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Judo Kata: The Importance & Dynamic Nature of it

The Kodokan today recognizes a number of official Judo kata.

This interview with Steven R. Cunningham 6th Dan Kodokan Judo, 7th Dan Takagi-ryu Jujutsu, 6th dan Mugen-ryu karate by Linda Yiannakis 4th Dan USJJF; 4th Dan USA Judo, is a superb and unbelievably detailed discussion on Judo kata.

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At just under 12,000 words there is a great deal to think about.

Few details are left out including the need to dig below the surface of Kata and how kata is misunderstood as a “belt requirement” and no more instead of it being a means to understand principle through techniques that demonstrate the principle of techniques.

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Some of the topics dealt with are:
  • What are the origins of each of these kata and what does each contribute to the complete syllabus of Judo?

  • There are other kata which are not currently recognized by the Kodokan, such as Go no Kata, Ippon Yo Goshin Jutsu no Kata, Gonosen no Kata, and others. What are the origins and nature of these so-called ‘lost kata’ and why do you think they are no longer widely known?

  • What are the purposes and ends of kata as originally intended by Kano?

  • What was Kano’s purpose in designing a linear practice form for what we know as a largely circular movement-based art?

  • Is there a special meaning behind only Nage no Kata and Seiryoku Zenyo Kokumin Taiiku being practiced on both the right and left sides?

  • What story’ does Kodokan kata tell?

  • Some detail about the hidden components of kata, and when or how each is taught in relation to the other.

  • Kano designed Nage no Kata to align with the Go Kyo no Waza in order to highlight specific strategies and principles. What are some of these connections?

  • What is your advice for today’s Judoka regarding the best way to study kata? Do you feel that kata is relevant to modern sport Judo?

And much more, so read the full article: The Dynamic Nature of Judo Kata

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