Kata is the Japanese term for a form of shadow-fighting wherein a number of techniques are applied in a series of memorized patterns. In the layman's terms, it can be called a fight pattern without there being the presence of another opponent. Almost like a dance, but a martial dance in which you display and apply full power as if you would had you been in a fight. For now, this is probably all I can use to explain katas.
The kata "Seienchin" has fascinated me a lot, and I've always wanted to learn it. This kata is fascinating particularly because of the immense amount of patience and perseverance that is required to perform all the steps and techniques perfectly. The kata was practised by the Japanese Samurai when they used to go to war far away from their homelands. Staying in isolation away from family and loved ones would dampen the strength and spirit of the warrior. Under such circumstances, Seienchin served as the reliever. The term Seienchin means "the calm before the storm" or "the storm within the calm". Executing this kata for hours and hours helped build up the strength and spirit before war. Maybe that's why Seienchin was also referred to as "conquering or subduing the enemy over a distance".
I love this kata because it helps me be calm and patient, and also because I feel good about the fact that my legs get pumped up and strengthened due to staying in kiba dachi (the horse-stance) for a long time. A good conditioning exercise and a very excellent means of meditation!
So long for now! Osu!