Re: 052) Aikido Waza IS Kata: Week of September 7, 2009
Marc, I completely agree with the assertion that most of aikido waza is kata practice.
I don't think that this is a negative thing except in the circumstance where it is not acknowledged and used as a teaching tool to get to a deeper understanding of the thing (aikido) itself.
Unfortunately, many of the places I've trained deliberately state that aikido contains no kata and then immediately teach a specific technique and often specific version of a technique and ask everyone to practice it and seldom spent real time in 'formless' practice. I'm not really sure where the disconnect there is; perhaps it is in my own understanding.
In any case, I currently deliberately practice kata with the ultimate goal of being able to break free of kata having gained an understanding of principles and a set of body skills that I can apply in dynamic situations, and these goals inform how I train in kata.