Kata is an organized set of movements designed to teach the martial arts. It's a great way to learn the motions used for self-defense while learning coordination, precision, timing, and power. Where else can you find exercise that works every muscle in your body without any extra equipment? Nowhere! Kata is a one stop shop for learning from the basics to the advanced parts of martial arts.

The discipline and focus that kata brings cannot be easily compared to anything else. For that reason we teach kata slowly and meticulously. We ensure the student has it right, while staying on track. Even simple motions put in a row turns quickly to a challenge of the mind. It teaches students patterns and makes the brain think hard!

The same motions that are learned for kata are also the same motions used for escapes in self-defense. That's part of why they were created! In working on that great exercise, kids learn movements they can use to escape an attacker. The way the kata motions are performed ensures it isn't strength that's needed to escape, but rather body alignment and mechanical advantage. Because of this, even the littlest martial arts practitioner can escape from the largest of adults. We have 4 year olds that can't be grabbed and abducted because of this! Students also learn when it is and isn't appropriate for these techniques to be used.

Historically people learned kata as a means to protect themselves from armed attackers and even fight back. Today this isn't as necessary. Kata is now taught by many as actions done for tradition. However this is not the case at Ryukyu Academy. Kata can be done almost anywhere for great exercise benefits. Kata builds endurance, strengthens muscles, fine tunes coordination, works timing, all while making the person think! Sound like hard work? It is, but it's fun at the same time.

Kata, otherwise known as forms or patterns, originated in several different places. India, China, Okinawa, Korea and Japan are a few of the more commonly recognized places. Each has their own unique and recognizable movements. Each is trying to accomplish the same goal.

In the Ryukyu Academy we do 12 kata to black. Above is a list of the 12 kata we practice to earn your black belt.