Good performance of Kata is more than just mechanical combination of a series of basic stances and skills; to make a Kata performance impressive, we have to transform it into an art, which essentially calls for instillation of combating spirits and elegant body movements – these are the souls of Kata which distinguish an outstanding Kata performance from an ordinary one. When performing Kata, we are actually engaging in an art performance; just like any other art forms in the world, it is always creative and original, thus there is no prescribed way on how to perform a Kata. Kata performers are artists; by using their imagination and movement techniques, which result in manifestations of different force flows, speed deliveries, stances, facial expressions, breathing patterns, tempo arrangements and tensions of focusing, they vividly portray imaginary combat scenes in the stadiums and invite the audience to enter into the worlds of combat which are unique to each individual Kate performers.
Kata performers are also required to sculpt individual movements and study their inter-relations, so that chemistry among them would be maximized; when this successfully happens, spectators would feel the balance maintenance throughout the Kata, cohesion of movement transitions, performers’ pursuit of perfection and attainment of aesthetics. Hence, outstanding Kata performers are outstanding artists; they transform Kata into a precious art piece; audience is hypnotized into the imaginary worlds of combat; they breathe the same breath and feel the same mood of the performers’. When it reaches the end of the Kata, the audience is simply bewitched and dazzled in utter wonder.
It’s never easy to be an outstanding Kata artist. Each year, we witness Kata performers being crowned in world and inter-continental tournaments. However, this does not equate them to the title of “Outstanding Kata Artist”. There are a number of great Kata performers whose names will always shine in our hearts, to name but a few are: Sensei Tsuguo Sakumoto (three times world Kata champion – 84, 86 and 88) and Sensei Yukio Mimura (four times world Kata champion – 88, 90, 92 and 96).