The Way Of Kata

A Comprehensive Guide for Deciphering Martial Applications

Book Description

The Principles for Understanding Kata are Largely Unknown – Until Now

The ancient masters developed kata, or "formal exercises," as fault-tolerant methods to preserve their unique, combat-proven fighting systems. Unfortunately, they deployed a two-track system of instruction where an 'outer circle' of students unknowingly received modified forms with critical details or important principles omitted. Only the select 'inner circle' that had gained a master's trust and respect would be taught okuden waza, the powerful hidden applications of kata.

The theory of deciphering kata applications (kaisai no genri) was once a great mystery revealed only to trusted disciples of the ancient masters in order to protect the secrets of their systems. Even today, while the basic movements of kata are widely known, advanced practical applications and sophisticated techniques frequently remain hidden from the casual observer. The principles and rules for understanding kata are largely unknown.

This groundbreaking book unveils these methods, not only teaching you how to analyze your kata to understand what it is trying to tell you, but also helping you to utilize your fighting techniques more effectively—both in self-defense and in tournament applications.

Fifteen general principles to identify effective techniques

  • Twelve discrete rules for deciphering martial applications
  • Comprehensive insights into kata history, strategy and tactics
  • Vital physiological considerations
  • Well organized materials for easy reference and comprehensive understanding

About Kane, Lawrence A.

Lawrence A. Kane is the author of Surviving Armed Assaults, Martial Arts Instruction, and Blinded by the Night, and co-author of The Way of Kata, The Way to Black Belt, and The Little Black Book of Violence (USA Book News--2009 Best Books Award Finalist; ForeWord Magazine--2010 Book of the Year Award Finalist). A paid book reviewer for ForeWord magazine and Clarion Reviews, he consults with other authors from time to time to help assure realism in their novels, particularly in fight scenes. Lawrence lives in Seattle, WA.


Kris Wilder began his martial arts training in 1976 in the art of Tae Kwon Do, he has earned black belt-level ranks in three arts: Tae Kwon Do (2nd Degree), Kodokan Judo (1st Degree) and Goju-Ryu Karate (5th Degree), which he teaches at the West Seattle Karate Academy. He is a regular columnist for Traditional Karate Magazine.