Doing Kata for its own Sake

Can Kata done for its own sake stand alone? Can it, devoid of any interpretation, stand on its own two feet? It is form. It is flow. It is intent onto itself. It is art. It can stand alone. Application is at best subjective. It has a logic inherent to itself. It is a martial artist's manifestation of doing his art. It is a stylized rendition of reality that transcends its individual parts. Taken apart and seen in itself, a kick, a blow, is just that. It is not kata. Make up a kata and it is always derivative, as all art in a way is, it is an old thing done newly. Unless...unless the new kata is born out of necessity, the imperative to create, to say, to mean. Yet kata evolves from its very doing or interpretation in the doing.

Do you look for intent in the kata or is the kata its own intent? Can I isolate a punch, kick, or transition, whatever, and call it studying kata? Is that what the kata meant or is that what you wanted it to mean? You can follow a healthy lifestyle and any exercise regime and attain good health. You can practice yoga or zen and attain inner peace or knowing. You can train with a master of streetfighting in real life scenarios and learn how to defend yourself skilfully. Why do kata?

Is the mastery of the kata in and of itself a useless thing?

And to those who relentlessly question the utility of kata for the real down and dirty, just depart the artsy fartsy they love to demean so much, but as they sally forth also strip away the connotation of martial artists, and plainly refer to themselves as what they truly are: street brawlers, new age sumarai, meanest SOB's in the valley, snarky blowhards.

The artistry of the kata below, says it all for me. It humbles me, as any good art should.

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