The most basic karate techniques are the three stances: side, back and front. Correctly done, these stances maintain the body's balance and stability, which enables the fighter to attack and defend with a maximum range of movement.
Strikes and kicks form the core of karate. They provide versatile and powerful attacks that target the vulnerable soft tissues of the body. The basic karate blocks are useful in defending against arm and leg strikes. Blocks are often followed by a counterattack.
One of the most famous karate strikes is the chop, known as the shuto uchi. TV and movies portray it as the most devastating and spectacular move, which is not entirely inaccurate. The shuto uchi is the most versatile strike, able to be aimed at virtually any target of the body. However, kicks are generally more powerful and difficult to avoid.
Practice the basics until the movements become more fluid and response time improves. The basic techniques of karate, known as kihon, are drilled extensively in dojos because it is crucial to begin learning karate with a strong foundation. Improper form can lead to injury as techniques grow more advanced. In addition, kihon serves as the foundation for learning the katas and drills.