-By Jenifer Tull-Gauger
Allan Amor Kaicho, head and founder of the United Ryukyu Kempo Alliance, taught us to simplify. Because of him, we focus on teaching 12 base katas, and two weapons katas, before black belt. We could double that, and more, as some schools do.
Learning and knowing more katas does not make a stronger student. Trying to learn and remember several dozen katas will beef up your memory, but focusing training on struggling with too many katas and not learning about their applications will make a weaker student.
Kaicho would rather have us focus on fewer katas and have them strong and know them well. The same goes for weapons after black belt. A student should try several but become an expert in one or two weapons instead of trying to master them all.