Karate is considered a way of life for many. It is important that you know that the secret of this martial art or traditional Budo involves a search and perfection in the movements, it can only be achieved with constant practice of Karate Techniques.
In traditional karate, there are five traditional styles that are considered classical and that maintain the pure traditional teaching of Eastern Karate. These styles can be seen in competition in tournaments of the World Association of Karate which have strict rules in the participation of Kata and Kumite.
Traditional Karate Styles
Here I have compiled useful information on these styles of Karate based on my practice in two of these for a few years, Kiokushinkai and Shotokan.
These are the 5 most important Traditional Styles with students all over the world:
This art of self-defense has basic techniques that we can divide into two parts:
It is the set of superior techniques. Basically, they are the hits and blocks that are done with the hands. They constitute the first part of the basic techniques or Kihon Geiko.
They are inferior techniques. In this group are the strikes with the legs and the kicks. They are the second part of the Kihon Geiko.
Among the superior techniques or Ate Waza of karate-do, one of the main things a karate fighter must learn is the basic tactics of the fist or Tsuki. In Tsuki, the arm and fist are used, the latter, generally in “Seiken”, that is, concentrating on strikes with the knuckles of the angular and index fingers.
Tsuki: the art of the fist
The objective of the Tsuki is to train the arm so that the fist is direct and acts like a spear aimed at the opponent’s chest or face. For this, the karate student must learn three key elements: apply maximum speed, use the minimum trajectory towards the point of impact, and pour all the energy into the target.
In katas we can see two ways of using the Tsuki:
- Oi Tsuki: it is the direct blow to the face (Jodan) or the chest (Chudan) with the fast movement of the feet, without tilting the upper part of the body forward.
- Gyaku Tsuki: it is to hit in an inverted way, with a direct attack with the fist, using the arm that is on the opposite side of the foot in a forward position.
Basic Karate Techniques
The following Techniques are the base of the system and when they are put together we have the essence of the art seen in Katas. These Techniques can have a unique way in each style but the base is the same because the outcome is the same.
- Karate Stances
- Karate Punches
- Karate Kicks
- Karate Blocks
- Karate Strikes
- Karate Traditional Katas
- Karate Traditional Weapons
- Karate General Terminology
Karate training is divided into the following three categories: Kihon, Kata, and Kumite.
- Kihon is considered the base. In Kihon, the basic techniques that will later be necessary for the execution of more complex techniques are practiced. A good level of control in Kihon forms the foundation of every Karateka. A Karateka without deep knowledge of Kihon is like a swimmer who has never touched water.
- Kata is the rhythmic performance of various techniques in the sequence. It is considered an imaginary battle against various opponents. With Kata, coordination and visual thinking are especially encouraged.
- Kumite is an exercise with a partner. Kumite is the real practice of attack and counter-attack. Practitioners use offensive and defensive techniques in coordination, use kicks and punches, train how to move, how to hit, how to react, develop speed and precision.
The three categories of Kihon, Kata, and Kumite are conditioned by each other. A good Karateka always trains the three categories together, no matter what level or belt he has. Without Kihon, Kata is impossible. And without Kata and Kihon, Kumite is impossible. That is why we try to maintain a good balance between the three categories.
- Flexibility exercises for karate kicking techniques
- Exercises for hardening in karate
- Exercises for speed in karate techniques
Common Karate Questions
Is Karate a Sport?
Karate is a martial art that can be practiced as an art and is a way of life for many. The competition can be considered as a Sport, but a combat sport since there are tournaments where students can compete in Kata and Kumite.
What is Kumite?
The term Kumite is made up of the characters Kumi, the group (the encounter), and The hand. Kumite is often translated as fighting, but it must be understood as a “meeting technique” or “hand meeting”. It is not a martial confrontation to determine the strongest, since in the classical way of Karate-Do there is no opponent, but a partner with whom one relates to a reciprocal and inextinguishable dependence. Without a partner, the Kumite could not exist. The real meaning of Kumite is the great opportunity to understand our ego through training with a partner.
- Kumite: Combat.
- Gohon Kumite: Five-step combat.
- Sambon Kumite: Three-step combat.
- Kihon-Ippon Kumite: Basic one-step combat.
- Jiju-Ippon Kumite: Free one-step combat.
- Kaeshi-Ippon Kumite: Return a step fighting. (The defender strikes back with a full step and forces the original attacker to become a defender).
- Okuri-Ippon Kumite: Fight with two attacks in a row. The first is announced but the second attack is chosen based on the opponent and the distance.
- Yakusoku Kumite: Arranged combat, this could be with an arranged attack where the defender has preset technique to execute.
- Happo Kumite: Fight in eight directions, this is against several attackers.
- Jiyu Kumite: Freestyle combat, this means any technique, both partners defend and attack.
- Ôyo Kumite: Application combat.
- Tanren Kumite: Combat instruction (as in gohon and sambon kumite).
- Kyogi Kumite: Combat competition, this is Kumite with set rules, the ones we can find at a tournament.
- Shiai Kumite: Combat Kumite. The fight carried out in the sense of “Budo”.
In most traditional styles such as Shotokan, ShitoRyu, Wado Ryu, Goju Ryu, etc. The Kumite is carried out within categories by weights, ranks, sex, and age. Kumite in tournaments requires protection gear for all competitors, there are also rules and judges who count and call points. In Kyokushinkai, the kumité is free and with full contact, except for the punch with the fist to the face; this type of combat is not for points and the loss of conscience of the adversary or K.O (Knock Out) is sought.
What is a Kata?
Kata (型 or 形) (‘form’) is a Japanese word that describes what was initially considered a series, form, or sequence of established movements that can be practiced both alone and in pairs. A Kata contains a series of punches, kicks, blocks, and stances performed at a determined speed and accuracy.
What is a Dojo?
The Dojo is the place where a Sensei teaches Karate to students. It can be called a Karate studio in English, you will find mats all over the floor because karate is practiced barefooted.
What are Karate teachers called?
Karate teachers are called sensei. In the black belt range, there are ten degrees available with their corresponding names but in general, the correct term would be sensei.
Is Karate an Olympic Sport?
Karate will make its debut appearance at the Summer Olympics in 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Olympic karate will feature two events, Kumite and Kata. Sixty competitors from around the world will compete in the Kumite competition and twenty will compete in the Kata competition.
- History of Karate Karate Lessons
- How to Get the Most Out of Karate Karate Lessons
- How to Pick a Karate School
- What Are Karate Classes Like?
- What Are the Major Styles of Karate?
- How to Earn a Black Belt in Karate