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Asai Kata.

The standard Shotokan kata, generally, sets its objective in physical strengthening and directs its practice to the development of power and speed. But, contrary to what the performer intends, too often his musculature contracts excessively and the result is gestures laden with rigidity, in which the kimê is not properly applied and which slows down. We know that Asai Shihan's main concern was to combat the "stiffness" and "unnatural movement" that he had encountered while giving his technical seminars all over the world. At first he tried to re-teach the standard Shotokan kata and techniques with a focus on smoothness and flexibility in execution, but all his efforts were wasted. Therefore, he very subtly began to "shotokanize" many koten kata (older kata) putting emphasis on the concept of "Junansei".
As a result, the Asai ryu kata represents an expansion of the technical repertoire and fundamentals of Shotokan karate, to include actions and forms that had ceased to be part of the training in traditional Shotokan karate schools. These new forms clearly reflect the idea of what "Asai Karate" is: turns, intertwined long and short stances, circular techniques, sweeps and imbalances, projections and jumps, multidirectional movements.
These movements, unlike classic Shotokan, do not require great power and include a form of natural energy and gestures that cause lethal impacts.
Master Asai conceived the katas as systematized kihon sequences, and each kata of his system addresses the treatment of specific techniques or points. Compared to traditional kata, Asai's work is more advanced, better elaborated, and applicable to combat.
Another point that differentiates the Asai-ryu ha kata from the traditional Shotokan kata is the fact that we know not only its creator, but also the specific applications of each technique, within each kata, and also the purposes for which it was created. designed by the artist himself.
The value of Asai-ryu kata is that it is not based on competition or modified forms, but is based on the actual application of Kumite. Master Asai always stressed that he did not invent these kata, but rather "recreated" them from ancient forms.
Of course, they are the result of an experience of more than half a century of practice and research of Shotokan Karate and other forms of fighting and clearly reflect his conception of the principles of Bu Jutsu. The Kata is only useful if it is used to improve the martial art.
We must take into account the fact that the practice of these katas should be almost reserved for black belts. This material is for those who have crossed the 1st Dan barrier in Shotokan Karate and understand the complexity of the next phase of development in karate.

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