Over many decades, I have trained in the Okinawan form of karate called Isshin-Ryu. I have practiced other styles, but due to my esteemed teacher Robert Hanula, a retired State Police Captain, who I believe to be one of the best Isshin-Ryu instructors in the United States, I now solely practice this style.
There are many reasons for someone to practice the martial arts: health, spirituality and self-defense, to name a few. All Okinawan karate is based on kata. A kata is a preformed battle that teaches, movement, technique and works both sides of the body. Katas can also be done for health. They say that certain katas are good for certain organs of the body. I don’t know of any empirical studies but I can tell you that kata keeps me fit, limber and has brought me back from serious injuries.
Another reason for doing kata is that it gives you an awareness of your body. You can lapse into a state of mind the Japanese call “mushin” or “no mind.” The body flows and calms the spirit. I believe that you also acquire a peace even in times of stress or danger. You become more aware of the potential of danger and less likely to be involved in a dangerous situation because you are aware of your environment.
Finally, the most obvious reason for kata is self-defense. Physical violence is seldom a resolution to a situation but at times it is necessary. The kata in the video is an old bow kata. There is a certain beauty to bow kata and many things can take the place of a bow, for example, you can use a cane, a stick or a shovel. It is a kata for many possible environmental weapons and situations.
I dislike violence but in my study of violence I conclude that you must be aware of your environment and also the darker nature of man.
To be wise, ultimately, is to be safe.
Have a good and safe week.