Make every move of your kata a seperate kata

Although I learned of this concept in Iaido class, I do feel that it certainly does apply to our Karate training.

I was going through a kata and one of my fellow students, who was helping me with some kata details, made a comment about making each move of the kata a separate kata. The reason he said this was because I was rushing from one move to the next without waiting to see if the next move was even needed.

One strike, one kill

If each technique that we do is supposed to stop an attacker, one effective technique would end the kata. With that in mind, instead of doing each technique anticipating the next technique in the kata, each move should be done with the purpose of ending the attack against you and then you still should have enough pause or “zanshin” to see what you need to do next.

Another way to say it is, instead of moving through the kata like a robot, you should first ensure that each move is completely effective before moving on to the next.

For example, when doing the third move in Heian Shodan, most would turn and block at the same time. This is how I was taught and it is somewhat easy to understand. Now, in your mind, you turn first and then block. The key is don’t turn to block or turn to strike, turn to turn and then execute whatever technique you need.

Don’t think ahead

I know, from my own experience, when doing the moves from my katas, I can make them look very mechanical and stiff. The reason behind this problem is because I am thinking ahead to the next technique and not completing the current that I am executing. I am not living in the movement of the current technique like I should be.

If you try to make each technique a separate kata, with all the elements that make up a good kata, when you put all those moves together the kata will be more realistic and it will be more effective at training us.


I am not saying that you should pause for 10 seconds between each technique but I am saying that you should make sure to complete the correct technique with full power and speed, laser like focus and zanshin, known as remaining mind, after each movement before moving on to the next.

I feel that concepts like these raise the level of our kata training and they also improve the effectiveness of the techniques that we practice while doing them.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

2 Responses to Make every move of your kata a seperate kata

  1. Wonderful post! I love that concept, I have never thought about it that way. I will be bringing this up to my class on the next kata night.

  2. Thanks Brian.

    This really changed my mind on how I do kata. I have a couple of students who I mentioned this too and they feel that it changed their kata for the better.

    Please let me know how it works out for you in your class.

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