Karate Basics - Introduction

We thought we'd outline the basics of Karate to give parents and spectators an overview.

Karate can be quite confusing to understand if you are not actually training. The use of Japanese terms throughout can be particularly challenging even for those who are students*.

Details vary from style to style however, the core elements are common. We cover the three key areas, Kihon, Kata and Kumite.

As a parent or a regular spectator who has never trained in Karate this information may be of interest to help you understand either the terms your kids keep using, or what is happening at competitions!

This information is not exhaustive and not style-specific. There are many good websites that go into much more detail about the syllabus and technicalities of Karate, for example for Wado you might try British Wadokai's website at www.wadokai.co.uk.

* In traditional styles a good instructor will use not only the Japanese terms specific to Karate but ought to issue general commands in the Dojo in Japanese. As a student progresses to the higher Dans a command of the Japanese language becomes more valuable. A student learns Japanese over time by repeated exposure to the terms. You might like to look at our Glossary of Basic Terms to spot phrases you frequently hear in training and competition.

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