Sensei Eiko Shepherd


What Is Kata?

Kata (“forms” or “formal techniques”) is a method of judo training: a pre-determined demonstration of an ideal situation to apply the principles of throwing, grappling, submissions, and self-defense.  It is a principal component of the art and science of judo, and is complementary to randori (freestyle) training methods.


Kata is conducted and competed in teams of two judoka (judo players).  It is a means to complement judo knowledge for shiai (controlled combat) competitors, and a means to compete after a shiai career or as an alternative to shiai competition.  There are the many opportunities for teams to compete in the kata, from local and national tournaments to the IJF World Judo Kata Championship.

In Shufu, most local tournaments include a kata competition.  Kata training and competition can start at any age, and is included as competition at the Junior Nationals.  Kata is also required for advanced judo ranks to demonstrate mastery of the techniques and principles of judo


Why Kata?

Jigoro Kano (the founder of judo) intended kata to a part of every judoka’s training.  Through kata, an individual learns all of the principles and theories of judo, all of the elements of the wazas (techniques), techniques not allowed in shiai, and a means for overall physical fitness.



There are Seven Principal Katas:

Nage No Kata – Throwing techniques

Katame No Kata – Ne waza (grappling) techniques

Ju No Kata – Forms of gentleness

Goshin Jitsu – modern weapons

Kime No Kata – ancient weapons

Koshiki No Kata – ancient warrior kata

Itsutsu No Kata – Forms of five


Learning and Competing

Kata competition is available at all levels of proficiency: local, national, continental and international, and Worlds.  Since 2009, the International Judo Federation has hosted the World Kata Judo Championship.  This elite level of competition has given national competitors a new and higher goal and has led to an increase in the level of proficiency around the world.


There are many path to increasing kata knowledge:  fulfillment of promotional requirements, dojo kata practice, attending clinics, competing, teaching, and judging.


Kata Training:

• Self-study:

o Watch Youtube videos

o Read standards and books

o Start walk-thru practicing

• Attend clinics:

o Shufu generally hosts at least two clinics per year.  In the fall, the Faye Allen Kata Championship includes both competition and clinic.  In the spring, a clinic is held.  The selected kata(s) changes from year-to-year.

o USJF annual kata conference is held in the summer and covers seven katas

o Joshi Judo camp

• Compete: Competition is the best and most effective means for assessing your current proficiency.

o Faye Allen Kata Championship is held in the fall

o Most Shufu tournaments include a kata competition.  As time permits, kata

judges also make themselves available through the day to provide feedback to

the competitors.

• Get feedback

Shufu has several certified kata judges and national and international competitors who are willing to provide kata students feedback

• Host a clinic


Kata Competition:

• Local:

Most Shufu tournament include a kata competitions.

• Local/Regional:

Faye Allen Kata Championship is held every Fall, typically in late September.  The tournament was established by Edwin Takemori, and is currently run by DC Judo.

• National:

USA Judo Sr. Nationals; USJF Jr and Sr Nationals

• International (open):

Fukuda Kata Tournament; many European tournaments

• International (qualification required):

PanAmerican Championship; World Kata Championship


Tools to learn kata:

• US standards (see individual katas above)


• Kodokan videos

• IFJ standards

• Other Videos


National Kata

USA Judo National Kata Judges

USJF Kata Judging and Instructor Certification

USJF Kata Development and Certification Committee



Shufu Shinbun is BACK !

This newsletter is presented in memory of Malcolm Hodges who was a dedicated Shufu and Washington Judo Club member for many years and wrote and was the editor of the monthly Shufu Shinbun newsletter.




JULY 2023

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APRIL 2023

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Coach Certification

SafeSport Certification is now required for all USJF registered clubs. If you have already completed the course and submitted a copy of your certificate, you do not need to resubmit. For more information or to take the course, please visit https://athletesafety.org/

Heads Up concussion training, through the CDC’s website, is a requirement for all members of your USJF registered club who function as teachers at any time. Please advise all of your instructors and assistant instructors of this requirement. The training can be accessed at: http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/

Hilaire Notewo Seeking Donations for Judo Programs in the Ivory Coast, Needs Gis and Equipment

Longtime Shufu Judo member Hilaire Notewo is planning to relocate to Côte D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Africa in late November/December. He will be supporting judo programs, but equipment (esp. judo uniforms) are difficult to come by.  Hilaire is looking for gently used judo gis and other equipment.  Hilaire will also be visiting and donating goods to orphanages.  Should you have gently used shoes, clothes for teenagers, youths, and toddlers, kindly make them available to Hilaire.

If you would like to donate to this effort, you can send your donation to the following address:

Hilaire Notewo

7401 New Hampshire Ave. #1003

Takoma Park, MD  20912

Or contact him via his email address: hilson79@gmail.com 202 945 3781.