Thursday, January 7, 2016

Why sets of three?

There are a lot of theories out there about why many kata are done in set's of three. The most logical one I've heard is that the odds of being attacked by a right handed person is higher than being attacked by a left handed person. This definitely sounds like a sound theory, but I'm always suspicious of this. I don't like categorizing things that small.

If you've read my article on Karate Culture, than you'll know that I believe that kata movements are designed more to deal with the angle of attack than any particular specific attack. I believe some movements of Seisan are best for attacks that come in medially (down the middle, or center line) and other techniques are best when they come laterally (hook punches for example). This is the way I train at least because it's easier to train and condition. It's just a few general angles instead of a thousand. I've always been a little stumped however when it comes to the sets of three. Why three? Why not just two? I'll put forth my very thin theory.

Motobu Choki gave the advice, as many others do that you should train your left side twice as much as your right side. If you do two left side heavy movements for every one right side heavy movements than you get three. Left, right, left. I've also noticed that the movements in my kata, which are repeated in threes are predominately, left handed movements. Left chudan uke/ right thrust, right chudan uke/ left thrust, left chudan uke/ right thrust. While you could say there are more right punches in that sequence, the uke techniques are more complex movements. I also don't really consider the thrust (tsuki) the primary element of that movement.

It's definitely not a rock solid argument, but it's something to think about.