Karate is commonly known as a method of weaponless combat in which the exponents utilize the techniques of blocking, punching, striking, and kicking for the purpose of self defense. Karate training consists of three primary physical parts; Kihon, or fundamentals/basics; Kata, or formal exercises; and Kumite, or free-fighting.  The Japanese word "Karate-Do" translates as "the way of empty hand."  The word "kara" reflects not only empty hand or weaponless fighting, but also the state of the "empty mind" (mushin) which is sought after through disciplined training. "Te" refers to the hand, therefore Karate-Do means empty hand way or the way of the empty hand.

Further study of karate translates its deeper meaning nd that meaning is Love. Difficult for some to comprehend, however it deepest meaning is Love.
"Love is the greatest power there is".

Floor Mounted Makiwara FM


Basic techniques of stances, blocks, punches, strikes, kicks, and body-shifting skills are learned during this phase of practice.

Formal exercises of martial arts that have been passed down from past generations.  Kata consist of prearranged techniques of defense and counterattack executed against imaginary opponents.  Their purpose is to develop precision movement and smooth transitions through the various techniques as well as  to expand the student's familiarity with the almost infinite possibilities for their application.

Sparring is an exercise mimicking actual combat.  It is an opportunity for two students who wish to sharpen reflexive application of techniques using correct distance and timing.  Safety is stressed in that all techniques are stopped short of contact.

Basic Karate Moves Kihon Waza in Japanese, are the building blocks of all Karate techniques. From novice right through to master, Karate’s most important element and key to superior technique is to practice the basics.

Basic Karate Moves begin with:
1. The correct relationship between the feet and floor. Karate starts from the ground.
2. Use of the ankles, knees, legs and hips to create stable Karate Stances and powerful Karate kicks.
3. The effective use of the upper body; shoulders, back, arms, elbows and hands to produce dynamic Karate Strikes and Karate Blocks.
BasicDoes Not Mean Easy!
If you want to know how to learn Karate take a look, for example, at a perfect golf swing. It looks utterly simple but ask the golfer how she does it and she will tell you, basic practice!
But that's not all...
If you intend to start Karate or are looking for ways to improve what you already know...
remember one thing from this page...
Bad Karate = Basic Karate Moves Practiced Incorrectly
Great Karate = Basic Karate Moves Practiced Correctly
A little more attention to the Karate basics and your Karate will be special.

Are Karate Basics the Only Secret?
No. The basics by themselves are not enough. Practice will make perfect only if you practice the
right stuff the right way.
What you practice and how you practice are critical to your progress. You can get the ‘
what’ anywhere - children’s Karate programs, adult Karate programs, free online Karate lessons. These and thousands of Karate books will all show you what to do...very few will tell you in any detail how to actually do it.
What are the Basic Karate Moves?
The fundamentals of all Karate styles are: Stances, Strikes, Kicks, Punches and Blocks. Let’s take a look at these - beginning with Karate stances.

Karate Stances Dachi Kata
Karate stances are common to all types of Karate and Karate forms. They are far more than the
dramatic combat postures they appear to be. They keep the body balanced and stable and allow attacks and defences to be made with maximum effect.
The 3 main Karate Stances of Shotokan are;
Side stance Kiba Dachi
Back stance Kokutsu Dachi
Front stance Zenkutsu Dachi
Basic Karate moves become masterful techniques when the position of the feet, knees and hips all come together to create the right base. The move itself will determine which of the Karate stances is best for the situation.

Karate Strikes Uchi Waza
Practicing Karate stances brings stability and balance, it’s now time to learn some Karate strikes - arm strikes that is. For leg strikes see Karate kicks below.
The main joints of the arms and hands can be trained to become very effective striking surfaces.
Karate strikes are made with the;
- Front and back of the fist
- Outside edge of the closed hand
- Tips of the fingers (one or more together)
- Joints of the fingers
- Outside and inside edges of the open hand
- Palm of the hand near the wrist
- Point and ‘flat’ front and back of the Elbow
The Karate Chop
Of all Karate strikes the famous Karate chop is by far the most popular. When Karate first grabbed world attention in the 1960’s the Karate Chop became the signature move. Real name
shuto uchi the Karate chop appeared in movies and TV shows as a spectacular and devastating ‘skill’. In reality Karate kicks are more spectacular but the chop was much easier to fake.
For maximum effect, Karate strikes should have;
- Correct Tension in the striking surface
- Thrust
kime to strike deep and decisively, or
- Use of a fast snappy whip-like action to shock
- Use of the other arm as a counter action
- Straight wrist (usually)
Targets for Karate Strikes
Of the basic Karate moves
Karate strikes are the most versatile and the list of targets is endless. Students of all types of Karate train to maximize destructive power by targeting vulnerable parts of the body. Exposed areas of soft tissue ie the neck, throat, solar plexus and groin are primary targets.

Karate Kicks Geri Waza
Somehow Karate is not best known for its kicks which is crazy because good Karate kicks are
extraordinarily powerful.
For optimum effect a Karate kick relies on flexibility, a stable stance and good balance. The ball and the edge of the foot, the heel and the instep are all used as striking surfaces or ‘
weapons of the body’ in kicking.
Karate kicks are delivered with one foot on the floor or both feet in the air. They can come from any direction; front, side or back as a snap, a thrust, a turn, jump or a spin. Some creative ‘kickers’ have devised clever variations to standard Karate kicks.
Key Features
- Control of the knee
- Target and Speed (of course)
- Position of hips and direction of the standing leg
- Total stability and balance before, during and after the kick
More important than the actual kick
...is the return path and ‘
landing’. Even if a Karate kick reaches its target, it will lack destructive power if it is not withdrawn sharply. This ‘pull back’ hiki ashi in Japanese creates power in the same way as a whip does. It also gets the leg back under the kickers control and safely out of the opponents range.

Karate Punches Tsuki Waza
Karate punches are similar to strikes, but they can be discussed separately.
Of all the basic Karate moves, punches are practiced the most. They are taught from the very first lesson and repeated over and over in most classes.
For speed, most Karate punches take the shortest path to the target, a straight line.
The main point of impact of the Karate Punch are the two biggest knuckles of the fist.
Variations in Karate Punches
All Karate styles have slightly different ways of performing Karate punches. Some specialize in delivering maximum destructive force from a single punch, others rely on super-fast repetitive actions and some train to hit a precise target with ‘adequate’ force - just enough to subdue an adversary.
Karate punches are;
- Simple and natural to perform – anyone can make a fist
- Usually performed with both feet on the ground
- Versatile and easier to execute than kicks
Famous Japanese Karate Punchers
Keinosuke Enoeda, Morio Higaonna, Shigeru Kimura, Hideo Yamamoto

Karate Blocks Uke Waza

“Karate ni Sente Nashi”
There is no first attack in Karate (Maxim)
Karate blocks are used to defend against arm and leg attacks toward any part of the body. They have also been used effectively against weapons attacks. This is
not recommended.
Most Karate blocks are arm techniques done with a closed fist or open hand, but the legs (knees and feet) can also be trained to block.
Skillfully applied Karate blocks will
stop or deflect any direct attack no matter how quick or powerful it is.
An effective block will avoid a direct hit and give the person being attacked a precious split second to make a decisive counter attack or subdue the aggressor.
Timing of Karate Blocks
Of all the basic Karate moves, timing (more than speed) is critical to the success of Karate blocks. A block will fail if it doesn’t ‘
meet’ an attack at the right moment. Speed is essential too but it must be used ‘relative’ to the speed of the attack.
Turning Karate Blocks into Attacks
Karate blocks are usually followed by a decisive ‘
counter attack’. This switches the advantage back to the defender. Skilled Karateka can combine perfect timing with the right amount of power to turn Karate blocks into attacks. This is one of the benefits of long term training in the Karate basics.
Karate Blocks in a “Real” Situation
Outside of the dojo, Karateka don’t have the luxury of an opponent pausing to announce his attack. When someone trains correctly in the basic Karate moves there comes a point when there is no conscious decision to block. This is when Karate blocks become instinctive - and just as well because
they might just save your life!


Makiwara Guy, makiwara artist has trained in Shotokan Karate for over 35 years and first used a makiwara at Stan Schmidt's School of Karate in Johannesburg South Africa where Makwiara Guy started training in karate. Eventually Makwiara Guy was invited and a part of the early bird instructor training. Many years of training, study and passion for makiwara have produced makiwara's that Makiwara Guy produces in the Makiwara Shop. in Bradenton, Florida USA. Makiwara Guy has been a part of Rick Hotton Sensei's karate school in Sarasota, Florida since the mid 1980's and travels around the world with Rick Hotton Sensei teaching and encouraging.