Kihon, kata and kumite

These fundamental practices in training karate-do, encompass the technical and practical study of the martial art. The path to mastery begins with fundamentals.

Mae geri - yoko geri - mawashi geri - ushiro geri - gyaku zuki

Kihon, kata and kumite


Kihon refers to the basic techniques and movements of karate, including strikes, kicks, blocks, and footwork. It is the foundation upon which all other aspects of karate-do are built.


A choreography of attacking & defensive techniques. Practice and executing a kata combines knowledge of form with an understanding of how techniques are applied in combat.

Gojushiho Sho



Sparring, or fighting, with a partner. Kumite exercises techniques in simulated combat, to test and improve reflexes, strategy, and tactics.

Freestyle sparring

Training safely

Training safely

WSKU instructors are hyper-vigilant when it comes to safety in the dojo. This applies to sparring, partner drills and even stretching & warming up.

Safety is paramount

A strict code of conduct prevents accidental injury because a safe environment is crucial for everyone from new beginners & kids to experienced dan-grades and senior adults.

Our policies for safe and considerate training are compliant with all guidelines prescribed by the Welsh Karate Governing BodySport Wales, and World Karate Federation.

Our instructors take safety extremely seriously, possess coaching credentials and are qualified and experienced in all areas needed to ensure students practice correctly and train responsibly.

Safe conduct is enforced in & around the dojo, before, during and after training.

  • Neither students nor instructors use full contact, ours is a light-contact style.
  • Protective training aids are used when appropriate.
  • We insist on correct techniques that avoid straining or damaging joints unnecessarily.
  • Classes begin with proper warm-up and stretching, which is emphasised in every session.

Common questions answered

What if I don't have equipment?

It's not essential to have your own equipment (and certainly not for beginners). The main item to consider is your gi, but only when you feel comfortable and wish to attend classes more regularly.

How fit must I be to train karate?

At our dojo, we only train within what our body and fitness levels allow. You'll begin training at a comfortable level, and once you're in a groove, it's easy to increase the physicality and start pushing the work rate. Regular training will boost your journey back to fitness.

How long does it take to reach black belt?

3 years is the shortest it would take to attain your 1st dan (black belt) in Shotokan karate with WSKU. Assuming you train regularly enough to pass every one of the 10 grading assessments during that time.

Anyone mid-way along this journey will realise that achieving their 1st dan, merely shows they have grasped the basics of karate-do. Achieving 1st dan signals to your instructors (and the rest of the dojo) that you are ready to learn the deeper and more sophisticated aspects of applied karate.

Knowledge and skills we develop as colour grades (kyu-grades) equip us to just begin to understand the complexities of techniques, stances, combinations and strategies for attack & defence.