Some Basics

The Five "K's" of Karate


[     Kihon - stands for "Basic", these are the basic stances, kicks, punches strikes and blocks used in a combination of moves in Karate.


[     Kumite - stands for sparring or fighting against another opponent.


[     Kata - a set sequence (or form) of choreographed moves like a small dance, according to your grade. There are 27 of them in the Shotokan canon.


[     Kime - your spirit and strength shown during Kihon, Kumite and Kata performances. Focus is part of this too i.e. whether you are on target and looking at what you're aiming at. Timing, control, breathing, speed and accuracy are all important aspects of Kime. Prior to every move the body should be relaxed to aid the student to react quickly. At the point of impact the whole body should tense up as strongly as possible and the lungs emptied of air sharply at the point of contact. Constant practice and repetition improves the crucial timing and thus effectiveness. Kihon, Kumite & Kate are useless without proper use of Kime which is all about Speed & Control. For this reason, we advocate and use what's termed as Non-Contact Karate and in a nutshell that is what Traditional Japanese Karate is all about.


[     KiAi - a large shout to exhale air at key points in the kata and on counter attacks, this helps tighten the stomach muscles and diaphragm as well as exerting some fear into your attacker and giving you some confidence.


NB: You may only be tested on the first three of the above according to your syllabus but without proper use and knowledge of the last two items, you can not expect to pass your grade.

The "A, B, C" of Karate

A - stands for Avoid. The first thing on being attacked is to avoid or get out of the way of the attack, be it a kick or punch or a strike.

B - stands for Block. To strike out with an arm or leg and stop the opponent hitting a more vulnerable part of your body.

C - stands for Counter. To strike back (counter attack) at the opponent with a kick or punch and a kiai.

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Updated: Tuesday, 05 April 2011