From Tenshin Arakawa, Shifu

                                                    Tenshin Ryushin Ji

          How can kata be used as a tool toward achieving enlightenment?

Since kata helps with concentration and
Kata supports our sitting meditation, this is the first step.

Kata however, is not one specific
entity. Rather it is multi-purposed, multi-functioned and multi-useable. If one
views Kata strictly from a Martial Art venue as teachings that impose
modern-day combat Philosophies and Principles without its Ancient contributing
Virtues then Kata becomes nothing more than a series of techniques designed to
simulate an attack. A Monastic Martial Science Teacher or practitioner would
view Kata as a ‘Mandala’ or ‘Energy Form’ exercise, designed to aid in aligning
the whole person for both Martial/Combative and Therapeutic Values.  

Kata, in its ancient source, can aid
one in the attainment of Enlightenment but perhaps, not specifically. Some kata
incidentally wound up multi-purposed under the saying “killing two birds
with one stone.” In today’s world, it is hard to find qualified
instructors in the Ancient Teaching’s even in Asian Martial Arts communities.
Most of the elder Asian masters have given way to modern-day thinking creating
younger teacher’s who’s sole purpose is the redesigning of Ancient and
Classical teachings for commercialized use. Martial Arts has become too one
dimensional today. This is not to imply that all Methods (Ryu) are bad. But
many are misinformed Teachings, passing from teacher to student, solely
designed for their ‘physical’ and ‘sporting’ attributes. Sadly, this may be the
martial curse of this century because the Spiritual and the ‘Secret Science’ is
deleted or simply overlooked.  

Kata is a form of Yogic strategy. It
encompasses all the Yogic traits: Mantra,
Yantra, Mandala,
and Mudra. It’s
conducted at different speeds with different techniques. Kata additionally
represents the Yogic virtues of the Six Elements.  A true Yogi or Swamii-Ji would immediately
recognize Kata as a standing and/or Walking Meditation in its truest
sense.  Within the Practice of Yoga, from
an Asian (Indian) Buddhist and Hindu mentality are the virtues that help all
practitioners lead to the path of Enlightenment. The same is applicable in
areas of Martial Arts and Science Practices as well.  

                                     Wishing Everyone Universal Blessings!