It was a very tough and demanding course, a 10 o`clock start and finishing just after 4 o` clock. The course was very well attended, there were ten people grading, two BJA Dan grades just to learn(hopefully they did).
Connie Lawrie 3rd Kyu had never done the kata before and performed 2 sets with Darren Wisdom, a creditable pass.
Paul Garvie, Francesca Aspey and Jack Sprotson had to demonstrate 3 sets all three passed. Blake Southfield, Fergus Jones, Yuri, Brandon Springett, Richard Seaman and Adam Dodds, demonstrated all 5 sets and all passed. I would like to thank all those who took part hopefully everyone came away with some understanding of Kata. I also wish you all the best of luck at Summer camp.
Two of the Countries leading Kata experts Trevor Davies 6th Dan and Greg Garside 5th Dan organised a Nage No Kata Course at the Swale Martial Arts Club Sittingbourne. Judo in the UK has been in the doldrums for some years and what advancement there has been has been on Olympic Judo, which is a sport, not a Martial Art. Many have commented that Judo is just another Jacket Wrestling Sport like Sambo, Kurash, BJJ, and Belt Wrestling etc. this is far from the truth. The Founder of Judo Jigaro Kano envisaged Judo being a way to produce better human being and Kata was the main way to this aim.
So what is Kata? Some think its is just a sequence of movements performed in a regulated fashion i.e. like you would do in Wrestling Drills NO it is much more then that Yes it is a sequence of moves, for instance Nage No Kata it is about 15 throwing techniques done left and right but it is also about performing each techniques to its highest level it is about perfection something we should all try to reach, it is about working with a partner in harmony, it is about controlling your emotions. Most importantly it being able to realise the struggle to reach all of these which is a never-ending task all these attributes make you a better Human Being.
As you through the Grades in Judo you will learn the more abstract forms of Judo Kata like Itsutsu No Kata Forms of Five (http://judoinfo.com/kataitsu.htm) and Ju No Kata Forms of Gentleness. These once again not only test your physical attributes but also your mental and emotional responses.
Many of those on the course were young people and yes they were there because it is part of the IBF grading but also they will start to learn that judo is more then just throwing people around the Mat. Many who dislike Kata say it has nothing to with competition and does not improve their fighting ability maybe be not but as I mentioned before it will make them realise to get to become a champion you need perfection and Kata will give you that and if you want to be a true Judoka you need both sides of the coin. Olympic Judo is a great Sport and most probably does not need Kata, when the Russian Sambo Players first entered Judo Competitions they swept the board and they did not do Kata. Yet Olympic Judo is a Sport NOT a Martial Art. You must remember in Kano’s Judo what came fist Shiai or Kata?
I am lucky I like all aspects of Judo but that not stop me enjoying other Grappling Sports like Sambo in fact by doing those other sports it opens my mind and enhances my Judo.
Next Kata Course will be Ju No Kata
Martin Clarke 8th Dan