Training in the Dojo


Kihon means basic or basics.  The basics of Karate are Stances, blocks, punches and kicks.  These basics are the foundation of the art as they are used in the other practices and training methods in Karate.  In a typical lesson the class will first go through a warm up and stretching then basics will be practiced.  Beginners will perform only one technique at a time whilst more advanced students will practice combinations of techniques.  During the practice of Kihon correct stances and technique is emphasized so the more complicated training methods of kata and kumite can be practiced properly.


Kumite is paired drills such as sparring.  Basic kumite consists of one person attacking with the same basic technique such as a stepping punch several times whilst the other person uses a basic block and will counter attack after blocking five punches.  The basic drills are to help the student learn distance and timing when using the techniques they have learned.  More advanced drills has one person attack with a technique and the other person will defend against the attack and then counter attack with a few different techniques which may end in a takedown.  Constant practice of kumite will lead to the student being able to automatically react to a technique with a block and without hesitation counter attack against open targets.  This training leads up to free sparring where the students will use what they have learned to defend themselves without any pre arranged techniques being used.


Kata are a series of twenty or more set movements and techniques.  Kata appear as an imaginary fight between the performer and several opponents.  Kata have many applications for the practitioner, to train their body to move in a wide variety of ways, strategy, rhythm, timing, conditioning and practising more advanced techniques and or combinations.  Katas are considered to be the backbone of karate as they are the oldest and main form of training the Okinawans did whilst under Japanese occupation.  As katas could appear more like a dance when slowed down.  The Okinawans could practice and pass on the teachings of Karate through kata without being detected by the ruling Samurai.  Typically one kata is taught to a student at each grade/belt until the last grade/belt before black belt is obtained.  The student is then taught several more katas before grading for black belt.  After this point katas are taught depending on competency of the student and the level of black belt they are training to achieve.

Kata List:

·         Kihon Kata – Basic Kata

·         Heian shodan (平安初段) – Peaceful Mind (Level 1)

·         Heian nidan (平安二段) – Peaceful Mind (Level 2)

·         Heian sandan (平安三段) – Peaceful Mind (Level 3)

·         Heian yondan (平安四段) – Peaceful Mind (Level 4)

·         Heian godan (平安五段) – Peaceful Mind (Level 5)

·         Tekki shodan (鉄騎初段) – Iron Horse (Level 1)

·         Bassai dai (披塞大) – Storm a Fortress (Big)

·         Ji'in (慈陰) – (Named after a Temple’s grounds in China)

·         Jion (慈恩) – Named after a Temple in China

·         Jitte (十手) – Ten Hands

·         Empi (燕飛) – Flying Swallow

·         Kanku dai (観空大) – Viewing the Sky (Big)

·         Gankaku (岩鶴) – Crane on a Rock

·         Hangetsu (半月) – Half Moon

·         Wankan (王冠) – Kings Crown

·         Bassai shō (披塞小) – Storm a Fortress (Small)

·         Chinte (珍手) – Incredible Hands

·         Gojūshiho dai (五十四歩大) – 54 steps (Big)

·         Gojūshiho shō (五十四歩小) – 54 steps (Small)

·         Kankū shō (観空小) – Viewing the Sky (Small)

·         Meikyō (明鏡) – Brightly Polished Mirror

·         Nijūshiho (二十四步) – 24 steps

·         Sōchin (壯鎭) – Energetic Calm

·         Tekki nidan (鉄騎二段) – Iron Horse (Level 2)

·         Tekki sandan (鉄騎三段) – Iron Horse (Level 3)

·         Unsu (雲手) – Cloud Hands

Grades / Belt System:

·         Beginner / White Belt.

·         9th Kyu / Orange Belt.

·         8th Kyu / Red Belt.

·         7th Kyu / Yellow Belt.

·         6th Kyu / Green Belt.

·         5th Kyu / Purple Belt.

·         4th Kyu / Purple Belt with one white stripe.

·         3rd Kyu / Brown Belt.

·         2nd Kyu / Brown Belt with one white stripe.

·         1st Kyu / Brown Belt with two white stripes.

·         1st Dan / Black Belt.

·         2nd Dan / Black Belt.

·         3rd Dan / Black Belt.

·         4th Dan / Black Belt.

·         Etc.