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The 3 fundamental elements to karate training are known as the 3 “K”s (Kihons, Kata & Kumite)

 

Kihons - are the basic fundamental techniques used in karate i.e. how to block, kick, punch, strike, stand, move, focus, breathe correctly etc.  The type, intensity and complexity of basic training will vary depending on the student’s age, ability and experience. Kihons are first introduced on an individual basis, or as a class group in formal lines and practiced with no physical contact before eventually moving onto pad-work training and controlled touch contact training with a partner.

 

 

  

Kata – sometimes known as forms or patterns can be described as a continuous set sequence of defensive and offensive techniques configured to simulate fighting scenarios. Kata was developed by past masters as a way of capturing and recording the different fighting systems; thus allowing them to be passed down from generation to generation. Katas were also used as an effective training tool for practicing defending and counter-attacking against imaginary attackers using multi-directional, sequential combinations in a simulated fight.  There are over a hundred different kata across the various styles of karate; some kata are unique to certain styles whereas others are simply similar versions of the same kata using the differing techniques & stances across different styles.  Correct technique, focus of power, speed, timing, rhythm, balance, breathing, abdominal tension and concentration should be demonstrated when performing kata as well as an understanding of the techniques being used.  Katas have evolved over the years to become stylized in nature, mainly for competition and as a result some techniques differ between styles and schools, but despite these variations the fundamental principles behind each kata remain unchanged.  At Measham Karate Club we practice both traditional and competition kata as well as the applications (Bunkai).

 

Kumite – (sparring) is the last of the disciplines to be taught once the student has first shown a level of competence performing both Kihons and Kata. Kumite training at Measham Karate Club is of the sport karate type where opponents fight for points under controlled conditions with techniques delivered under touch contact rules (no contact to the head for 14 years & below). Kumite training consists of learning pre-arranged set sequences before progressing onto continuous free sparring where the attacker & defender can use any allowed techniques provided they are controlled. Finally, students will be allowed to participate in referee controlled matches using competition rules where points are awarded on a first to score basis.  Gum-shields, hand mitts, and shin & instep protection is required to be worn when sparring so as not to injure yourself or your opponent. Also, groin guards are highly recommended as accidents can happen!   Control is an essential element of sparring and competitors will be warned or even disqualified if a technique is deemed to have made contact with their opponent with such force as to contravene the rules of competition.