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Sword-forms  To-ho kata

A   Toho kata is not dissimilar to Western military sword drills. It contains all the elements of sword techniques and sequences necessary; assisting the student’s learning and memory.

Centuries ago no written records were kept for various reasons. Instructions, including sword skills, techniques, stances, postures and fighting sequences were often given behind closed doors; only to be passed on to the most trusted disciples of a particular sword fighting style.

How to practice kata.
At the beginning kata should be practiced with much deliberation (see video) so that every move can be thought through and corrected, especially at the end of each cut the sword should be held in the end-position tome as this will train the muscle memory to control the blade. And, only when the technique has become part of you, should power and speed be added.

Always remember: Speed and power corrupt technique!