Monday, September 30, 2013
As kata is commonly being instructed (within other systems), the motions are considered to be (stagnant) individual techniques that are strung together like some bizarre marionette dance.
Kata are taught to students to aid them in learning and practicing the individual techniques that are represented within the motions of the kata. lt is those motions, that are utilized in various combinations to create the individual techniques that are taught/practiced in the system.
Every system interprets those motions differently. Oyata spent numerous years studying those kata motions, using the methodology's taught to him by his (only) two instructor's (Uhugushuku, and Wakinaguri).
Every technique and motion that is taught in our classes, began as an interpretation developed by Oyata, and was drawn from the instructed kata that are learned during the kyu rank levels of instruction.
What is commonly called the "basic" form of the kata, is (only) the initially taught manor of how to perform the kata. Every kata is (eventually in one's training career) performed with individual nuance's that identify the particular system/practitioner's preferences.
Though numerous systems will often teach the "same" (or at least similar) kata, their interpretations of the motions contained within the kata will often vary (sometimes greatly) between each of them. This can often account for the differences made in the performance of the kata motions as well.
Regardless of the individual motions that are performed, or which of the interpreted technique(s) (Bunkai) are shown/taught, the “kata” are designed to be utilized as a continuing training/learning exercise.
As my associate has noted previously, when a student begins their study with us, they are taught the kata motions in a sequential manor. Each of those methods illustrates/includes more (definition/details of) motions that should eventually be performed in every kata that's learned (by that student). By the time the student has been shown their 4th kata (or so), those motions are included during the students initial instruction of the kata.
Student's will assume that every kata is taught in those same "stages" (this would not be correct). Many kata contain similar motions/movements, when those motions are taught to the student, it should be already understood/recognized that they are the same motion (learned previously), and therefore should be performed the same.
There are no “wrong” ways to perform the kata, just a number of different ways to perform them, and maybe some incomplete ways as well, LOL. The motions are all subject to individual interpretation. It has been proposed that this is how/why different “systems” came to be. The different instructor's (associated with each of those individual manor's of performance) all had their own way/manner of performing certain techniques.
Yes, there is only one “Te” on Okinawa, but just like a guitar, there's a lot of different ways for it to be played.