Kihon (basics) are probably the most boring and repetitive aspect of your Karate training but the most important. Basics consist of punches, kicks, blocks and strikes and are generally practiced by means of multiple repetitions up and down in the lines to count. Basics can not be neglected unfortunately because without strong basics the Karate practitioner will have a weak foundation on which to build and as stated in the Training Tips introduction paragraph on basics the foundation of your Karate training is critically important to your ultimate success as a Karate practitioner.
Just as a teacher needs to know how to explain things in simple terms, just as an accountant needs to explain what numbers mean and just as a writer needs to adequately express thoughts in words, a competent Karate practitioner would be lost without a solid foundation in basics.
Some tips for improving basics are as follows:
– accept that practice in basics is necessary;
– practice your basics repetitively to the point of exhaustion;
– do basics slowly, at half-speed and at full speed (when doing basics slowly work on your focus and concentration, when doing basics half-speed work on technique and when doing basics full-speed work on speed and power);
– never think that you have mastered a technique … continue to practice;
– spirit is centered in your mind, character is centered in your chest and power is found in your hara (belly), if all three work against each other your basics are at their weakest, if all three work in harmony your basics will be stronger than you could ever imagine;
– always remember when practicing basics that “simple is best”;
– at the highest level basics only work if they are adapted to one’s strengths and not one’s weaknesses.