Karate Kata are fantastic tools for self improvement, solo practice, curing boredom, exercise, mental stimulation, and even stress relief. Practicing Kata can be a remedy for problems faced in many different peoples lives that extends beyond getting in the repetitions to learn a set of moves for your next Karate Belt Testing.
In fact, practicing Kata at different speeds can have multiple benefits for all.
Believe it or not, not everyone who chooses to learn Karate wants to be the hardest hitting, fastest, most flexible martial arts beast on the planet. Some do Karate for the love of the art, the benefits to blood pressure reduction, the tranquil stress relief, and even the community aspect.
After all, Karate means empty hand, not hard and fast striking hands.
Performing a Kata slowly can actually improve muscle control, especially in Kata such as Seinchin with deep rooted stances. The slow performance helps deepen your understanding of the bunkai, or meaning of the movements and let's your mind run multiple scenarios over the course of them. Performing a kata slowly helps you stop rushing through a kata and developing sloppy habits.
Once you've been in the dojo a number of years, there comes a point in time where it begins to lose it's appeal, mixing up the same old routine in different ways can help respire your interest.
Practicing Kata at correct tempo with explosive movements has it's own benefits as well. The calories burned are immense, so weight loss is a sure thing while also gaining the benefits of cardiovascular exercise. Practicing Kata quickly can release endorphins and make you feel happier, and it will get your blood pumping which supplies vital fresh oxygen to all of your muscles being engaged.
Running your Kata routine at a high speed also helps sharpen your Karate skills for real world application, self defense, and competition. It does come with dangers of injury from explosive movements so ensure you are stretching and warming up properly prior to performance.
Practicing Kata at high speed forces your brain to fire up quickly to analyze your surroundings and spatial orientation, while calculating your next movement. It's good for your lungs as well.
In short, how you practice Kata is up to you as the benefits are yours to claim!
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About the Author:
Colton Woodard is a 7th Degree Black Belt in Kuniba Kai Karate Do and holds the title of Kyoshi as well. He loves to teach Karate, Kobudo, and Iaido and considers himself a lifetime student in pursuit of self improvement in both Martial Arts and in Character. Colton loves to visit Japan and speaks conversational Japanese and can write quite a few Kanji. He is a Karate competitor and coach and loves to exercise and make new memories with people all over the world.
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