JAPAN Unit: Kata – Gross Motor Martial Arts Activity

When I was in college, I studied Zen Do Kai, a form of martial arts based on Shotokan, which originated in Japan. Both in practice and in testing, we performed “Kata” which are simulated fights. With the strong ties to Japan, I thought this would make a perfect gross motor activity for my daughter.

Kata is a Japanese word that means “form” and depicts a detailed choreographed pattern of movements which are memorized and perfected. I remember performing Katas for my instructors and judges that were quite intricate, but for my daughter we worked on a very basic one. You can download the pattern of the moves HERE.

I performed the Kata for her once and we then did it together. I think she did very well for her first time!

We also discussed additional definitions such as Yoi, which is a state of readiness that a fighter comes to prior to engaging in either a real or simulated (kata) fight. Yame is a completed state, when the fight or kata is over.

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