Learn Traditional Karate

In traditional karate there are five traditional styles that are considered as 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.

Here I have compiled useful information of 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 Karate Styles with students all over the world:

Basic Common Knowledge and Karate Techniques.

The following Karate Techniques are the base of the system and when they are put together we have the essence of the art seen in Katas. Karate Techniques can have a unique way in each Karate style but the base is the same because the outcome is the same.

Karate Training

Common Karate Questions

Is Karate a Sport?

Karate is a martial art which can be practiced as an art and is a way of life to many. The competition in Karate 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. Fight carried out in the sense of “Budo”.

In most traditional karate 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 style karate, 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.Two Sensei practicing Kata

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 you karate is practiced bare footed.

Karate Black Belts at a Karate Seminar

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.

This is a Sensei practicing Karate at the Beach

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.

This is a Yoko Geri or Side Kick.


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