This Guest Post is by Mario McKenna of the Okinawa Karatedo Kitsilano Dojo in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Mario is an instructor of Tou'on-ryu Karatedo and Ryukyu Kobudo. He is the English translator of Kobo Jizai Goshinjutsu Karate Kenpo (Kenwa Mabuni, 1934) and Seipai no Kenkyu Kobo Jizai Karate Kenpo (Kenwa Mabuni, 1934). His excellent article Okinawa Kata Classification: An Historical Overview appears at the Hawaii Karate Seinenkai website. Mario also has a Karate Blog.
Katas teaches us how to fight, but they also are a means of teaching the body how to correctly generate power. In Chinese martial arts we often hear the term fajing (hakkei in Japanese) as a term to describe the energy generated and released during striking. However, this same type of energy release can be found in karate as well; although it is not readily apparent. To find it, you must look at the postures, stances and way of stepping in kata in coordination with the breath. Naturally for power training, the simpler the better like sanchin or naihanchi.