Depending upon your martial art, you may find kata boring, repetitive and pointless; padding for grading syllabuses.
In my current martial art, I feel this is how many students feel about kata. Having a background in Shotokan Karate, where kata is revered and evolved into a very precise and skilled art, I have had the opportunity to see it from the other side and feel that it may be useful to pass on some insights.
Traditionally kata was a way of preserving and passing on knowledge of useful moves. In jujitsu, this is less apparent since the katas are often very basic in their form and not representative of the other moves joining them on particular parts of the syllabus. So what then is the point?
For me, kata is an opportunity to hone our attitude and mentality and commitment to getting better. It is the pursuit of perfection. No matter how many times you have practised a kata, or how many gold medals you have won in competition performing a particular kata, it can be improved.
Technique can continually be enhanced and sharpened and developed. Kata is the vehicle that allows us to do this. Kata is the tool that allows us to build the discipline and develop the attitude that transmits to all other areas of our training. These gifts of kata can also spread to other areas of our lives.
This pursuit of perfection inspired by kata can help us continually achieve in our training, and shouldn’t be dismissed.