What is Shotokai

Shotokai Karate differs much from Shotokan (the most widespread Karate) in that it rejects competition altogether, feeling that it compromises Karate itself. Kata are generally the same as other forms of karate, although Shotokai often emphasizes smooth flowing movements rather than the sharp snappy movements of other styles. Kumite (sparring) in some Shotokai schools is practiced with full strength attacks, and is tightly controlled in terms of who is attacking and defending and the attacks that can be performed in order to reduce the chance of injury.

Karate can be broken down into 3 areas:

  • - Detailed choreographed patterns of movements.
  • Kumite
    - Controlled sparring.
  • Kihon
    - Practising of the core fundamental techniques.
Kyle Karate Shotokai Kata

These 3 training methods should be practiced in the same manner, i.e. how you move block and attack should be exactly the same in Kumite, Kihon and Kata.

Kata brings all core techniques together and combines them into flowing movements. Timing is synchronised to the person at the front of the Kata group.

To find out more about Kata visit the Kata section.


Karate Terms


  • Zenkutsu
    - Front stance: back leg straight, feet shoulder width.
  • Kokutsu
    - Back stance: weight on back leg, hip above ankle, feet in line.
  • Kiba dachi
    - Horse riding stance.
  • Fudo dachi
    - Immovable stance, back leg as in kiba dachi, front leg as in zenkutsu.

Stances Diagrams: the arrow denotes in what direction the head faces.

Areas of body

  • Gedan
    - Lower torso, stomach.
  • Chudan
    - Middle torso, chest.
  • Jodan
    - Throat and head.


  • Gedan Barai
    - Lower level block.
  • Age-uke
    - Upper level block (throat/head).
  • Ude-uki
    - Fist shoulder height, elbow 90%, inside to out.
  • Uch-komi
    - Fist shoulder height, elbow 90%, outside to in.
  • Teisho
    - Heel of hand inside to out.
  • Shuto
    - Edge of hand.

Strikes with hand/elbow

  • Oizuke
    - Front punch, same hand, same foot.
  • Gyakuzuke
    - Punch with back hand.
  • Empi
    - Strike with elbow.


  • Mae-geri
    - Front snap kick.
  • Keagi
    - Side snap kick.
  • Kekomi
    - Side thrust kick.
  • Fumakomi
    - Downward stamp/ thrust to shin.
  • Mawashi
    - Roundhouse kick.

For those new to karate and martial arts we hold beginners classes on Tuesday evenings. This practice is orientated towards beginners to give them the basic skills before joining the other classes. If however you have difficulty attending on a Tuesday beginners can be easily incorporated into any of our other classes. It is our experience that beginners can sometimes feel awkward practicing with more experienced higher grades, so we have made Tuesday a night for them to learn the basics and reach a level where they do not feel out of place.

As a club, from instructors down we welcome beginners to any practice. But we recognise that some people prefer to practice with other beginners till they become more competent in the basic skills.

Our Tuesday beginners class is at Kyle Academy, off Holmston Road, Ayr. 7.30-9.30pm in the small gym. Please feel free to just turn up, or give us a call first. You are more than welcome to come along to any of our practices to watch and ask any questions you may have. We will be happy to give you any information you require and demonstrate what we are about.

if you are new to Karate and want to know the basics and what to expect, visit the Starting Out section.

To view our practice and course schedule visit the Locations and Schedules section.