Jikishin Ju Jitsu
The Practice of Fixed Movements to Improve Technique
Traditionally, Kata is a way for the knowledge of a School of Martial Arts (Ryu) to be codified in a series of fixed movements, this ensures that the body of knowledge is passed down the generations. By ensuring that Kata are performed in the same manner, and with the same moves, the knowledge is preserved over time and not dissipated.
It is very important that the series of Kata practised are not changed, or each Kata will become distant from the original, and the intended lessons within the original Kata will be lost. Most Kata are quite old and are handed down from the original Schools of Martial Arts.
Kata help the student to develop the many basic skills into more complex techniques by reinforcing the movements to perfect strikes, blocks, kicks, throws and locks. In many ways similar to Shadow Boxing, Kata helps students to improve movement and technique.
Embo (Advanced Locking Techniques) are a practical method of moving through a series of sequential locks and are related to Kata.
The main thrust of Kata is within the higher grades, although all students are taught the first Blocking Kata at White Belt. With all Kata, it is important to understand the Application of the Kata, as well as the movements. Only by understanding the application, will the student fully appreciate what result each move within the Kata is designed to produce.
Kata, within many of the Oriental Martial Arts is also considered a path to true enlightenment, and can also be a form of "moving meditation" called Do Zen (pronounced Doh Zen).
Within Jikishin, we practice 3 main types of Kata:
Blocks, Strikes, Throws, Locks, Breakfalls etc., are practised against an imaginary opponent
Blocks, Strikes, Throws, Locks, Breakfalls etc., are practised with a partner or partners
Both single and pairs - practice in the use of each of the weapons in offensive and defensive situations
Jikishin Kata are performed by both Kyu Grades and Dan Grades. Open Hand Kata are mainly limited to Dan Grades, with only a few Open Hand Kata required by Kyu Grades. There are 5 weapons Kata required prior to taking the 1st Dan black belt, and students will study these and take an assessment at a Ko Budo (weapons) course.
The benefits of Kata are in the development of the following attributes:
Familiarity (particularly with Weapons)