How many times you heard “practice kata, you will be better in kumite”. I agree with this sentence, but we must separate two things. If we are kumite competitors, we need to know when we can train kata. Some karate instructors claim that practicing stationary basics, movement basics, and kata exclusively will improve their sparring ability. But what will happen if we are doing this kind of training during competition season? How will it affect our kumite competition?
First of all, kumite and kata require a different physiological demand. Karate combat is mainly dependent on the aerobic metabolism. However, decisive actions’ energy is provided by the anaerobic system. Kumite appears to demand much higher metabolic power than kata, regardless of gender, while kata appears to require more ATP-PCr energy system contribution than kumite. What is that mean? Imagine that marathonist (an athlete who run 42km for 2h) start to train only sprints. What do you think will his performance for the marathon will be better or worse? Of course that his ability will drop. Karate competition is the focal point of athletic training, and any training program should mimic the competition. If we do this, we will reflect the desired adaptation. And if we hit desired adaptation, we are on a good way to improve our karate skills.
What is well know, you cannot be a top-level kumite competitor without kata training. When you go out on kumite competition, you will need “clean” punching and kicking techniques, and you can get that only with kihon. So we need to practice kata and basic technique, just we need to know the time when. Offseason period is ideal that.
In some of the next posts we are going to write how to train during offseson period
Check our lastes post: TECHNICAL TRAINING IN KATA PERFORMANCE