Kata / by Tom Maloney

Kata. A gift handed down to us by such legendary martial figures as Bodhidharma, Ryu Ryu Ko, Kung Kusanku, Funakoshi, Shimabuku, and The Ksatreya Warriors. On the surface, kata can be described as demanding, body fortifying movement sequences performed by one who is vigorous and resolved.  Kata develops the internal organs, strengthens the muscular system, sharpens the mind, and deeply nourishes the body’s energy. 

Kata’s next level gives us insight into its role as a manual.  Past generations have codified their masterful knowledge of combat into these sequences. Although kata is a guidebook for martial technique, it takes a holistic and keen understanding to pierce each movement’s true purpose. An expert performance of kata will evoke the experience of truly engaging an adversary in combat and emerging victorious.

Deeper still, these moving mandalas allow us to to directly experience our true nature so that we can dispel the illusion of external conflict. Consistent practice gives us the power to overcome undesirable states of being that lead to suffering.  If we can learn to move with truth and energy the gates to abundant living will open before us.