Poems

Is Kata A Waste Of Time?

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Is Kata A Waste Of Time?

Is there a point to doing kata?

Or is it just a waste of time?

Does it have an application?

That is magical and sublime?

By the time it came from China,

To Okinawa and Japan,

It had been changed so many times,

In each and every land.

The true meaning has been lost,

And by the time it came to the West,

Nobody could remember,

As the value became less than less.

Then along came competition,

Where it just had to look good,

Nice shapes, crisp and focused,

But empty, loud and awkward.

Before internet, video and books,

People learned using mnemonics,

Remembering with rythmn and cadence,

Kata had harmonics.

Tribes used to chant,

Then they would dance to a drum,

Learning was a social event,

Where the wizened would teach the young.

Health was always important,

So posture and breath were trained,

Along with mental intent,

The young became fully engaged.

Fighting moves were too simple,

More complex skills were desired,

Life was very active and diverse,

So a complexity of skills was required.

Battle and hunting was always with weapons,

It was rarely with bare hands,

So most of the moves were armed,

According to the weaponry of the lands.

If the warrior lost his weapon,

His opponent was still armed,

So his techniques had to be effective,

Against those that would cause great harm.

After World War Two in Japan,

Martial Arts were banned,

When Karate was finally allowed,

It was sport and empty hand.

So the reasons for kata are clear,

It is health skill and application,

Like a knot it has to be unraveled,

And studied with imagination.

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