Learning Kata is an important aspect of technical training in Shorinji kempo. They represent the basic defensive and offensive techniques performed as a series of movements to increase understanding of form and continuity.
Unlike hokei, there is little room for personal interpretation. The practitioner must strive to ensure that each part of the kata is performed precisely. As such, kata places greater restrictions on the movements of the practitioner who, through dedicated practice, must find freedom within that restriction.
The practice of Kata is a meditative one. Understanding the unity of body and mind (Ken Zen Ichinyo) is a fundamental teaching of Shorinji kempo. In kata, the student is able gain greater understanding of this by unifying thought and action.
All Kata can be practised in single form, and a number are practised in pair form. When practised in a group, kata places the additional requirement of timing and unity with the other practitioners. Group kata practice aids in perfecting the timing and execution of techniques and increases awareness of ones surroundings.