Is practicing and doing kata really necesary
Is practicing and doing kata really necesary or is it just a good warm up?
It depends on what you're practicing them for. Fighting? Nope. Polish your technique? All your formal techniques, yes, but not the sparring versions which you'll most likely want to use anyways. Moving and applying your techniques in combinations? It'll help, but not as much as shadowboxing. Moving properly? In many cases, yes, as you're learning what it feels like to transition your bodyweight which will apply over to sparring, so that's definitely a plus.
It's all in why you yourself are training. If you're training predominantly for self-defense, they won't have as much use for you as compared to someone who trains because they love the art.
I do mine primarily for a warm-up and to work on posture, proper mechanics, and focus. That's it though.
Are doing push ups necessary? Is working to improve your balance necessary. or learning how to regulate your breathing a keep your heart rate down necessary?
You can do these things with out Kata or with Kata.
Kata for the sake of Kata is useless, but kata can be used to improve those other areas.
Originally Posted by Koto_Ryu
That´s a good thing as long as you´re thinking in what you´re doing while performing the kata. something like a "psychological warm-up".
There is a reason why we start most of our kickboxing classes with shadowboxing (before the mandatory warm-up).
Depending on your reason for practicing, this may or may not be true. But then we'd be getting into a discussion of martial ways rather than martial arts.
Originally Posted by GoJu - Joe
Kata is like the textbook of many martial arts. To those arts that have them, yes they are necessary. It's part of that particular style. You can get a good warm up or work out, sure. The focus is on the movements. How you move. What combinations are taught and how are they implemented. Then from this, the individual can practice the combinations and techniques that suit them. Their size, weight, body type and strengths, all dependent on the individual and what is going to work best for them.
For weapons kata, how you hold a weapon, move with it, strike with it, is all in the kata.
You could just have someone feed you technique combos that you could practice, which is fine, particularly for the more simple arts. But if you want to really internalize an art and make it your own fighting style, then you need the kata.
“We are surrounded by warships and don’t have time to talk. Please pray for us.” — One Somali Pirate.
They are not necessary and I would contend will actually hinder the speed of your advancement as far as actual fighting ability goes.
The only reason to practice them is for tradition rather then any real practical benefit.
Mmmm... i´m with MrMantis on this one.
When practiced properly, kata is, as he said, the textbook of tha MA, not only shows which techniques are used, but also, how to combine them.
And I don´t think kata hinder your fighting ability, unless kata is what you do to gain proficency on it.
It hinders the speed at which you learn. Katas can take quite a while to really learn and practicing them can take up signifigant ammounts of classtime. Classtime that could be better spent learning simpler more directly applicable movements.
Once upon a time when I actually taught swordsmanship we had a kata like "8 Cut drill" (that was in fact signfigantly simpler then almost every kata i've ever seen). Being that at the time I thought learning it was necessary I devoted a fair ammount of time to teaching it to new students and correcting slightly more experianced ones. It took a while to learn the order of the cuts so people would near invariably need correcting.
Eventually I realized that teaching and practicing the 8 cut drill was taking up way to much classtime, more then it was worth, so I nixxed it from my curriculum in favor of doing more partner drilling. As a result, new students actually got better at fighting faster.