Word of the day: 품새

품새 ~ form, pattern

Actually I’m not sure whether or not you can use this word outside the world of martial arts, but if you hear someone refer to 품새 in taekwondo, those of you who are practicing Japanese martial arts will know this as “kata”.

For those who don’t enjoy throwing people around on a weekly basis:
Kata or 품새 is a set pattern of movements (you can think of it as a choreography) that allows you to practice technique in a more focused way. Each martial art has different focus on kata. For instance in karate it is often used, whereas in judo it is usually not emphasised before black belt testing. In martial arts where swords are used, e.g. iaido, kata is used to prevent injury since every practitioner knows exactly what the opponent is going to do next. Naturally they don’t use actual swords in tournaments, but those who have a thing for the sword-heavy sports can get their fix in kendo where they fight with swords made of bamboo – don’t let that fool you, you still need protection gear.

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