Karate Basics - Kihon Explained

Kihon is a Japanese term meaning 'basics' or 'fundamentals'.

The term is used to refer to the basic techniques that are taught and practiced as the foundation of most Japanese martial arts. The practice and mastery of Kihon is essential to all advanced training. At the simple level this would include stances, punches, kicks and blocks, cuts and thrusts but also includes basic representative Kata.

Kihon techniques tend to be practised often, in many cases during each practice session. They are considered the road to improvement of all movements of greater complexity. An outstanding Karate-ka although creative beyond the basics, could never master the art without them.

Styles of Karate differ greatly in their focus or lack thereof on Kihon. Kihon may be practised as 'floor exercises', where the same technique or combination is repeated over and over again as the students move back and forth across the floor. Additionally, Kihon may take the form of pre-arranged partner drills, or work with punching and kicking bags/shields/dummies, etc. . . . Some styles have a small set of basic techniques that are practised consistently every single class. Others might have scores of techniques that are each only practised every couple of months.

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