Basic Karate Kata Introduces New Teaching Method!
Let’s face it, most basic karate Kata are boring, and couldn’t boredom be the reason many people quit their karate class early on?
With this in the back of my mind, I decided to make a better basic Karate Kata. Simply, I wanted my karate class to be fast and fun. I wanted a karate form that would include all the basics, and actually involve the student.
Before we get into the form itself, consider that most forms are basically step and block drills. Step and strike. A piece of a karate technique, and not the whole thing. Thus, in addition to being boring, the forms have little value except for indoctrination into how to learn things rotely.
Can anybody spell second grade? How about behavior modification? Both good reasons to put aside long used teaching methods and find a better way of teaching Karate, or kung fu, or whatever your martial art is.
In making the basic Karate Kata called ‘House’ I decided to use three basics, the low block, the outward middle block, and the high block. Those are easy enough for a beginner to learn quickly, and real enough for simulated fighting.
I then placed these blocks on a line, and put a punch after each block. Thus, there is stance change, weight shift, basics, and the idea that you can actually block and then offer a karate punch, or martial arts counter of some kind.
Now, to be honest, Chinese Kenpo, as presented by Ed Parker, had a good idea in their short one basic karate kata. The unfortunate fact is that while the idea of facing all four directions was good, it needlessly complicated the basic function of this kenpo form.
So, in line, three blocks, strikes right after each of the blocks, and you have something that works in real fight simulation, and can be learned quickly and easily, and, here’s an important element, can be upgraded into a more difficult variation.
Let’s say you begin the student on the first step, a low block and punch, and he can’t quite get it. That’s okay. The martial arts are new to him, and he’s confused by all the data. Let him be confused, drill him only on that one move until he gets it, then give him the second piece. Then, drill him on the first and second movements till he gets them, his own confusion will keep him entertained, and, finally, he can progress to the third move.
Thus, the karate student learns the whole kata.
Now, want to keep him learning? Want to make sure he does the form enough to get the deep down essence of the moves? Have him drill it in two man fashion. This is just like one step blocking movements done at the beginning of a traditional Karate class, except that it is a two man form, and the reality of the movements, that is to say the form, is being re-inforced with every single strike. More important, it takes no excessive teaching, you just have the student do the basic karate form and feed it strikes. He will have realization within minutes concerning how to do this, and he will be off to the races!
The Karate student thinks he knows it? Ask him to speed up. Ask him to do it without stepping, while standing in place. Ask him to do it with a (rubber) knife or stick!
The possibilities are endless, and this simple, basic karate Kata is suddenly opening doors that are refused to students who learn in the same old same old mass education manner.