Kata 形

Judo Kata

To quote from the Kodokan Judo Institute;

There are two principal ways of practicing Judo: Kata and Randori. Kata, which literally means “form” is practiced following a formal system of prearranged exercise, while Randori, meaning “free practice” is practiced freely. Through Kata practice, trainees learn the principles of techniques.

In the Kodokan, the following eight Katas are mainly adopted;

1. Nage-no-Kata (Forms of Throwing)
Three representative techniques are chosen from each of five Nage-wazas: Te-waza, Koshi-waza, Ashi-waza, Ma-sutemi-waza and Yoko-sutemi-waza.

2. Katame-no-Kata (Forms of Grappling or Holding)
Five model techniques are chosen from each of three Katame-wazas: Osaekomi-waza, Shime-waza and Kansetsu-waza.

3. Kime-no-Kata (Forms of Decisive techniques)
This is to learn the techniques for serious combative fight. It consists of the techniques in a kneeling position (Idori, 8 techniques) and in a standing position (Tachiai, 12 techniques).

4. Ju-no-Kata (Forms of Gentleness & Flexibility)
This is an expressive, gymnastic composition of the methods of attack and defense in a series of slow and moderate actions. It consists of three components, Dai-ikkyo (Set 1), Dai-nikyo (Set 2) and Dai-sankyo (Set 3), each of them has five techniques.

5. Kodokan Goshin-jutsu (Forms of Kodokan Self-Defense)
This consists of an “Unarmed section” and a “Weapons section”. The “Unarmed section” consists of twelve techniques while the “Weapons section” consists of nine techniques.

6. Itsutsu-no-Kata (Forms of “Five”)
These forms express the mechanism of attack and defense in an elevated way. It consists of five sequences of movements that artistically express the power of nature.

7. Koshiki-no-Kata (Forms of Classics)
Kano Shihan highly evaluated the forms of Kito-ryu Jujutsu as they represent the essence of attack and defense. Therefore, he left the forms as Kodokan Koshiki-no-Kata, with little changes. It consists of 14 Omote (front) techniques and 7 Ura (back) techniques.

8. Seiryoku-Zenyo-Kokumin-Taiiku (Forms of Maximum- Efficiency National physical education)
It contains both aspects of physical education and martial arts and has forms of attack and defense. It consists of 8 movements of Tandoku-renshu (Solo practice) and 9 movements of Sotai-renshu (Duo practice).

9. Kodomo-no-kata
This is the newest of the Kodokan Kata, developed in colaboration with Judo France.

The Kodokan has almost completed Kodomo-no-Kata (Kata for children) in collaboration with the IJF and the French Judo Federation. Moreover, we are going to make a proposal of easy Judo for all that is available also to beginners with no experience. We would like to provide opportunities for many people young and old, male and female of various nationalities to experience Judo, study and enjoy it at their own pace.
(taken from the Kodokan 2019 presidential address; http://kodokanjudoinstitute.org/en/2019/ by Haruki Uemura, President of The Kodokan )


Nage-no-kata 投の形

Nage-no-kata is composed of three techniques from each of the five judo throw classifications:

  • Te-waza (手技, hand techniques)
  • Koshi-waza (腰技, hip techniques)
  • Ashi-waza (足技, foot techniques)
  • Ma-sutemi-waza (真捨身技, rear sacrifice techniques)
  • Yoko-sutemi-waza (橫捨身技, side sacrifice techniques)
Te-wazaKoshi-wazaAshi-wazaMo-sutemi-wazaYoko-sutemi-waza
Hand techniques Hip techniques Foot techniques Rear sacrifice Side sacrifice
1. Uki Otoshi1. Uki Goshi1. Okuri Ashi Hari1. Tomoe Nage1. Yoko Gake
2. Seoi Nage2. Hari Goshi2. Sase Tsurikomiashi2. Ura Nage2. Yoko Guruma
3. Kata Guruma3. Tsuri Komi Goshi3. Ushi Mata3. Sumi Gaeshi3. Uki Waza

Katame-no-kata 固の形

Katame-no-kata is composed of five techniques from each of the fthree Judo Ne Waza/ground classifications:

  • Osaekomi-waza (抑込技, holding or pinning techniques)
  • Shime-waza (絞技, strangulation techniques)
  • Kansetsu-waza (関節技, Joint techniques (locks))
Osaekomi-waza Shime-waza Kansetsu-waza
Holding techniques Strangulation techniques Joint locking techniques
1. Kesa-gatame 1. Kata-juji-shime 1. Ude-garami
2. Kata-gatame 2. Hadaka-jime 2. Ude-hishigi-juji-gatame
3. Kami-shiho-gatame 3. Okuri-eri-jime 3. Ude-hishigi-ude-gatame
4. Yoko-shiho-gatame 4. Kataha-jime 4. Ude-hishigi-hiza-gatame
5. Kuzure-kami-shiho-gatam 5. Gyaku-juji-jime 5. Ashi-garami

Kime-no-kata 極の形

Kime-no-kata, also known as Shinken Shobu no Kata (真剣勝負の形, “the kata of real fighting”), was developed at the Kodokan around 1888. The kata is composed of 8 techniques from a kneeling posture (idori waza), and 12 techniques from a standing position (tachi waza). Both sets of techniques contain defenses for both armed and empty-handed attacks.

Kneeling techniques Standing techniques
Idori waza Tachi waza
1. Ryote-dori 1. Ryote-dori
2. Tsukkake 2. Sode-tori
3. Suri-age 3. Tsukkake
4. Yoko-uchi 4. Tsuki-age
5. Ushiro-dori5. Suri-age
6. Tsukkomi 6. Yoko-uchi
7. Kiri-komi 7. Ke-age
8. Yoko-tsuki 8. Ushiro-dori
9. Tsuki-komi
10. Kiri-komi
11. Nuki-kake
12. Kiri-oroshi

Ju-no-kata 柔の形

Ju-no-kata (Jū-no-kata, “forms of gentleness”) is a kata designed to teach the fundamental principles of judo, especially the principle of ju (yielding or gentleness). One of the few Judo Kata that can be pefrormed without judogi or tatame as none of the throws are completed. Uke has no breakfalling.

Ju-no-Kata was created by Jigoro Kano around 1887 when the number of people studying Judo had increased to the point where he could no longer advise everyone personally during free practice (randori).

Set oneSet twoSet three
1. Tsuki-dashi (Hand Thrust) 1. Kiri-oroshi (Downward Cut) 1. Obi-tori (Belt Grab)
2. Kata-oshi (Shoulder Push) 2. Ryo-kata-oshi (Two-Shoulder Push) 2. Mune-oshi (Chest Push)
3. Ryo-te-dori (Two-Hand Hold) 3. Naname-uchi (Slanting Strike) 3. Tsuki-age (Uppercut)
4. Kata-mawashi (Shoulder Turn) 4. Kata-te-dori (One-Hand Hold) 4. Uchi-oroshi (Downward Strike)
5. Ago-oshi (Jaw Push) 5. Kata-te-age (One-Hand Lift) 5. Ryo-gan-tsuki (Strike to Both Eyes)
A competition version of the kata.
See the Judo Video resources for the Kodokan Ju-no-kata link.

Kodokan Goshin-jutsu

(Forms of Kodokan Self-Defense)
This consists of an “Unarmed section” and a “Weapons section”. The “Unarmed section” consists of twelve techniques while the “Weapons section” consists of nine techniques.

Itsutsu-no-Kata

(Forms of “Five”)
These forms express the mechanism of attack and defense in an elevated way. It consists of five sequences of movements that artistically express the power of nature.

Koshiki-no-Kata

(Forms of Classics)
Kano Shihan highly evaluated the forms of Kito-ryu Jujutsu as they represent the essence of attack and defense. Therefore, he left the forms as Kodokan Koshiki-no-Kata, with little changes. It consists of 14 Omote (front) techniques and 7 Ura (back) techniques.

Seiryoku-Zenyo-Kokumin-Taiiku

(Forms of Maximum- Efficiency National physical education)
It contains both aspects of physical education and martial arts and has forms of attack and defense. It consists of 8 movements of Tandoku-renshu (Solo practice) and 9 movements of Sotai-renshu (Duo practice).

Kodomo-no-kata

This kata is for kids and is performed Migi only – and Uki / Tori swap between waza, ie. 1-for-1 back-on-your-partner for each of the six waza.

1st set 2nd set 3rd set
Uki otoshi – forward rollKataguruma/Uki-waza/yoko-otoshiHarai goshi
Ippon SeonageO goshi/Uki goshiOkirui ashi hari

See also https://www.ijf.org/news/show/kodokan-kids-take-centre-stage-at-the-nippon-budokan

A great example of this Kata-for-kids approach to teaching juniors.

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