In the center one must find all aspects of the self and merge them before they can proceed.
To sink into the body with mind and spirit, an opening and offering of oneself to that which is greater still, yet deep within all things... All else drops away.
This zero point is the beginning and end of all Budo which cannot be ignored or brushed aside.
This IS Kata, this IS Karate, anything less is watered down, spiritless, empty.
Those who go on and on about hating Kata or that Kata are useless or boring have missed the point of Kata and their many layers.
It makes sense now when people like Kayo OMG and Roy Kamen speak of Bunkai being only the tip of the iceberg as Karate is much deeper than that.
I once witnessed a Haka Dance performed by, of all people, a Mormon Missionary and it seemed to me to be nothing more than a jumble of shouting, moving, and stomping around... Nothing to write home about, right?
True, until you witness it performed by someone who throws everything into it, then it becomes frightening... At that point I realized what was missing from the first performance.
That was not a Haka Dance, it was missing the spirit and, thus, was missing the desired effect resulting from a proper Haka Dance.
It does not matter how mean you make your face look, how rigid or built your body, or how loud you Kiai... Without the spirit, found in the center before all else, and forged through fire properly, all you have is a jumbled mess of moving, stomping, and shouting..