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Kata

In the history of Okinawan and virtually all Japanese Martial Arts, Kata have been, and are, an important part of training. 

A Kata or form, is a predetermined pattern of movements that represent blocking, striking and kicking against imaginary opponents, who become very real when the all important bunkai is performed.

Kata are the text book of Kobudo, all techniques come from Kata.  Thus Kata are important to the understanding of karate in that the series of movements assist in understanding applications of individual techniques, of appreciating the changes in speed and rhythm in a fight situation, balance and correct positioning of body parts in relation to attackers and also the importance of controlled breathing.

Kata allow an individual to practice in a structured way without a partner or equipment.  Constant practice of kata will allow the defensive and counter attacking movements to become a reflex action.