VIRTUES OF KARATE
Kata is the soul of karate. Karate would be not more than "Punch and Kick", one combat sport among many, which could be given another name. Karate can be compared with a large tree, kata is the root which feeds it, keeps it strong. Karate without kata is like a tree without roots.
Respect for higher ranks, older people and opponents. Politeness can also be found always at the beginning and at the end of each kata. "Rei", bowing respectfully opens and closes every karate training.
A good karate should try to keep body, mind, clothing and in fact his whole life style clean and in order. He should set a good example to others.
"Yoi", at the begining of each kata indicates the ability to detect even the most gentle movement or sound and to be in constant readiness to react with the whole body.
By means of correct and exact breathing the inner organs of the body can be kept healthy and inner strength (ki) can be built up.
In order to carry out the movement precisely yet with elegance, kata supports the development of a healthy and strong body and trains in agility, speed, balance as well as a correct posture.
The first move of a karate-kata is always a defence technique, which shows, that karate beyond all is meant for defence and not attack. The karateka should be able to defend himself successfully against several opponents attacking him from different directions by using his whole body.
The karateka is able to carry out all moves and techniques simultaneously with his body and mind in total harmony, through concentration and meditation.
As mentioned before, the bow expresses respect for teachers, parents, his country and for all fellow men.