My kid and I used to take Karate together. Then we moved to a remote village in upstate New York where the nearest Dojo was 60 miles away. Last year we moved closer to civilization, and the kid wanted to resume practice at with a nearby Tai Kwon Do master.

One of the constants about Karate, and now Tai Kwon Do, is the completion of Kata (or Forms) where you learn the rudiments of the art by repeating them in a prescribed sequence of moves. As you advance the Kata get more and more difficult. Learning them brings deeper understanding and competence.

Every art has something like this. Whether it’s exercises to build knowledge of perspective and horizon in drawing or learning to make the five mother sauces in cooking.

So, with code. And in honor of my son’s resuming his practice — I may yet join the class later this year — this week I’ve started training with Code Katas. Like the martial arts exercises, these are coding exercises that get you thinking about coding in ways you wouldn’t ordinarily be thinking. And because they focus on mastering the basic elements, they are great tools for deepening understanding of the coding art.

There are several places you can find these. I’ve landed at Code Wars. (After just a week, and completing a couple kata’s I noted this morning that I already rank at 43% — which must be not so much an indication of my proficiency as that a lot of people sign up and then never actually do any katas. But, hey! I’ll take my strokes where I can get them!)