Re: The GREAT kata debate
My experience and knowledge are very limited compared to everyone else on these forums but...
The person you are quoting has experience in Shotokan kata, which are nothing like the originals in any case. They tweaked them so that they would look "good" and would start and end in the same place. They also tweaked the techniques to suit an American audience, so emphasis was on strong looking techniques with butch square stances with lots of thrusting and tense techniques to look like you are putting strength into them. Or at least that's how it felt when I was practicing Shotokan!
IN my wado ryu karate experience; the kata are more flowing and the emphasis is on flowing techniques punctuated with a change of pace with a bit of focus on some sharp techniques. These kata seem to always end in a different place to where they started. Wado ryu people don't often win kata competitions. But they are nice kata to do as you learn to join techniques together, following one technique with another (perhaps the same or completely different) and focus on stance, rythmn, variation of pace, posture, balance and transfer of weight, develop appreciation of relative movements of diferent parts of your body as you move from one technique to the next.
In Seiki Juku karate (like kyokushin) it's similar story though the kata are a lot more complex and moves are more broken down into lots of little techniques. There are also lots of slow control techniqes mixed with strong techniques and fast whipping techniques.
As I've been told, kata originated as a means of summarising someone's fighting technique/approach rather than a theoretical fight situation. So that they could communicate their strategy and approach to students. Which is why kata application is important.
I don't think kata was ever intended as a sole training tool to prepare one for combat.
I've yet to experience learning many aikido kata. But my experience so far has been that there's more emphasis on flow and body condition.
It's like learning to write joined up I guess.