In sport karate the movement has been such that it is all becoming aerobatics and showmanship. Aerals do not a life survivor make. They have even lost the ability to do a real honest to goodness Kiai. Great to watch, Thats about it.
In Traditional Karate there are multifaceted approaches to teach the student History, Theory, Principles, Motion, Sequencing, Geometry, Physics, Kinematics, and Practical application at varying levels of complexity.
Kata teaches movement as it relates to your body, Kata teaches you the Geometry, the Physics and the Kinematics of the motion as it relates to the theory and practical application of attack and defense sequences. Even if you have a lot