Contact Us

Contact: Simon Jennings
Telephone: 07786 445200

Class Times and Session Information

Monday: 7.00pm – 8.30pm - Sir John Hunt Community College Gym, Lancaster Gdns, Whitleigh, Plymouth PL5 4AA
Wednesday: 7.30pm – 9.00pm - Blisland Village Hall, Blisland, Bodmin, PL30 4JY

A 2nd nights training in Plymouth coming soon


At Plymouth Shotokan Karate Centre we structure our classes along the guidelines as laid down by the Japan Karate Association England to whom we are affiliated.

Each session normally involves some practice of kihon (techniques), kumite (sparring) and kata (pre-arranged forms). Some sessions will be based more exclusively on one or other of the 3 k's and sometimes are based on self defence scenarios.

All sessions start with a comprehensive warm up to ensure all elements of the body are stretched ready for training, from there each of the below training methods commence.

Kihon - This is the practice of basic karate techniques and the student will learn all the basic blocks, strikes, punches and kicks that make up the karatekas arsenal of weapons. Then as the student advances, combinations of these techniques are practiced. Also important in learning these techniques are the various stances that karate techniques are delivered from. Students will also learn how to develop their kime, which is so important in karate.

Kumite - This is sparring practice, where the student actually faces an opponent and practices the techniques that have been learnt. At first students will pratice gohon and sanbon kumite (3 or 5 step sparring), which is a pre arranged sequence of attacks and defence in order that the beginner may develop his/her sparring skills in a controlled safe manner. Later the student goes on to learn ippon kumite, one step sparring where more defence and attack moves are developed. Then the student goes on to practice semi free sparring where prearranged attacks are delivered from a moving, free stance. Once a student has developed the sufficient techniques, and self control, jiyu kumite, freestyle sparring can be practiced. Here any attack can be launched without warning, and all the elements learnt in the previous types of sparring such as timing, distancing, control, and speed all come into play. It is much like a boxing match but with all the elements of karate techniques utilised.

Kata - are a series of prearranged techniques of blocking, striking, punching and kicking, set in certain set sequences. Whilst performing the kata, the student should visualise the movements as though against multiple opponents. Each kata has a name, and will emphasise different characteristics. Some kata will develop a students' physical strength, others develop speed. All kata foster rhythm and coordination. All the techniques of karate are housed within the kata.

There are 26 kata practiced in the JKA Shotokan system today, although there are many more kata in existence. Kata have been practiced for centuries, and until relatively recently, it was the only form of practice for karate students. Many of the kata have been handed down over generations, and many were closely guarded secrets held by the school or ryu that developed them. Many of the kata came originally from China, others were developed by the Okinawan masters such as Azato and Itosu.

Of the three k's (kihon, kumite & kata), kata is probably the most important aspect of karate. Not only do they contain the whole multitude of karate techniques such as locks, grasping, kicks etc, but the student can exercise them fully without any control (unlike kumite) and can develop kime, zanshin (awareness), fluidity of movement, strength, stamina, in fact all the things that go to make a formidible karateka. It follows that someone who is good at kata, will naturally become good at kumite also.