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diadicic's picture
Bored to death of Kata performance.

Why have I always struggled with kata performance. Since the beginning of my practice 27 years ago.

I like drilling and fighting with the concepts.

The way we do preform solo kata does give a me a workout. I am just so board of doing it.  Is there any thing I can do to make it better for me?  Mental trickery.  Their has to be something else.



Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

This podcast I did a little while ago has lots of suggestions for variety in solo kata training. Hopefully there will be something in there which will help:


Iain Abernethy Podcast wrote:
In this podcast we discuss the solo kata itself and how it can be used as an enjoyable and effective method of supplementary solo training.

We start by discussing the nature of kata, what a “good kata” is, and what benefits the practise of solo kata can bring when training alone. We then spend the bulk of the podcast looking at the many different ways in which you can make use of kata regardless of style, available space or environment. We also cover some of the ways in which you can add variety to solo kata training in order to make training challenging and enjoyable. The hope is the podcast will motivate and inspire you to further explore the many ways in which kata can be used when a training partner is not available.

One other thing to bear in mind is that by definition to get good at something we have to do it over and over and over. An element of boredom is therefore inevitable. We need to push through the boredom if we truly want to achieve competence. That said, training should never be unnecessarily boring. “Repetition by stealth” can help add in some variety and I hope you find some ideas in the podcast. I’m sure others will add their suggestions too.

All the best,


diadicic's picture

Thanks for getting me started.


rshively's picture

Kata is most like a multi-dimensional puzzle. Your background often helps unlock a kata's potential. Different dimensions = different levels of understanding. Grapplers who understand kata look for new and different methods of application as do Kyusho and weapons stylists. Look at kata as a diamond in the rough...something that increases in value the more time you put into it.

Th0mas's picture

Hi Dom

Like you I also started to get very bored with the more "traditional ways" of doing Solo Kata and Kihon Basics in the Dojo and during personal practice outside of the Dojo.

What worked for me was all about visualisation. I became very interested in the more pragmatic approach to Karate, both the intellectual and physical emphasis change in my training suddenly made things seem more fresh. So when doing solo kata, in my head, my visualisation attempted to marry up what I percieved to be the practical applications with what I had been doing for over 15 years. This initially created more questions than answers, but distracted my over stimulated bordom gland (oximoron alert!) from realising I was still doing the same angry dance. It also generated training goals to trial my own ideas back in the dojo with my (long suffering) training partners.  

Now this was over 10 years ago... still going strong, just wish I had more time away from work and travel. :-(

Kevin73's picture

I agree, mere repetition of a kata gets boring very quickly.  I use kata in various ways.  On a physical level, it can be used to work certain attributes like balance, fluidity, definition in strikes etc. etc.  These attributes might show their need to be worked on in your drilling/sparring sessions.  Did you lose balance while moving.  Sometimes a certain kata with that type of movement will come in handy to reinforce those stance transitions and movements.  Even just performing the kata using the opposite sides makes it new again.

On a strategical side, I always remember what my instructor told us about kata and applications.  "If I tell you that 2+2=4, you will say 'yep' and quickly move on and not spend anymore time with it.  If I tell you that it is "4", then you can look at all the ways to get to "4" and find that "2+2" is only ONE POSSIBLE solution to the question".  I will take sequences and try to find at LEAST 3 applications for them, then those sequences are taken and then worked with a partner.  Some I like, some are junk, then it's back to the drawing board some more.

JosephFontaine's picture

Some ways to practice them to make them new again could be performing them gyaku and ushiro. Do the entire kata from yoi or kiba dachi, add a gyaku zuki after each block to work more hip rotation. You would be surprised how many people really dont know heian shodan inside and out, you should be able to do them forwards, backwards, mirrored, and upsidedown on your head lol. If you can do this with all the kata in your system then you deserve to be bored hahaha!

Zach_MB's picture

This article comes to mind. I've run classes through these some of the drills before. Having them do it blind folded (with plenty of room) had led to some great results.