The Kata Critic (Ep. 2) — Jesse Enkamp

– Hi and welcome to another episode of The Kata Critic. The show where I take a look at your kata and provide constructive positive feedback to help us all improve our skills. In today’s episode I’m
gonna have a look at three new kata that you’ve sent me to see if there’s
something that we can learn or improve from watching
these performances. Check it out. (upbeat music) Disclaimer, again, before we start, I have to give you the disclaimer. The purpose of this show
is not to tear apart your kata and rip you
a new (bleeping) hole. But to actually see if there’s something we can all learn from
looking at your performance. Not because I’m the best at kata, because I’ve done so
many bad kata in my life that I know the most
popular common mistakes that tend to happen over and over again. Ready, let’s start with the first kata. Okay, so if you watched the first episode of The Kata Critic you know that I’ve never seen these videos before. I have no idea what I’m about to watch and neither do you. All I know is that this video file is titled (speaking foreign language). So let’s have a look. (speaking foreign language) Pretty strong.
(yelling) Oh, hey. It’s the Seishin gi, that’s
already a big plus in my book, ’cause it is the world’s best gi. Eh, eh. (yelling) Okay. So in general, this is a
good performance of a kata. I especially like that it
had a pretty fast pace. There were not a lot of
exaggerated pauses and stuff. But there’s also a problem
when you have a fast pace that sometimes you don’t exactly
finish a technique properly before you move on to the next technique. So when you’re doing a technique you wanna make sure that all of the energy is properly transferred into one move before you start doing the next move. You wanna dump all of your mass, all of your force and power, into the target and then
release that tension and then move on to the next technique. And in this case, sometimes it felt like one technique was not
exactly 100% finished. There was still a little
bit of tension in the system before the next technique started. Especially if you would look
at those last moves again. And this is really tricky when you wanna have a fast pace in your kata. But you need to practice, in this case, your kime, your quick
neuromuscular relaxation. Think about this, relaxation,
tension, and relaxation. That’s how a technique works. You start from a relaxed state, you generate force and power, kabam, and then after you release
that tension you relax again. So the ratio of relaxation
to tension is two to one. You start and finish with relaxation, and there’s some tension in between. Meaning, in this case,
I think the best way to improve the kata is not
to add more force and power, because it’s already there. But to focus more on
the start and the stop. I would suggest actually
slowing down the kata. Because that’s one of
the best ways of finding the points of relaxation and tension, and that contrast in your kata. So to improve this kata, maybe
slow it down a little bit and focus more on
distinguishing when and where to have force and when
to let that force go. Does that make sense? That’s my main piece of advice in this particular performance. Let’s move on. (whooshing) Next up, we have a video titled
(speaking foreign language), which is one of the most important kata when it comes to building a
good foundation of karate. So I’m excited to see this kata. Right. I have to say for a blue belt this is actually a
pretty good performance. And the body dynamics are very close to what they’re supposed to be for this specific kata. So if I have to give one piece of advice to make it even better, I would focus on what happens
between the movements. It looks more like a
demonstration of techniques rather than a fight. And to me a kata should
be like you’re fighting. So in this case, he was doing a technique, and then another technique, and then another technique, and then another technique. But it wasn’t like a real fight. Pow! There needs to be more of that kind of real or alive element to the kata. So that it turns from a
technical demonstration into something that feels and looks more like an actual fight. So, for example, have a look
at one of my kata performances when I did the second (speaking
foreign language) kata, (speaking foreign language),
at one of my visits to Okinawa. I’m just gonna put it
in here so you can see what I’m actually talking about. Of course you wanna perform
each technique properly and correctly, but after
a technique is done there is no need to wait for
something else to happen. You wanna keep that pressure,
that fighting spirit intact throughout the whole kata so the narrative tells a
story of you being in a fight. And, of course, a kata is not a fight against multiple opponents. It is a combination of techniques. But when you put it all together it becomes more than the sum of its part. Parts. Let’s move on. (whooshing) Okay, so this is seipai kata. A popular kata in (speaking
foreign language). Looks very traditional, by the way it’s executed. Actually I was pretty
captivated by that performance. In this case, it felt
like it was more alive, like it was an actual fight rather than a demonstration of techniques. But also, that’s why it was a little bit rough around the edges. You need to add a little
bit more dynamic rhythm when it comes to the performance. Because now it was like
bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, all the way to the end. Like a train just, you
know, going down the tracks. (coughing)
Excuse me. But what I would love to see more in this particular performance is a little bit of pauses. Not these exaggerated
Hollywood-style effects, but to show the people watching that, bam, I just killed that sucker. Oh, here’s the next sucker. Bam, bam, bam. Okay now he’s finished. Oh, here’s the next sucker. So you get that idea that you’re actually performing a kata rather
than just repeating move, after move, after move, after move. You know, it’s like when
you study photography, it’s about the negative spaces. What happens around the subject matter. Or like music, it’s not
just about the notes, or the tone, or the pitch, but what happens between the notes. The stillness or silence in the music. Or like a good movie. It’s not just about action all the time, like you’re watching a
Schwarzenegger movie, or Rambo, or something. Like (shots exploding). It gets boring after a while, right. And if you wanna captivate the
interest of people watching and also to generate a
different kind of feeling for yourself, then maybe start thinking more about the power of pauses. Not artificial fake pauses. But those that actually blend naturally into the moves of the kata. And that is only possible
when you understand what the moves are used for. Meaning the bunkai. Because once an opponent has been finished then you want that
(speaking foreign language), that situational awareness. Before you move onto the
next part of the kata. And is also gives you a
little bit of breathing room so you’re not totally exhausted
once the kata is over. Which gives you the ability to maintain a higher level of performance consistently from start to finish,
without dropping any. Does that make sense? At least that’s what I’m seeing when I’m looking at the kata. But of course, different styles have different ways of doing kata. And your sensei, or that sensei, or his sensei, or her sensei might say something completely different. And that’s what so beautiful
about this fascinating art. Because everything is right, which is why everything is also wrong. I hope you enjoyed this second
episode of The Kata Critic. If you want me to have a look at your kata in the next episode, just drop
in in the comment section. And if you’re lucky I might have a look. Train hard, good luck, and have fun.

85 thoughts on “The Kata Critic (Ep. 2) — Jesse Enkamp

  1. That was a good cough cover technique. But if i had to give some advice it would be that you should cover your mouths and nose with your sleeve not your hand.

  2. Loved this one. I really like this series! Plus my respects to people who gets their Katas analyzed because it really shows the desire of self improvement!


  3. Jesse Sensei that was an awesome video! Could you please make a video regarding the eye contact during performing katas ? Coz it had been a great topic of debate in our dojo and we still don't have a clear understanding on it.

  4. why comment on one kata, when you can rip on 26 of them here!!!: #katachallenge

  5. Yeeah, well… I'm a Shotokan green belt and I'm cringing when I watch these type of dead-ass kata videos. I weigh 89kgs and I'm three times faster than 2nd and 3rd video. Their katas have no life. There's no kime, no power, no speed. This looks like a hate comment, but that's my honest opinion. I'll send you one of my vids when I recover from surgery.

  6. Jesse San ,would you watch a 14 year old mature black belt's kata? Your videos are really great. I want to watch them over and over again

  7. You know you’re a great teacher when what you do or say always inspires your students to go train. And that’s what you do.

  8. sensei, that helped a lot, now I know how to improve my kata, but I still have a question. In some places they mentioned that their shoulders should be down all the time during kata, and I didn't find the explanation for that. could you tell me? and maybe talk a little more about these little details of performing a kata.
    thanks for the channel and attention

  9. I have university exam so I can t have time to go to dojo. So how can I train kata at home properly ? And I am a kumite competitor, and someone says Kata is ruining your kumite skills . Is that true ?

  10. 1) Is there supposted to be hip rotation in this style?
    2) Quite good. Rhythm joining techniques is important. It is tough but vital for timing.
    3) There is supposted to be hip rotation in this style. Dont look at the gound. Head up. Back straight. Look at your oponents shoulders. Hands seem to be too close to the body on most techniques. There should be close to a 90 degree bend at the elbow but should still feel natural.

    That's what I see at any rate.

    Honor to those that submitted the videos.

  11. The last kata lacked pacing, pauses and he actually didn't completely finish some moves, in other words quite rushed. It was also a little uneaten, which can be easily fixed by completing the moves completely without rushing

  12. Hey Jesse great video as per usual I love your content I also practice your techniques at home and working out to gain strength thanks


    So I want to learn Karate, and on this site of a dojo that claims to have hundreds of dojos across my country, and to have taught 15 million people, teaching ages 4 and up.

    I was looking for the style, only to find that the style of Karate is Shaolin Kempo Karate, and that their great grandmasters art traces to the Shaolin Temples of China and India.. It goes on.

    Im not sure if Karate as an Okinawan/Japanese art makes much sense to be labeled Shaolin Kempo but.. If Im wrong, then maybe I'll give it a shot.

  14. I really like how so many of your videos and your advice applies to me even though I do Taekwondo. I actually consider TKD a karate style but I'm scared that if I say that too much I'll offend people.

  15. The Second Kata looks really Similar to Tekki Shodan. In an earlier Video he described the different styles as all heading up the same mountain and in the end they converge to meet at the top. I wonder how many names and subtle differences the Kata's have?

  16. Lol Jesse. That philosophical statement: "Everything is right, which is why everything is also wrong."Making us laugh with the essence of karate 😂

  17. Have any higher belts sent in any examples of "beginner" kata? Like pinan nedan or pinan shodan? That would be excellent for us noobs.

  18. I saw a video from Art of one Dojo where he previewed and commented and gave some info on a martial arts movie (Karate Kid) I think it would be cool if you could do something like that

  19. Hi Sensei Jesse, love this series, here's a video of my 10yo daughter Olivia, she practices Kenpo Karate(more sports oriented), but they've adopted Shito Ryu Kata for competition purposes. She would like you to critique it.

  20. Kyotsuke then bow then kata name then yoi then panisimo to mezzo forte to piano to pianississimo then forte fortissimo to fortississimo then shout then piano to forte then pianissimo to pianississimo then yoi then bow.

  21. Osu Sensei Jessy i am from Sri Lanka i am a fan of you from long time.. i watch your video and it’s really useful.. I am hope to meet you one day!! Big Osu from Sri Lanka !!!

  22. Nice serie, and good camera Angeles and transsision like karate nerd 🥋 🤓 keep it this right and cool bro greetings for Chile and sorry for my primitive English

  23. Is it OK if someone from a different martial art does it. I wonna hear something from a karateka cuase i do tae-kwon-do and wonna hear from a different martial artist who wouldn't know the form/kata/pattern

  24. Oss,sir, my master says that I am good at kata but very poor at kumite. So,could u please make 1 vdo on how to become good at kumite. And also scoring techniques..

  25. Respect and gratitude to everyone who submitted their kata! 👍 Stay tuned for the next episode 😎 In the meanwhile, check out my website to learn more: 🥋

  26. It is hard to find the balance in technique, nor the less trying to explain it. Well done again Jesse. Doing the kata's slow and studding the intent is always helpful in improving your performance.

  27. What’s really interesting is that while my kata wasn’t being evaluated, everything you said applies to my katas I.e. relaxation, pauses, making the kata look like a real fight, etc. This is a great series! Thank you for taking the time to share your wisdom, knowledge, and experience with all of us! 🙏🥋

  28. Mother of god, I was so nervous XD and I still am… is such an honor to get feedback from you, Jesse! I WILL keep in mind your advices!!

  29. Incredible! i'm a yellow belt yet 🙁 but the points that you said in the 2 videos of this serie is the same that my sensei say to me ALWAYS!!!

  30. Hi Jesse! Every time i watch one of your videos,i always think: you should do training series… 😀 I think everybody would improve therselves.. 🙂

  31. To me a kata is (and this is my personal opinion) is a theoretical fight because with me a kata isn’t a flashy show of how good you are at karate and my students don’t really understand this (I teach a kids class 8-10yr olds) but a kata is show is to show what you can do in a fight or self defence situations you have a kind violent aspect to you’re kata but you don’t to much violence or that whould be the opposite of the purpose of karate ‘self defence’ but in a fight you kind of to improvise because a person who fighting you isn’t going let you perform long winded fancy moves you want to finish a fight as fast as you can and you want to get out of a self defence situation as fast as you can but this just my personal opinion

  32. Hello Jesse, here is a team kobuto kata I presented with my friend.
    I would love it if you have the opportunity to review. I love your videos, there are always fun and informative.

  33. Hi Jesse, I hope you can help us, here is my son video, is a Heian Godan – Shotokan, He has a national tournament in oct-2019, your experience will be very good for him, thank you for your help –

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