Once again its been a while since my last post, this time the reason is that I simply have so many ideas of things to write about that I couldn't decide which one to start with.
Ive decided to go with a nice, easy and uncontroversial topic of my favourite kata/s. Whilst I'm on the subject of my favourite kata I suppose I may as well also talk about my least favourite kata and any katas that I don't like, and this is where I will begin.
I will start by saying that I can honestly say that I don't have a least favourite kata. Ill admit that there are a few that I sometimes do not particularly enjoy performing or teaching but these generally change from day to day and week to week depending on my mood and how often I have taught a particular kata recently.
The katas that I enjoy most can often change over time too but there are a few that have remained constant favourites. One of my all time favourites is Empi. This was the kata I did as my tokui kata choice for shodan and I have lost count of the number of students I have coached through the kata for their own black belt gradings. As a performance kata I find it a good challenge with some very difficult techniques, particularly the kaiten tobi (rotating jump). If I was to have a criticism regarding Empi kata it is that the bunkai and oyo does not "flow" and make for a great fighting system like some other katas. This brings me onto my current favourite kata/s. I have recently spent a lot of time concentrating on the Tekki trilogy of katas and my greater understanding of the kata has caused me to add the Tekki katas to my list of favourites. I used to dislike the Tekki katas. I found some of the techniques weak and unnecessary and the kata in general to be awkward and probably unpractical. Upon studying all 3 katas as a whole though I have realised that the Tekki katas can offer a complete close quarters fighting system that can breathe new life and understanding into bunkai and oyo for other katas. The way the techniques can be applied in different orders depending on how an opponent may react is a very useful tool for consideration when training in other katas. Start thinking of the Tekkis as 1 kata performed in 3 parts and start thinking of all kata as building blocks to use as and when they are required and you will realise that traditional kata can be used in real life situations and that modern MMA etc can learn as much from traditional arts as karate-ka can from MMA.