Kata is usually perceived as a demonstration. However, it is more than a set of choreographed Judo techniques. Kata is a teaching tool, a tradition that fosters learning while promoting new techniques.

The first world Judo Kata competition was held in Tokyo, Japan on the 27th and 28th of October 2007 at the headquarters of Kodokan Judo. A total of 78 players participated from seventeen different countries in front of twenty judges.

Similar to some Judo competitions, there was no weight, gender, or age restriction. Kata represents the modern adaptations of several older techniques combined with modern or newer techniques. Judo was modified by Professor Jigoro Kano to become a sport that was competitive and defined by rules. Judo has continued to evolve under its core umbrella of Budo (modern martial way), and that is why the Judo that we see today is quite different from what it was 120 years ago.

Kata has preserved the old ways of Judo. It can be said that the origins of Judo are immaculately presented by Kata. Kata is an important part of Judo's study. It is combined with randori (sparring or free practice) and helps Judokas understand the composition and grammar of Judo.

Kata translates to the word, ‘form’. It contains a set of codified exercises. Randori on the other hand is practiced freely. Both Kata and randori teach students the fundamentals of Judo.

Kata consists of several movements that demonstrate a pattern of defence. Another important thing about Kata is that is not solely used in Judo, it is an important part of martial arts in general.

List of Kata

Nage no Kata: This is a kata of throws and includes sacrifice, leg, hand, and hip throws.

Katame no Kata: Also known as the Kata of grappling, this Kata includes joint locks, holds, chokes, and strangles.

Kime no Kata: A traditional Judo Kata that is categorized under self-defence. It is also called “Kata of decision”. It includes kneeling and standing defence movements against, throws, sword attacks, joint locks, chokes, and empty-handed knife attacks.

Kodokan Goshinjutsu: This is a modern self-defence Kata and includes defence moves for knife, pistol, and stick attacks using throws, strikes, and joint locks.

Ju no Kata: Also known as the Kata of gentleness. This Kata includes demonstrations of defence by redirecting force.

Itsutsu no Kata: This Kata demonstrates the redirection of energy by body movement (tai sabaki). It is also known as the Kata of five principles.

Koshiki no Kata: This Kata uses movements and techniques while wearing kumiuchi (armor). It is an ancient Kata with its roots in Kitoryo Jujutsu.

Go no Sen no Kata: This Kata demonstrates counter throws for many common techniques.

Kodokan Joshi Goshin-Ho: This Kata demonstrates self-defence for women. This includes escapes from grabs and holds and also includes one throw and basic striking techniques.

Renkoho: This is the Kata of arresting techniques and demonstrates many submission holds and control holds.