“Traditional Karate” has 3 main categories that should be considered and valued equally in any traditional karate classes.
- Kihon (基本)
- “Kihon” is a Japanese term meaning “basics” or “fundamentals.” The term is used to refer to the basic techniques and is the foundation of Karate. In another word; Kihon can be considered as the alphabet of karate. The practice of Kihon is essential to all advanced training, and includes the practice of correct body form and breathing, while practicing basics such as stances (Dachi), punches (Tsuki), kicks (Geri), strikes (Uchi) and blocks (Uke).
- kata ( 形 )
- “Kata” is often described as a set sequence of karate moves organized into a pre-arranged fight against imaginary opponents. The kata consists of kicks, punches, sweeps, strikes and blocks. Body movement in various kata includes stepping, twisting, turning, dropping to the ground and jumping.
- Kumite (組手)
- In “Kata” we learn only the body movements and the use of techniques for attacks and blocks with imaginary opponent. In “Kumite” we learn to apply all the techniques found in “Kata” against one or many real opponents.
The “Migamae” (physical readiness) consists the techniques of “Tsuki” and “Uke”. Please note that regardless of the power and the positions, stances and posture of the hips and legs must maintain a steady and strong position while attacking or defending.
The “Kigamae” (mental preparation) involves the mental aspects like fighting spirit, mental attitude, tenacity, perseverance, concentration, coolness and confidence. All depends on the efforts of the individual.
Gohon Kumite (five-step kumite) is the basic form of training fundamental techniques that teaches Migamae (physical readiness), Kigamae (mental preparation), ways of breathing and Unsuku (moving and stepping). In this Kumite targets remain the same for all consecutive attacks.
Sanbon Kumite – As a basic training method, Sanbon Kumite (Three-step Kumite)
Kihon Ippon Kumite – basic techniques of attack and defense (Kihon) (basic one step kumite)
Jiyu Ippon Kumite – (free style one-step kumite) represents a preparatory training
Kaeshi Ippon Kumite – develop agility and speed when initiating a technique. (attack and counter one-step kumite)
Okuri Jiyu Ippon Kumite –
Kata ( 形 ) means: shape, form and pattern
Kata is a Japanese word describing detailed patterns of movements practiced either solo or in pairs. Each is a complete fighting system, with the movements and postures of the kata being a living reference guide to the correct form and structure of the techniques used within that system.
After learning kata, learned skills can then be used in a sparring. The main objective of performing kata is to try out different combinations of techniques in a safe, practice environment to ultimately find out how to defeat your opponent.
Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation has 27 katas:
1- Yakusoku Kumite (pre-determined Kumite)
In this type of kumite the attacking technique and target are predetermined and has the following characteristics:
- Techniques, place of attacks, Semete (attacker) and Ukete (defender) are pre-determined
- In this type of kumite attacker (semete) clearly states the target prior to launching his attack. If the defender (Ukete) fail to block the attack or block too late and contact is made, the attacker would be free from any responsibility (exeptions must be made for differences in technical ability,age, and strength)
- We emphasize the training of basic techniques
- We acquire the physical (Migamae) and mental (Kigamae) preparation for the execution of a technique
- We focus on proper breathing when using the stepping techniques (Unsoku)
- We aim at the proper execution of wide range of techniques
- we acquire the most important basic principles of fighting which are
- Maai (distance and timing)
- Tenshin (body rotation and change direction, body displacement)
- Tai Sabaki (body shifting, body movement and dodging)
- Unsoku (stepping)
- Zanshin (awareness)
2- Jiyu Kumite (free Kumite)
In This type of kumite, practitioners are free to test their abilities by employing the attacking and blocking techniques of their choice and has the following characteristics:
- Attacks and blocks are free
- This is the final step in kumite. Attacks and blocks are used freely without warning.
- All techniques including: “Zuki”, “Uke”, “Geri” and other techniques must be controlled and full contact is strictly forbidden.
- “Jiyu Kumite” is divided into “Kyogi Kumite” (sport) and “Shiai Kumite” (Budo)
Each of the “Yakusoku Kumite” and “Jiyu Kumite” has different sub-groups
- Yakusoku Kumite
- Tanren Kumite
- Gohon Kumite
- Sanbon Kumite
- Kihon Kumite
- Kihon Ippon Kumite
- Kaeshi Ippon Kumite
- Yakusoku Jiyu Kumite
- Jiyu Ippon Kumite
- Okuri Jiyu Ippon Kumite
- Oyo Kumite
- Happo Kumite
- Kumite Kata
- Tanren Kumite
- Jiyu Kumite
- Kyogi Kumite (Sport)
- Shiai Kumite (Budo)
The main reason of practicing “Tanren Kumite” (training or drill sparring) is to aquire the Physical (Migamae) and the Mental (Kigamae) preperation for the execution of a technique and proper breathing (Kokyu Ho) when using the stepping techniques (Unsuku).
In “Tanren Kumite”, “Semete” (attacker) and “Ukete” (defender) facing each other at certain distance and execute their techniques in turn.
“Tanren Kumite” is divided into “Gohon kumite” and “Sanbon Kumite”
- The hips must remain very low
- Maintain your confidence even the attacker is rushing
- Must remain retain a calm mind and react without emotion
- When stepping back and blocking, always remember that the techniques are used with the hips and the body and not only with the hand
- After the last attack, counter attack (Gyaku Zuki) and “Kiai” will be executed by “Ukete”
- Target in “Chudan Zuki” is “Suigetsu” (Solar Plexus)
- After delivering the final punch (Gyaku Zuki), the defender maintains the completed position for 2 or 3 seconds. This will help to train and develop the muscles used when performing the technique on the physical side and Zanshin(awareness) on the mental side.
The main reason of practicing “Kihon Kumite” (basic sparring) is to learn different stances while executing basic techniques such as body shifting, proper stances, offensive and defensive technical abilities with proper breathing and body posture, power and spirit.
In “Kihon Kumite” attacker and defender facing each other at certain distance and execute their techniques in turn as pre-agreed.
“Kihon Kumite” is divided into “Kihon Ippon Kumite” and “Kaeshi Ippon Kumite”.
Yakusoku Jiyu Kumite
Unlike “Tanren kumite” and “Kihon Kumite”, in “Yakusoku Jiyu Kumite” (Pre-determined free sparring) is more realistic as there is no specific distance between the attacker and defender and techniques are exchanged as fast and as strongly as abilities will permit.
Practicing “Yakusoku Jiyu Kumite” will improve the “Tai Sabaki” (body shifting, body movement), “Tenshin” (body rotation) , “Maai” (distance and timing) and “Zanshin” (awareness).The intention of practicing this type of kumite is for mastering the essential components of actual combat.
“Yakusoku Jiyu Kumite” is divided into “Jiyu Ippon Kumite” and “Okuri Jiyu Ippon Kumite“