The Orlando Shotokan Karate Club has been working on a variety of team katas to create some enthusiasm around this aspect of traditional Japan Karate Association (JKA) training.
The strategy was to get almost everyone in the club involved with one or more teams and katas so that we could explore the nuances of each movement, but more particularly the benefits of collaboration.
The emphasis of our team kata training was for individuals to complete the series of movements in synchronization with the other teammates.
Choosing teams that included karate-ka of various skill levels and years of training, as well as people with different body types and different preferences for certain katas increased the challenge.
In many cases, the junior student was the lead for the kata thereby enhancing the learning experience. The series of videos were not designed to be used as instructional for those outside of our dojo.
There is lots of room for improvement with each of these team katas. However, the training fostered a collaborative spirit and enthusiasm for traditional katas.
As we complete more of the team katas, we will post them on the website for inspiration within our own dojo and hopefully encouragement for others to begin to train traditional martial arts.
Jay Exum, PhD