techniques in a Kata are both offensive and defensive, but each Kata always starts with a defense. Each technique is carried out in a Kata with maximum effort when implemented. If you defend weakly, you can lose a fight and if you attack weakly, you will never win the fight. In each Kata there are short rest points. Good breathing is essential not to get exhausted during intensive execution. Alertness and sharpness should manifest itself in both mental and physical components of the execution. The constant change of rhythm in Kata is closely related to the idea that different imaginary opponents from different directions, at different times and with different techniques attack the practitioner.
Kata Waza knows the Renma - 錬磨 (always improoving) principle. This means that the movements of Kata's must be practiced frequently and concentrated in order to become master of it. The attention to detail, which is necessary for a perfect execution of a Kata, stimulates self-discipline. Concentration, dedication and exercise ensure that a higher level of learning is achieved. A level in which a Kata is so integrated into the subconscious mind that a good performance of a Kata becomes a matter of course. This is called Mushin - 無心 no spirit by Zen masters. What was once consciously trained, is now spontaneously implemented (from unconscious-incapacitated via consciously-incapacitated and consciously-competent to unconscious-competent). Performing a Kata is also a way to show respect to the origins and history of Kyokushin Karate and Martial Arts in general.