Aug 29 2009

Kata of the Bujinkan

Published by at 8:12 am under Uncategorized

I have been asked recently to explain the kata of the Bujinkan.  Not to explain how to do each kata, but rather how they are to be studied.  I will try to give a brief contrast between Bujinkan Kata and Karate Kata/Chinese Kung Fu forms.

In the Bujinkan arts the form generally consists of few moves.  The most involved kata that I have seen to date are around 12 moves at most.  In san shin you have as many as 4 distinct moves and as few as 2.

When I compare this to my experience in Karate and Kung Fu, the forms are generally much longer with many parts.  When I was learning the forms, I was taught that each sequence, the series of moves before a direction change is another opponent.  If this is true; which I have no reason to doubt, one of those sequences is the equivalent of a Bujinkan Kata.

Kata in the Bujinkan are treated like bujkai in karate.  Bunkai is when you take a portion of a kata and work it against a live opponent.  This allows you to get a feel for the technique and its variations.

The very nature of Bujinkan kata create an issue when it comes to self study.  It is difficult to practise a kata which relies on feedback of an opponent by yourself.  There is a method to accomplish this.  I will discuss visualization in the near future.

I hope this clarifies the subject of kata in the Bujinkan if even a little.  Your life is on the line, practise well.

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