The kids really love their karate - I signed them up initially as an alternative to after school care (they get picked up from school and taken to karate) but as time has gone on they've really developed a love for it. Saturday was their first Kata tournament. We travelled to the 'sister' dojo (karate place) in Ainslie.
No, I didn't know what Kata meant either.
Essentially Kata is a series of moves which goes into showing your overall technique - some of the moves are actually quite complex, but in junior grades it can be as simple as repeating steps and punches in a certain way. Two competitors 'fight' off against each other by repeating their moves while watched by a judge.
It would be easy to dismiss it as 'dancing' in a way, but the sensei (the martial arts teacher) assesses which competitor carries out their Kata with the greatest accuracy. I learnt during the day that it wasn't only repetition, but also how effective the punch is or the steps made, judging was even based on how you held your thumbs!
Both the kids did really well. They were so nervous beforehand as we've never really done anything like this before, but they were so happy at the end. There's a big bout at the end during which the category/age winners all 'fight' off. The winner (which the kids both look up to in awe) was an older teenage girl (who is brown belt senior) which the kids told me in hushed tones is only one step away from black belt.
|The kids with their Kata faces on!|