Kihon Waza - 基本技

Kihon Waza means 'fundamental' or 'basic' and 'techniques'. It is derived from the words Ki - 基, which means 'foundation' or 'root', Hon - 本, which means 'basis' or 'at the foot of' and Waza - 技, which means 'techniques'. A repetition of the same underlying meaning. This redundancy is an indication of the importance that the Japanese attach to mastering basic knowledge and skills in a Martial Arts discipline.

In almost every Dojo’s in the world, lessons are given in their own language, but with the use off Japanese Karate terms. A Karateka must make understand this, so that after hearing a term or a combination of terms, a position, punch or kick, they can perform the right technique or combinations. An extensive 'Budo Dictionary' (Japanese-Kanji-English) can be found at this link.

Kyokushin Kihon

In Mas Oyama's Kyokushin style of Karate, Kihon is an important part of the training. By performing Kihon with the right commitment you also show respect and discipline, both important characteristics for a Karateka. A lot of attention is therefore paid to the basic techniques and the execution of these techniques in a certain form. A large part of the training for beginners consists of the Warm-up and then Kihon. Also advanced and masters continue to practice and complete Kihon. This approach is in line with the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen - 改善, or continuous improvement. By frequent repetition of a technique in the Kihon one acquires a certain automatism. As a result Kata - 型 , ('shapes' or 'patterns') and Kumite - 組手 (‘sparring’) no longer needs to be considered about the proper execution of these techniques.

Mas Oyama stated that one should see Kyokushin Karate as a Martial Arts language that can be learned, in which Kihon are the letters of the alphabet, Kata the words and the sentences, and Kumite form the conversations. Together they form one; on these three rest all technique, speed, strength and progress in Karate. They should be studied as a whole: without the Kihon, basic techniques, there can be neither Kata nor Kumite.

To build a strong foundation for our Karate, we need to keep working. The Kihon of Karate is elaborated with different stances Dachi - 伎 and techniques, such as arm, hand and foot techniques. These come back to punches, kicks and blocks. To become a Karate master, you first and foremost have to learn these techniques and practice frequently. It teaches us how to develop an efficient, effective and powerful technique, by harnessing and pulling together the right muscle groups. It also trains us to stay connected to the floor, emphasizing correct use of the whole body in terms of posture Kamae - 構え, range and movement balance.

Kihon is also practiced as floor exercises, where the same technique or combination is repeated several times and the students move back and forth, Idō - 移動 (‘movement’), across the floor. Continuous repetition Keiko - 稽古 (with the aim to improve in relation to the Kaizen concept) teaches our body to move automatically, effortlessly and efficiently. Over time, the techniques become unconscious, rather than intentional mechanical movements. You do them without thinking, which frees your mind to be relaxed and experience the dynamics of that moment.

Therefore, whether it is the course of movement, the speed of movement, the strength of the movement, the required posture, the right musculature to use, the right form of breathing, all these factors include Kihon practice.

Within Kyokushin Karate, the synergy of the right position, the footwork, blocking and the final technique is essential, as well as:
- Kokyū - 呼吸 (‘breathing’),
- Hyōshi - 拍子 (‘timing’),
- Zanshin - 残心 (‘alertness’),
- Kime - 極め (‘focus’) and
- Kiai - 気合 (‘battle cry’).

Ashi Sabaki -足さばき

Perhaps the most important aspect of Kumite is Ashi-Sabaki -足さばき ('footwork'). It's the basics of Karate. Without good footwork you can't get better in Kumite.

Tai Sabaki - 体さばき is a Martial Arts term that translates to 'whole movement of the body'. It is about the controlled movement of the body and consists mainly of dodging an attack, such as a punch or kick, in such a way that the defender gets into a better position. It is a term that is widely used in and very important in Karate, Kendo, Taiki-ken and other Budostyles.

Renzoku Waza - 連続技

A first step towards Kata is Renzoku Waza (連続技), or follow-up techniques linked to a logical way of moving in Kihon.

Within Kyokushinkai this is also called Idō Geiko - 移動稽古, or practice of basis in motion. The Karateka performs one or more basic techniques in a given position and then move, after which he repeats these techniques. After a few times, he turns and the series is repeated. In this way, the Karateka refines its positions and balances, giving him insight into the use of the learned techniques in a more realistic context.

Renraku Waza - 連盟技

The step towards Kumite is Renraku Waza - 連盟技 or combination techniques in Kumite no Kamae. Ren - 連 ('a row'), Raku - 盟 ('repetition') and Waza - 技 ('techniques').

In combinations we can unite various techniques: defensive ones and aggressive ones, hand, foot and others - putting them togehter in any way, however conditioned their sensible using in fight.
In order of applying combinations is improvement already mastered (during Kihon) the techniques, and also the learning of strategy and tactics of fighting.