It is vital for the practitioner of Karate to understand the role of Kihon, Kata, and Kumite training. The principles that govern these three distinct training methods are identical. Their uniqueness is found in how these principles are expressed. Metaphorically speaking the practitioner can view the various Kihon of Karate, as "letters" of the alphabet. Continuing with this metaphor Kata would therefore be the "words" of the English language, and Kumite would be "poetry".

The Japanese word Kihon translated into English means “Base, foundation, or basis”. Therefore it can be poetically stated that the practice of Kihon will provide a solid foundation to which the practitioner can build their Karate upon.

In Karate there are numerous expressions that support the philosophy of using a single decisive movement to finish the opponent. Ikken Hissatsu translates as “To kill with a single blow”. Ichigeki Hissatsu means to use “A single killing punch or kick”. Ippon Kowashi no Waza states “One technique, total destruction”. The novice of Karate may therefore ignorantly rationalize that the goal of Kihon training is a reflection of this mentality. Tangibly the benefit of Kihon training will provide the practitioner with effective and efficient biomechanics. Conceptually the philosophy of defeating our opponent in a single decisive movement goes much deeper.

The practitioner will exert an enormous amount of effort into perfecting the Kihon of Karate. Their pursuit requires sacrifice and commitment on a daily basis. It is this daily struggle for perfection, that shapes our charachter. The practitioner’s plight for perfection may be summed up by the adage, “Focus on the journey not the destination”. Thus the goal of defeating an opponent in a single decisive movement is merely a conduit for the refinement of our character. 

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