Kata training for judo: value and application of kata training to judo training

Michael Callan, Slavisa Bradic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The practising of judo is based on kata and randori. Kata, which means ‘form’, is a system of prearranged movements. Kata teaches techniques and principles of judo while maintaining its original form through time and judo evolution. In addition to the throws and holds, kata also includes hitting, kicking, stabbing, slashing and a number of other techniques. This is possible because, in kata, the movements are prearranged and each partner knows what the other will do (Kano, 1986). From the original foundation of Kōdōkan judo, kata was practised in parallel with randori. In 1906, a meeting took place in the Butoku Kai in Kyoto where the masters of jūjutsu schools and Kōdōkan judo met with Kano as President of the Committee. It was then when all the rules and regulations regarding kata performance were determined. (See Figure 3.1) Initially, Kano focused on randori, but then recognised the need for a ‘grammar’ that would help his students build the balanced approach to training that Kano wanted. Kata also provided a safe method for practising prohibited techniques or those not practical in randori (Hoare, 2009; Stevens, 2013). Kata practice is an important part of a judo curriculum (Bennett, 2009). The key point is that the fundamentals learned during kata practice must be applied in randori (Ishikawa & Draeger, 1962).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Science of Judo
EditorsMike Callan
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-0-8153-4913-6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Sport and Exercise Science


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