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What is the name of a fixed sequence of moves used in training of martial arts?

Precisely, used in training, not in actual combat, as both parties know exactly what is to come and follow a fixed routine, a sequence they both know - attack, defense, counter-attack and so on, to learn to execute the moves correctly, as opposed to actually fighting or reacting to unexpected moves of the opponent.

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I think you're thinking of a kata. – Joachim Sauer Mar 21 '12 at 7:44
@JoachimSauer I'm certain you are right! Kata for Japanese martial arts, and any of those many others listed for non-Japanese martial arts. Wow, you were fast! – Ellie Kesselman Mar 21 '12 at 7:56
@Joachim, send this as an answer and I'll accept - that's precisely what I was looking for. – SF. Mar 21 '12 at 7:57
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The word you're looking for is kata.

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Kata are called "forms" in (American) kungfu. – Kit Z. Fox Mar 21 '12 at 11:46
Kata is Japanese and thus refers only to Japanese arts like karate. the more generic word is form (often used in Kung Fu, as in the Dragon Form). – Brad Apr 12 '12 at 0:48

In Taekwon-Do the sequences known as Kata in Japanese are called Patterns or Tul (as TKD terminology is in Korean).

But I don't think either Tul or Kata are generally practised with an opponent: In TKD that is called Fixed Sparring or Banjayo Matsoki.

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Although not necessarily pertaining to the question, Dave Thomas of Pragmatic Programming also uses this term as a technique to practice programming.


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