Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology

Abstract - Top-level karate analysis of frequency and successfulness of katas in K1 Premiere League

Background. There is limited knowledge on structure of performance in top-level karate kata competition.
Problem and aim. The main goal of the study is to describe the type and frequency of performed katas at the Karate 1 competition and to analyse if different kata have different chances of resulting successfully in top level karate competition.
Methods. All performed katas during eight Karate 1 Premiere leagues in year 2015 were recorded. Competitors’ country, sex, name of the performed kata, style of kata, score and results (win or lose) were recorded. Chi-square tests and the odds ratio were conducted. A total of 1,858 katas were performed (1,041 in the male and 817 in the female category).
Results. The most performed kata was Anan from Shito Ryu style. Number of performed katas depends on the number of entries and top-level kata medallists had to perform between 5 and 7 katas. The most successful katas were not used very often and are from Shito Ryu style. They are short and dynamic Heiku, Pachu from Shito ryu style. The most unsuccessful katas are Gankaku and kata Chatanyara Kushanku, and Unsu.
Conclusions. The usage of the more complicated and complex kata does not guarantee victory. Male and female competitors choose different katas.