Why kumite does not resemble kata?

Yes, I heard many people saying that kata and kumite are disconnected. Training one will not improve the other. Competitors focusing on only one part of Karate at the expense of the whole...

What do you think?

Well, as you may have realized, no, kata and kumite look like two different animals, but, why is that? Why can't you (you actually can) use the kata techniques to win a kumite?

Let me explain my conclusions:

As you may have also realized, kata is an ideal sequence of different battle situations. It is stylized, idealized and tweaked to adjust itself to the standard. 
You must perform the techniques and stances following your style's ideas and parameters. 

Most dojos and tournaments have kumite with rules.
Read that again.

Yes, different places have different rules, making the kumite different.

If you fight with rules (example: only punches to the body are allowed but kicks to head, body and legs are legal, no grabs or pulls) then there are many parts of the kata that will have no use under those rules. If you follow another set of rules (contact vs no contact) then the parts of the kata than you may use are different, aren't they?

Yes, you need some rules to make sure everyone survives the kumite session, but kata are self-defense ideas and principles. You have to follow no rules when fighting for your life.

Your sparring partner knows EXACTLY what techniques you are more likely to use during the encounter.
As you know the same about him.
As you know what he is going to do you can easily find ways to counter his moves. You become good at fighting with people in your dojo. You become good at fighting with people that use the same techniques than you and under the same rules than you. 

As you can see in this picture my two friends are trying to land the same technique on each other, while keeping their hands in the same position.

As a matter of fact, the less rules you have the more techniques you will be able to use and the more techniques you will learn to defend from. And that uncertainty will also keep you more alert, in-dojo and out-dojo.
That's why I like practicing MMA.

Because of my somewhat special background on Shotokan, Kyokushin and Judo there are some people on my MMA club that could not touch me even if their lives depended on it. What I do and how I move is uncomprehensible for them. They are not used to fight people like me.
On the other hand, there are some guys there who fight on ways that I can not (still) beat.

Same 华府天地 Tournament, in 沈阳, 2014, kata competition.

Great thanks to my friend Huanghai Shihan (黄海) for allowing me to use the pictures. He is the most talented martial artist I have ever met. His training is brutal, with 4 to 6 hours every morning and teached 3 to 5 classes every afternoon. E-v-e-r-y-d-a-y!
More on him later!

I just found this awesome post on this awesome blog this afternoon. Talk about good timing!


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