Peter Gröndahl wrote:
I recall that Prof. P Goldsbury wrote ... kata is something that permeates through japanese society, not only koryu bugei but also karaoke is learned by kata practice.
No question. There's also a book, targeted at folks who want to avoid some pitfalls while doing business in Japan, that makes the same point. It's a pedagogy quite unlike Western learning, but there's something to be said for it in at least some settings. I've studied Japanese that way - acting out little skits - and tea ceremony is taught that way.
Still, I think that it isn't crazy to distinquish something that I am learning by "watching and copying" from "kata". Koryu arts and kendo have kihon, which are very basic waza. They're often taken from the kata for study of basic concepts, and they learned the same way ("do it like I'm showing you"). However, they aren't kata - they're just a piece.
Regardless, to each their own - I'm off topic here.