Menu drop down vertical



Karate involves muscular strength in both the arms and legs. The practitioner (karateka) uses the energy produced by his muscles.

Stances with hips rotation are practiced, in order to add power to the upper body and to allow fast, strong blocks, punches and kicks. The force of the impact is obtained by the concurrent use of the various parts of the body followed by their instantaneous tension. This force is maximized by placing the entire body in the punch or kick, centralizing the torso and transferring the weight from one leg to the other during the punch.

Thus, the energy of the moving body goes along with the energy of the muscles of the arms or legs.

The tensing (kime) can be defined as the rapid and vigorous contraction of all muscles that occurs at the end of the blow. The purpose of kime is an explosive attack to the target using the appropriate technique and maximum power in the shortest possible time.

The karateka keeps his center of gravity low to the ground. As he depends upon his body (legs, buttocks and upright torso) to power his strikes and he does not lean in while punching, low stances are preferentially used, because they give greater stability for the execution of techniques of attack and defense.

Karate techniques are executed within three modalities:

  • Kihon (basic techniques)
    Practice of attack and defense techniques isolated or grouped.
  • Kata (forms)
    Practice of logical sequences of techniques (against imaginary fighters).
  • Kumite (sparring)
    Fight between two opponents, using the techniques learned from the kihons and katas.

    There are various types of Kumite:
    • Pre-defined (kihon kumite)
    • Flexible (jû kumite)
    • Without contact (kunde kumite)
    • Free (kumite juyû)

The different Karate styles present similar techniques, though some, like Sohotokan, apply linear punches and other include circular ones. Differences are more evident during Kata performances where postures differ: while some have long movements others do short forms.

The techniques may be summarized in the following categories (in Shotokan style):

A list of the techniques practiced in Shotokan style:

Dachi Waza
Fudo dachi Hachiji dachi Hangetsu dachi Heisoku dachi
Kiba dachi Kokutsu dachi Kosa dachi Neko ashi dachi
Renoji dachi Katashi dachi Tsuru ashi dachi Zenkutsu dachi
Yoi dachi Musubi dachi
Preparatory Positions
Koshi gamae Manji gamae Manji uke Ryoken koshi gamae
Morote koko gamae
Uke Waza
Using the Arms
Age uke Empi uke Chudan juki Gedan barai
Gedan morote barai Haiwan uke Juji uke Kaisho ake uke
Kaisho haiwan uke Kaisho juji uke Kakiwake uke Morote uke
Nagashi uke Osae uke Otoshi uke Shuto age uke
Shuto gedan barai Shuto uke Shuto mawashi uke Soto uke
Sukui uke Tate shuto uke Te osae uke Uchi ude uke
Uchi uke Uchi uke gyaku hanmi Ude barai Kami tsukami
Ushiro gedan barai
Using the Legs
Ashikubi kake uke Mika zuki geri uke Nami ashi Sokutei osae uke
Sokuto osae uke
Uchi Waza
Age empi Age tzuki Choku zuki Empi uchi
Gyaku zuki Haishu uchi Haito uchi Hisami zuki
Jun zuki Kagi zuki Kizami zuki Mae mawashi empi uchi
Mawashi empi Morote zuki Nakadaka ippon ken Nukite
Oi zuki Sanbon zuki Shuto uchi Shuto yoko ganmen uchi
Shuto sakotsu uchikomi Shuto sakotsu uchi Shuto hizo uchi Shuto jodan uchi uchi
Sokumen empi uchi Tate zuki Teisho furi uchi Teisho uchi
Tettsui uchi Tettsui hasami uchi Tettsui yoko uchi Uraken uchi
Uraken mawashi uchi Uraken sayu ganmen uchi Uraken hizo uchi Ushiro empi ate
Ura zuki Ushiro empi Yama zuki Awase zuke
Yoko empi Yoko tettsui Gyaku age zuki
Geri Waza
Ashi barai Fumikomi Hiza geri Kin geri
Mae-ashi mae geri Mae-ashi mawashi geri Mae geri Mae Hiza geri
Mae-ren geri Mae tobi geri Mawashi geri Mawashi hiza geri
Mikazuki geri Nidan tobi geri Tobi geri Tobi hiza geri
Tobi ushiro mawashi geri Ura mawashi geri Ushiro geri Ushiro mawashi geri
Ushiro kekomi Otoshi Mawashi Geri Yoko geri keage Yoko geri kekomi
Yoko tobi geri Yoko tobi gorai

Some of the most used techniques:

• Mawashi geri: a circular kick in the face
• Kisoni tsuki: a punch in the body
• Yoko-geri: a kick on side body
• Mae geri: a direct kick