Kata and the Transmission of Knowledge—In Traditional Martial Arts
All too frequently, martial arts practitioners study their art without truly understanding where it comes from, how it was developed, and why it was created in the first place. Indeed, many don't care - and if you feel this way, you should put this book down. For the rest of us, who have taken our art beyond tournaments, it is reasonable to expect that we want to uncover the past. We want to understand the where, why and how of martial art development. We are intellectually curious about our combative history.
To study the combative arts is to understand the circumstances of their development and to gain insights into the views and ethics of the societies that created them. As we travel back in time, we see consistent evidence of martial systems being influenced by those that came before and/or invaded. We also see the use of 'pre-arranged' fighting patterns kata to transmit proven techniques from one generation to the next.
It is this transmission of martial knowledge, through kata and other forms of communication, that this book will explore. The author will demonstrate that pre-arranged fighting techniques katas were used by ancient Greek, Egyptian, Asian, African and European societies. And that Poetry, Dance, and Song were also significant methods of preserving and transmitting battle-tested fighting tactics through the ages.
The purpose of kata training is not to become bound by the form but to transcend the form itself - to evolve.
ForeWord's Book of the Year Award - Finalist - 2004