What style of Karate do you prefer?

Now when I talk about style I don't mean which system; Shotokan, Shorin-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, Shito-Ryu, Wado-Ryu... hey, why is there no 'Ryu' after Shotokan?


I am asking how you train in that system, and more pertinently, what your Kata looks like. 

Take a look at the differences between these two pieces of furniture.

            A Stool

            A Stool

                       The Iconic Eames Chair

                       The Iconic Eames Chair

You know that they both do the same thing, they allow you to take the weight off your feet.

You get to sit down.

Now one is arguably a lot more comfortable than the other - but the difference in luxury is not my question - it's about the beauty with the function.

So what style of Karate do you practice? Do you practice in a way that is purely functional, or do you practice in a way that is functional as well as a piece of art?

Here is what one of the designers of the aforementioned Eames had to say:

Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.
— Charles Eames

The story of Charles and Ray Eames is something you should definitely look into but for now I am using their example of form, function and beauty to establish a point.

Is one necessarily better than the other?

Does your style have to be bare bones, straight to the point, or can it allow room for beauty?

What about Kata - look how inescapable it is from becoming a form of beauty and art as well as having its function.

All those Karateka who understood the teachings of their Sensei and went off to distinguish their particular style all added their personal touch and design.

Undoubtedly this is what causes so many discussions of differences in Kata.

Sometimes it isn't obvious what is being shown in the kata - but whatever 'style' you prescribe to be sure to keep in mind how the "Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose."