Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kendo Kata research - Introduction

I can admit, Kendo kata can be boring. But, no matter how I feel about the kata, they must be done anyways in order for us to advance through the rankings. I was one of those people that treated kata as a necessary thing to do before the promotional exams to make sure I don’t make any glaring mistakes come test time. Whenever I do them, it turns out to be no more than doing X, Y and Z in order to get from point A to point B.

I’ve started to think a bit more about how I can approach Kendo kata a little differently. Part of it is my newfound uptake and interest in Iaido, where we tend to go much deeper into the techniques and reasons behind each of the katas’ moves and the other part is just a drive to understand whatever I am doing a little better, which just happens to be part of my inquisitive personality. Essentially, I may know how to do all the moves, but I would also like to know why I am doing those moves. In order to achieve that, there are a few things I’d like to look at.

  1. I would like to know some things about when the kata were developed, how they were developed and why they were developed. Understanding where things come from can help with better appreciating what it is one is doing.
  2. I have learned that the roles we do mean something and the kamae we take means something. Thus, I’d like to take the positions and roles we take and put some meaning behind the moves we do by examining each of the kata with the information learned from the background info.
Keep in mind that, beyond the history and some technical info, a lot of what I type here is my opinion based on my experience and thought process. People with more experience will think differently, people with less experience will think differently. Heck, people of similar experience will think differently which all depends on where they practice, how they practice, who’s teaching and what their personality is. My own experience level really isn’t all that much to the point of not knowing the kodachi kata yet. I’ve just taken some interest in this part of Kendo, so I thought I would take up my own research, but then share what I find and what I know with the Kendo world at large.


Cle B said...

I've recently been practicing my Kata on a daily basis, I used to find it boring but I know it's because I wasn't good at it either. Now I practice it's a little more interesting.

Christopher George said...

It's really easy to find Kata boring in the beginning since most tend to start off by learning just the robotic movements and not much else beyond that. But once you start to think about the meaning behind all the kata, then things start to get a bit more interesting.

I must admit, I have been neglectful with continuing with this post. I kinda felt that there was more that I could possibly learn from the kata before I post anything more from them, but then I was also wondering how I could type what I wanted to say...

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