So, what are Karate classes like? Well every class is different but most classes contain basically four things. The warm up and I don't vary my warm up because I like to use it as a sort of check throughout my body and as a ritual. So, we will have the same warm up and then there are basically three aspects to our Karate training Kihong which are the basics, Kumite which is the pair work and Kata which are the forms. So, most classes will have a larger proportion of the Kihong, the basics because you are forging your body, drilling the same techniques sometimes with many repetitions and then we may move onto doing the same sort of Kihong with a partner which then becomes Kumite which is your pair work. Some people say that Kumite is aspiring. It literally translates as exchanging hands.
So, in the beginning it is very cooperative leading up all the way to obviously free fighting eventually. These are all forms of Kumite. And then you have Kata. Kata are the forms, in Shotokan Strain in Shotokan Karate we have 26 Kata. Each one has a name; each one has its own character. As you progress through the course a new Kata will have a new personality brings new techniques and this is actually the origins of Karate. People only had Kata a hundred and odd years ago and they would practice on their own and develop the karate through only Kata. When karate went to Japan then it became more broken down and the Kihong developed to be a much bigger aspect. So, these are where the intricacies of karate lie. Kihong is your foundation, Kata is where you have many varied techniques and different emphasis and the Kumite is where you get to express it with your partner.