kihon intro page     Kihon kata (basic form)
Opposite is a diagram of a kata called 'Kihon'. Depending on your computer you can either click on it – or right-click and 'save link' –  to download an A4 version in PDF format for output on your home printer

We'll give this kata some special attention here because if you are new to Shotokan Karate then this is where you start...

You must learn Kihon Kata in order to grade as a white belt. It's a great kata to practice making a stance, turning/changing position, forward punching and downward blocking. Don't think of it as a kata 'just for beginners' – black belts practice with it as well.

'Kihon' is a word you hear a lot during training. It's Japanese for 'fundemental' or 'basic'. Mastery of kihon is essential to all advanced training. With Kihon you work on the building blocks that make up Shotokan; correct body posture and breathing, stances, punches, kicks, blocks, and thrusts. Kihon is also about fostering the correct spirit and the right attitude.

Once you've understood the basic idea of this kata and can perform it to a standard sufficent to grade, you will then move on to the 'Heian' series of katas that follow it. As you progress through these you will quickly realise that you're building on top of a foundation which is derived from...Kihon kata.

This kata has 20 moves in total and you must give a focussed shout or 'kiai' (key-eye) at step 08 and again at step 16.