What is Shotokai Karate ?

 

Wikipedia definition of Shotokai Karate:
Shotokai Karate differs much from Shotokan (the most widespread Karate) in that it rejects competition altogether , feeling that it
compromises
Karate itself. Kata are generally the same as other forms of karate, although Shotokai often emphasizes smooth flowing movements rather
than the sharp snappy movements of other styles. Kumite (sparring) in some Shotokai clubs is practiced with full strength
attacks, and is tightly controlled in terms of who is attacking and defending and the attacks that can be performed in order to reduce the chance of injury.

 


Karate practice can be roughly broken down into three main areas:

1. Kata   2. Kihon   3. Kumite
   

Kata is a set of pre-defined movements or techniques that simulate an attack / defence situation without the need for a fellow practitioner.

By performing in a group without the pressure of an attacker it allows you to focus on your timing and the correct form of the techniques.

Timing for the whole group is synchronised to the person at the front of the kata group.

When observing a good practitioner performing kata you can almost see their opponents.

 

Kihon is the practice of individual techniques.

By repeating the techniques your body learns (muscle memory) how it should feel.

It is sometimes carried out with a partner where one is the attacker and the other the defender.

It can also be practiced with training aids such as the one shown in the picture.

Kihon is the mainstay of karate. You need to perform techniques thousands of times so that your body will react without you having to tell it to.

 

There are 3 levels of Kumite:

Ippon Kumite: where one person performs pre arranged attack and their partner defends against it. They then switch roles.

Sanbon Kumite: this is similar to above but the attacker carries out 3 of the same attacks and the defender moves back and defends on the last one.

Jiyu Kumite: This is a full scale continuous attack / defend situation, where either person can attack at any time with any technique.

Please Note:
Jiyu Kumite is not normally practiced until you have reached a suitable level of competence to avoid injuries.

         

 

These three training methods should be practiced in the same manner, i.e. how you move, block and
attack should be exactly the same in Kata, Kihon and Kumite.

Kata brings all the core techniques together and combines them into flowing movements.