Kata

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A student doing kata with a stick known as a bo

Kata (型, 形 means: "the form") is a Japanese word which is used in some martial arts and theatre (as kabuki). In karate, this word describes a simulation of combat—the sequence of movements—which is given in detail and is trained individually or in group. Before learning it, the martial artist has to try the training of basic technique called kihon.

Such simulation represents a sequence of movements, the attack and the defence in an imagined combat. Every attack must be made as if there were an opponent in front of the karateka (the karate fighter) in order to reach him, and every defence must be made as if the opponent attacked in a real situation of danger. Every movement has an interpretation. The karateka has to show the consideration for its timing and ability to use it.

The goal of the kata is help in the development of the qualities and the abilities both psychological and of the body. These abilities are necessary for the real combat.