Students of Shotokan Karate learn punching, blocking, kicking techniques and self defence moves along with respect and control. Benefits such as feeling fitter, being more flexible, and increasing self-confidence and discipline.
A typical session will include a 10 minute warm-up and stretching session then some or all of the following three fundamental elements of Karate.
Kihon (Basic Techniques)
Basic techniques include various different punching, striking, kicking and blocking techniques either performed on their own or in combination.
Kata (set forms) Are a sequences of techniques which in some way resemble a fight against multiple invisible opponents. For the first few grades students are expected to learn one Kata per rank starting with the simplest combination of punching and blocking to complex sequences involving all sorts of punching, striking, kicking, blocking, throwing, jumping and self defence techniques.
To begin with students learn simple sparring techniques, Sanbon Kumite (3 step) Gohon Kumite (5 step). Intermediates students then practise Kihon Ippon Kumite (1 step), Advanced students practise Jiyu-Ippon Kumite (Semi-Free), Then becoming more complex and evolving into Jiyu & Randori Kumite (free fighting). But in a controlled non contact environment.
Strenuous sessions will usually conclude with a warm-down.
Ranks And Grading's
A karate student's progress in the art of Shotokan karate is represented by their rank which in turn is represented by a coloured belt. Beginners are classified as upgraded (white belt) but after a minimum period of training (usually 3 months) may take a grading. Upon successfully completing a grading a student is promoted to the next rank and will wear the appropriate coloured belt. Beginner ranks range from 9th kyu up to 1st kyu then the advanced grades range from 1st Dan up to 10th Dan.
Juniors have a Mon-grade system which means they will grade twice for each kyu grade this is shown by a half coloured belt