15 Ways to Practice Your Kata That You Haven’t Thought Of Before!

As Instructors that have taught thousands of students over the past 40 years, we know that there are some students that LOVE learning and practising new katas and some that HATE it. It does take a lot of time and effort to perfect your form and you might be one of the people that prefers to punch and kick pads instead.

So we have combined some of our own ideas to present to you 15 different ways to practice your Kata for those who need something different to turbocharge their home training regime.

1. Do the Kata blindfolded – This will give a good indication of your perception of direction. Without your sense of sight, will you still finish your kata facing the correct way?

2. Do the Kata facing another direction – For the students that always practice their kata facing the same way, attackers may come from any direction so we need to prepare for this.

3. Do the Kata in reverse – Start from the last move and make your way back to the first move. Now try it with full power and speed!

4. Do the Kata, but only do the stances – When you immobilise your upper body, you can truly appreciate how smooth your movements are during your Kata.

5. Switch the timing of the fast and slow movements – Sounds easy, but when you’ve ingrained the timing of certain movements into your memory, this will challenge even the best Kata practitioners.

6. Do the kata with weights – If you have a weighted vest, ankle or wrist weights, they are perfect. Otherwise, just hold something slightly heavy during the form for sport-specific strength training.

7. Do the kata in water – Stand in a pool up to your shoulders. The resistance of the water gives a good workout, without extra stress on the joints.

8. Perform the Kata in front of an audience – Gather your friends or family and show them what you have got! The added pressure of people watching will (slightly) mimic the fight or flight response people experience during a combat situation.

9. Record yourself performing your Kata – You can see exactly where you’ve gone right or wrong and you’ll be your own best critic.

10. Do the Kata to music – Find a music with a strong beat that isn’t too fast to match the timing of your kata.

11. Do the Kata with over-exaggerated movements – When things get serious, we tend to tense up and shrink our techniques’ range of motion. So practice with extra big movements in order to prevent that.

12. Do the Kata while a friend tries to distract you – If someone can distract you during your kata (without touching you), it means you need to improve your focus and concentration. It’s also a fun game to play to spice up your practice time.

13. Do the Kata while balancing a book on your head – This will force you to keep your balance and posture perfect throughout the form. If you drop the book, you have to start all over again!

14. Do the Kata while balancing on one leg – Do the hand techniques and rotation without stepping, this will make sure you maintain balance even when you throw powerful techniques with your upper body. If you put your foot down, start again!

15. Do the Kata like you are in a tournament – Walk in, present to the imaginary judges and smash out the best and most powerful kata you can perform. Try to earn that imaginary trophy too.

There are a bunch of new ways for you all to practice your kata for tournaments and gradings. If you liked this article, send it to someone who is always practising their kata. Happy training!




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