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Tokui kata: How Do I Choose the Right Kata for Me?

by on October 4, 2009

While practicing all my kata are important, I’ve had to choose a couple for extra practice at the 2009 Canadian National Karate Championships in Calgary in October. The questions I’ve been tossing around are:

  • should I determine my body type and choose two kata from that type? or,
  • choose a kata from the two main types of kata: sho-rin and sho-rei?

Let’s see…

The advantage of doing two kata that match my primary body type, probably sho-rei kata, is that these are inherently more tuned to my body structure and I could potentially improve my proficiency in these faster.

However, choosing two different types of kata is probably for my own personal benefit as it can help me acquire more consistency and balance throughout my karate curriculum. Sho-rin for improving my speed and ability to reverse directions, sho-rei to improve focus, muscle tension and relaxation, and strength.

My gut tells me to do just the ones I know best and that suit my body best. The reason for this:

“the judges aren’t going to give extra brownie points for showing diversity because they aren’t going to remember me that much”

With regards to my own personal benefit, after a little more thought, I won’t improve my proficiency during a competition by any measurable amount (not that you can ever measure short term progress in karate), so this point kind of becomes moot. GSP said it well: “while you train, its 80% physical, 20% mental, and when you get in ‘dat ring, it’s 20% physical, 80% mental”. Then I should just stick with what works for me and my body type.

Am I right in thinking this?


From → competition, karate, kata

One Comment
  1. MajaEL95 permalink

    honestly, I’d aim for doing a kata you like. choose a kata you can see yourself getting excited about getting to focus on. don’t choose a kata just because you think you should.
    I did that once, I chose a kata I couldn’t stand just because I felt like I should choose that one. many reasons for it. that was the kata I was expected to do and it was also the same I’d need for my grading less than a week after competition. it was practical.
    I did not do well at that competition. of course, after having done the same kata over and over again for a long enough amount of time you do get tired of it anyways, but it might take a bit longer if you actually enjoy the kata.
    next time I will be choosing my favourite kata. that way, even if I don’t do well for my competition at least I’ll have enjoyed the process 🙂

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