"Kata is central to good Karate training. Karate kata have existed for hundreds of years and have their origins within the Chinese fighting systems.
There is no direct translation of the term Kata
into English. The best we can come up with is form or pattern. Kata is a
predefined sequence of movements performed in a special order to
maximize your practice time.
Kata teach you about body movement,
weight distribution, angles, turning, awareness and how to deal with a
variety of situations. Kata are composed of martial-type movements that
help you learn certain skills.
Karate kata comes from a time
where few people knew how to read or write. Information was passed down
from the previous generation in the form of song, dance, ritual, poetry
and stories. The human mind works with imagery and feeling, not lists of
facts and figures. Using enjoyable playful learning tools like these
are the most natural and efficient way to learn and remember things."
- Stephen Irwin, What is the Purpose of Kata Training
of the mind-body arts use a "predefined sequence of movements performed
in a special order." Yoga uses carefully defined postures (Aanas) and
sequences of postures (e.g., Sun Salutations). Each style of Tai Chi
Chuan has a specific sequence of postures and movements (Forms), unique
to its style, that can sometimes take up to 25 minutes to perform.