A kata a day makes Karate good

I have something that I want to share with you that I know will help your Karate over the next 12 months or less.

In late 2011, I set a goal to do at least one Karate kata (and one Iaido kata, the other art I am studying) every day going forward. My thoughts are that every day I do not train is a day that I cannot get back. That training time is lost and I do not like to lose things. I also felt that doing the kata would improve at the very least my mind but also just moving would improve my body.

From that time until the first day of 2013 I missed doing kata on six days.

I did that one kata almost any time during the day. I could have been 6 pm, midnight just before going to sleep, 4 am or any other time of the day but no matter how tired I felt or whatever came up, I tried to do at least one kata each and every day.

Many of these were not full power, full speed katas but many a time, if I did one kata, it would turn into two, three or more and before I knew it.

They key was to start small and be loose with the rules. My thoughts were, anyone can do one kata per day which I often tell the students that help teach.

For example, In Shotokan, our beginner level kata, Heian Shodan, takes all of 40 seconds to complete when done slowly even though most Karate students do it in under 25 seconds.

In order to make it enjoyable, I would do the following:

    Slow motion breathing kata, taking a full deep breath in between each move.
    Fast paced kata but with no power.
    Kata in mirror image.
    Start the kata from the end and work backward.
    Kata in a 3 by 3 foot space, switching feet for each move.
    Hold each move for 10 or more seconds kata.

I am sure there are a few others that I have missed and I am sure you can come up with your own ideas on how to make your one kata per day fun.

Also, the kata that I did in my Karate classes counted toward that days one Shotokan kata requirement.

One surprising thing is that I ended up doing well over 1500 katas in 2012 not including the three months that I didn’t keep track and the kata that I did while teaching or doing parts or chunks of kata.

You don’t have to start this on the first day of the year so don’t worry about this being the 4rd day of 2013, just do it and see how many day, weeks months or years you can do a kata each day.

2 Responses to A kata a day makes Karate good

  1. […] As we were leaving the dojo, a couple of my fellow students made a comment about their concerns that they would not have class for three weeks.  My suggestion was for them to do a kata each day, even if it’s only one kata.  I wrote a quick how to about what I have been doing with my kata a day routine for the last 13 or 14 months.  A kata a day makes Karate good. […]

Leave a reply