General Training, Shotokan Karate
We follow three basic aspects of training: Kihon (Basic Techniques); Kata (Formal Movements); and Kumite (Sparring).
Kihon (Basic Techniques)
Kihon is the repetition of a single or group of techniques (see pictures, left), these are important to teach beginners correct technique and for all karate-ka to polish and hone their skills.
Kata (Formal Movements)
The slideshow shows Kata, which uses a traditional set of movements as developed by the forefathers of Karate. Kata builds external and internal strength through the use of technique, breathing control and 'Zanchin' (typically described as a heightened sense of awareness). This can then be taken through to Bunkai (application of Kata, second picture), which uses the moves of the Kata in a one-step (Ippon) Kumite setting. This practice of the movements in a realistic form allows the student to make the kata work in short form. The next three pictures show students practising Tekki Shodan Kata. This Kata is performed in Horse Stance (Kiba-Dachi) along a line to the left and the right, this movement represents fighting as if with your back to the wall.
There are many forms of sparring and self defence drills, from the most basic of pre-arranged combinations to the more advanced Kumite and more realistic scenarios which is an essential part of the Dan grading syllabus.
We regularly combine two or more of the traditional methods of training above, plus ideas from other Martial Arts, with the aim to create either a more realistic training environment or a situation that requires the student to engage further with their training. Such examples of this include bag and pad work and taking a set of techniques practised in Kihon and applying them in an Ippon Kumite style exercise.