…What a Modern Classical Karate Kata Looks Like
With the advent of Krav Maga, Systema, Sanshou, Jeet Kune Do and MMA people don’t fight like they used to, and one has to examine the functionality of Combat Karate Katas.
People are faster, more vicious, more likely to use power base kicks rather than simple jab type front kicks, and worse they like to go to the ground.
What does this mean for the traditional combat style kata? Does this mean they are useless?
Personally, I don’t think so. However, other people do.
While I do not suppose I can speak for him, Kancho Joko Ninomiya, the founder of Enshin appears to feel that kata are necessary but the old ones don’t quite cut it in the modern world.
If you are unfamiliar with Enshin, here is a quick run down on it. Kancho Joko Ninomiya won the 1974 All Japan Karate Championships (a Kyokushin bare-knuckle full contact championship). Then he moved to America and founded his own karate style, using his own bare-knuckle tournament to evolve the style.
When he started to create his own kata, he kept the traditions of kata, but made them fit the new style. He also didn’t bother with fancy names, instead the names are things like “shiro obi no kata”, or “ao obi no kata”, literally they are “white belt kata” and “blue belt kata” respectively. However, they include things that were heavily used in Kyokushin, but don’t exist in the original katas like Sanchin and Seisan, things like boxing style jab/cross combinations.
So, this is what a modern kata looks like, and following that are its bunkai (application).
Interested in more combat style Karate? Check out Temple Karate at MonsterMartialArts.com