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Kata - Dead or Alive (podcast)

Welcome to the latest podcast! In this episode we discuss what differentiates a living kata from a dead one. When karateka commonly talk about kata being “alive” what they are referring to is a vigorous performance; as opposed to a lacklustre one. However, to my way of thinking, a kata needs far more than simply looking “lively” to be truly alive!

For kata to be alive it must be part of a wider process. It is the "seed" that the fighting systems of the past produced. The seed can only truly live when it is allowed to grow and thrive. Kata must be practiced. The applications of kata must be understood; and more importantly the combative principles that those applications encapsulate must be internalised thorough drills and live practise with live partners, such that those principles form habits; habits we will fight in accordance with. The kata then is living and breathing within us. It’s if fulfilling the purpose for which it was created. It is not lying dormant awaiting the inevitable rot; it is alive and thriving every time we move, every time we train and every time we are forced to protect ourselves and those we love.

In this podcast we look at the “lifecycle” of kata and explain the process that ensures a kata truly lives within the karateka. In listening to the podcast you will also find out how kata can be both like strawberries and zombies!

I hope you enjoy the podcast and find it useful. Thanks for listening and I’ll be back with more soon!

All the best,


Kata - Dead or Alive
Iain Abernethy
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