Styles of fighting – Kata

Styles of fighting – kata

For the last year but particularly the last six months I have been watching people spar and analysing what mindset they fight like, as a karateka in Goju ryu I naturally link it all to Goju’s katas, Geksai ichi for linear, distance fighting to smash and destroy your opponent, Geksai dai ni similar but angles of counter attack, Saifa smash and tear so closer quarters and really focusing on angles, seiunchin for close quarters, shisochin for 4 ways of destruction thinking more of speed, kung fu and using your structure more, Sanchin using body structure to achieve power without relying on muscles that could slow you down, tensho for misdirection, confusion and the list could easily go on.

People don’t necessarily follow a particular mindset/kata and could fight a mixture of katas, some adapt it to their body structure and way of fighting, I know on Nidan who uses fast high kicks and I would say he is a Sanchin fighter.

Watching people and writing it down has helped me recognise their strengths and weaknesses, how I should approach different people and how I should fight them, it has also let me recognised that of my weaknesses and how I can improve them to make me a better fighter.

Originally I was probably a geksai fighter, naturally aggressive who tried to turn himself into a Sanchin fighter with mixed results.

Naturally through asking mates and analysing myself I have noticed I fight in several katas depending on my mentality and area of the fight. In aggressive mode I am a Sanzhan fighter training in China did me so much good for my martial arts, I appreciate more and more every year what I learnt in China, most people there were learning a flavour of the style and crammed so much in that I doubt they remember a fraction, White Crane can be boring he drilled the same stuff over and over again, I didn’t get to learn as much as some other people but it has transformed the way I fight and think about martial arts. Yen Da Shi (the White Crane master who trained me in China) as a large place in my heart.

Anyway back to the subject, after learning tensho back in January and focusing on it for three months enhanced what I learnt in Sanzhan, in defensive or counter attack mode I become very Shisochin in the way I fight, it is an amazing kata and I fell in love with it the moment I learnt it, it just seems to make so much more sense to me than other katas which then shouldn’t surprise me that I use its principals in fighting.

I have a third style, because I am a close quarters fighter, when people get into longer range I tend to feel more panicked and become far more linear than I am in close quarters, I decide at this range that I can kick but am so uncomfortable with kicking that I am out of range or am chasing them down. I need to learn to get use to this range, and blend my kicking with my other two styles of fighting, I am even toying with the idea of blending them all together but I don’t want to get too predictable like I did in the past and reveal too many of them which means it becomes drilled out of me and I don’t use them again.

Keep training, Never give up, OSU


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