This is a post of mine from another forum I'm on. I'd be interested to hear your ideas.
To anthropomorphize kata, I would say that kata is the kind of person who would say "AND" much more often that he would say "OR." For example:
Kata says "You can train your body for strength AND you can train your body to know where to strike"
Kata says "You can train your body to know where to stike AND you can train yourself to know what you are striking when you strike there."
Kata says "You can train yourself to know what you are striking when you strike there AND you can train yourself to know why that particular method works"
Kata rarely says "You can train your body OR you can train your mind"
I see Kata as a never ending series of AND. I can do this, AND I can do this, AND I can do this.
THIS can be: a strike, a joint lock, a Vital Point strike, a blunt technique, a throw...
If I try a joint-lock with one movement of the kata 100,000 times and it doesn't work, then maybe it is time to throw out the idea that at that particular moment, I'm not doing a joint lock.
AND that very same movement will likely work very well as a Vital Point strike. I suspect the inverse to be true as well. The nice thing about most martial arts though, is that you have that depth to each movement. Each individual movement MIGHT represent a strike AND a lock AND a throw AND whatever. And I belive that sometimes because of our different bodies and different ways of thinking that a movement in a kata that works very well as a strike for you may work better as a throw for me.