Fall apart? Well, I don't think it was ever intended to be whatever 'together' might mean. Katas - such as the Jo kata - are just collections of ideas/principles. If you don't suss out what they are and then take the principles on board by practising them in other contexts then all you have is the form. How could you possibly expect to be able to use a Jo in combat by just practising kata
? Of course, that is all they give us, and so, with that in mind, it is up to us to go figure out what to do with these new principles we discover.
Robert M Watson Jr
...Then string the suburi together into the 31 or 13 kata and folks fall apart - work 'ti they get it. Then 13 or 31 paired practice - fall apart again - 'til the rework and learn it anew. Same for the kumijo. Now drop them into a more or less free style interaction and they fall apart again.
Kind of the crux of the waza vs aiki thingy.