A new email came in the Best Self Defense Weapons Mailbag recently asking what are the benefits of kata in self defense. The question reads, “One thing I never liked about various martial arts is the continuous performance of katas. I find them boring due to their repetitive nature. So I just want to ask whether it is really that useful in self defense situations?”
Katas or prearranged form of offensive and defensive movements are very important in the mastery of martial arts. Basically, the series of movements used there are made to simulate combat scenarios involving one or multiple opponents.
Among the key benefits of kata is that it lets a person learn about the basic foundation of his discipline. The repetitive and choreographed pattern of the kata will let an individual master the proper delivery of hand strikes, kicks, blocks, grappling attacks and even the proper use of self defense weapons. Its regular practice also programs the body and mind of the practitioner about the various ways to react to certain stimuli in a fight. On top of that, it teaches a person the systematic way of combining offensive and defensive actions to improve his strategic advantage during combat.
Other key benefits of kata is that it develops discipline within a person. The repetitive nature and often slow pace of the movement is way to test the patience of a person as well. In addition, it promotes relaxation as you deliver attacks, blocks or evasive maneuvers so that you will not strain your body quickly during the delivery of your moves.
There are certainly many other benefits of kata aside from the ones mentioned here. But to sum it all up, it gives overall conditioning to a person so its importance should not be undermined.
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