Freestyle was only introduced to Karate in the early 1900`s, all basic techniques where practiced & performed in kata. The modern trend now in martial arts is to become good at freestyle and many dismiss kata, but you usually find in most competitions the top freestylers are usually top in kata.
Kata is a predetermined response to an external stimulus, being one or several moves to an imaginary opponent(s) attacking/defending from different angles with a variety of hand and leg techniques. This repetition arranged by the old Masters trains the reflexes, strengthens the body and develops a sense of rhythm and coordination.
All moves to imaginary opponents (Kata) are types of role play, like fire drills, dress rehearsals etc and enable the student to experiment, in a safe environment, different ways to deal with various situations.”
It is a known fact that people improve faster if they train with people better than themselves, therefore, you must visualise, in your `minds eye` your imaginary partner as much bigger and tougher than you are. This visualisation will improve concentration, awareness and develop effective techniques.
Each individual technique must be fully appreciated, it must have purpose, appear realistic, performed with deliverance, confidence and authority, and never rushed. It must have `LIFE` not only to practice the physical and emotional concepts of the Kata, but how to respond correctly to any external stimulus of our environment in everyday life.