Below is an extract from the SSU UK Members Handbook. For complete information on basic techniques see your handbook.
All Karateka should avail themselves with a handbook which is available through Sensei Denis Casey (see Contacts page).
The handbook must be used alongside your dojo training and this website is to be used as an aid only and not instead of your training.
Kihon (Training in basic technique)
Kihon is the practice of fundamental techniques; blocking, punching, kicking and striking. These techniques are the beginning and end of Karate, a karateka (Karate practitioner) may learn them in a matter of months, yet fail to master them after a lifetime of training. Hence, basic techniques demand regular practice, applied with as much concentration and effort as possible.
The karateka must practice Kihon with the following in mind.
Balance and stability are necessary to basic techniques. Kicking in which one leg supports the entire body is an example of technique that depends on the karateka's sense of balance. Karate technique involves shifting the body's centre of gravity, which demands balance and control of the body. In addition the karateka requires stable joints, stances and posture to deliver (or withstand) maximum impact in (or from) a blow.
Power and Speed
Karate would be meaningless without 'kime' the ability to concentrate the greatest amount of force at the point of attack (or block).
Those with great muscular strength do not excel at karate, if they never learn to use their muscles to the greatest effect. The karateka who excels does so by maximizing his/her muscular power through kime. In addition, the karateka's power is directly related to the speed of his/her technique. However, speed is ineffective without proper control.
Concentration and Relaxation
The karateka cannot generate maximum power if his/her punches rely on the arm muscles alone, or his/her kicks on the leg muscles alone.
The greatest level of power comes from concentrating all of the karateka's strength, from every part of the body, on the target. In addition the karateka must generate power efficiently, using power when and where it is needed most, at the point of impact. Until then the karateka should remain relaxed but mentally alert.
The hips are a crucial, yet often neglected component in executing Karate techniques. Hip rotation adds power to the upper body, and is thus essential to strong blocks and punches.
The hip's proximity to the body's centre of gravity make them the foundation of strong, stable movements, good balance and proper form. For this reason, teachers often remind their students to "block with your hips", "punch with your hips" and "kick with your hips".
The karateka should co-ordinate breathing with his/her techniques. Breathing enhances the karateka's ability to relax and concentrate maximum power into his/her techniques. Correct breathing by properly exhaling when finishing a strike for example, is necessary to develop kime.
The karateka should not breathe in a uniform manner; his/her breathing should change with the situation. Proper inhaling fills the lungs completely. 'Proper' exhaling leaves the lungs about 20% full; exhaling 'completely' makes the body limp, leaving it vulnerable to even weak attack.