Learn The Art of Kata Seduction

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Masatoshi Nakayama


  • Earn your kata’s trust. Every suitor starts by claiming they are ready for commitment, that they will do whatever it takes to master the kata. Three months later, half of them have already moved on to the next martial arts style. After so much infidelity, who could blame your kata for being difficult?
  • Shut up and listen. Once your kata has grown comfortable with you, it will start dropping hints about its deepest and most intimate secrets. “That downward arm movement in Heian Shodan? I never said it was meant for blocking kicks,” your kata might whisper coyly. It is very important that you avoid arguing with your kata, or insisting that you know its true meaning.
  • Slow down, tiger. Don’t rush through the kata like your gi pants are on fire. Take the time to explore and appreciate every inch of it.

Click the image to open in full size. Tips

  • Spend some quality time alone with your kata every day. Don’t invite any practice partners, invisible opponents, or other wingmen.
  • Patience is a virtue; some katas are just hard to get.
  • A little kata experimentation is normal and healthy. Try alternating between fast and slow movements, or play with it while blindfolded. You can even do your kata standing up!

Click the image to open in full size. Warnings

  • Throwing in a few moves from other styles will not impress your kata.
  • When applying your kata during a sparring session, always use protection: wear a cup, mouth guard, etc.

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