A large part of kata and kumite is the projection of a strong spirit. The practice of kata with emphasis on the mental aspects and the forging of a strong spirit will over time strengthen the spirit. Like the physical body of a weight lifter whose muscles will strengthen over time with repeated practice, so is true the spirit of the karateka increasing in strength over time as kata is practiced. Kumite training done with deadly seriousness will forge the mind and body of the karateka for combat.
In competition, it is important to project this spirit during the performance of the kata as the spiritual strength is measured and graded just as the physical attributes are. It is important to practice the physical movements with strength, power, and balance but without the mental focus the kata is incomplete. The trained karateka will project an aura of spiritual power while performing kata. Two karateka with the same physical ability performing the same kata, one projecting a strong spirit and one not, it is easy to see which is the stronger fighter all physical abilities being equal. To put it in simpler terms you need to perform kata with heart and soul as if the movements are for real, not just a choreographed movement. In kumite, the demonstration of a strong spirit will often defeat the opponent before even the first technique has been executed.
Some of the physical and mental attributes that are a demonstration of the spiritual focus are the following:
1. Eyes are piercing and focused on the opponent as well as on the movement and technique being performed. If performing kata, this is also true but the opponent is imaginary.
2. Full physical and mental effort are put into the movements
3. The attention and focus of the karateka does not waiver from the actual movement they are performing and their intended target at the given moment
4. There is an attitude that is demonstrated that shows power and is absolutely fearless. This attitude also shows that receiving pain is nothing to the karateka. Likewise the attitude demonstrated is that the karateka will not hesitate to deliver a devastating blow to an opponent should it be necessary in combat.
5. There is a show of determination that nothing can stop the karateka once the mind is set on a task or event. This determination shows that defeat in combat is not an option.