Kihon is comprised of the basic movements of karate. The movements are composed of the basic punches, kicks, blocks, and stances. The development of kihon comes with regimented, regular, practice and continual repetition under a watchful instructor. It does the student no good to practice religiously on their own if they are practicing a flawed movement. This is why a good instructor is instrumental in developing good kihon.

All too often in karate, especially in the United States, the basics are rushed through in an attempt to learn more techniques and more kata. The United States is very much a country fed by self-gratification, which is fueled by impatience. The repetition of kihon to many Americans training karate today is considered "boring". Kihon, in fact, is the true core and foundation of all the movements in karate. If the karateka's kihon is poor, the karate practiced will always be poor. Kihon can be likened to the analogy of the foundation of a building. With a strong foundation, a strong building can be built. With a weak foundation, there is a limit as to how large and strong a building can be built. Kihon is what all the advanced techniques and kata in karate are built on. Without a good strong foundation in kihon, the karateka quickly limits their potential.


The basic punch or block at first glance seems simple and easy to perform. The perfection of the punch or block performed to the person's maximum physical and mental capabilities takes a lifetime to perfect. In this respect, a karateka never ceases to practice the basics. By continually practicing the basics, the basic foundation continues to strengthen. Unlike a house, the foundation can be continually reinforced making the karate stronger from the basic level on up. Improvement in the kihon instantly reflects improvement in advanced technique and kata. Even if the karateka wishes to maintain his/her skill, kihon must continued to be practiced in order to keep the foundation strong. Like the house, periodic maintenance is necessary to insure a sound structure.

With this in mind, the repetition of kihon no longer is boring to the karateka. Each repetitious movement then becomes an exercise in spirit


Kihon - The Basics