There are several Kihon
sets to learn. All the sets (like basics) are derived from Shotokan Kata. As you advance in your training, with each grade you learn a new set. Each set introduces a variation of attack and defence.
For example, one of the first sets you are likely to come across, is Gohon Kumite. This is a sequence of five Jodan Oi Zuki
(upper-level stepping-punches), performed one after another, while stepping forward. Each punch is met by Age Uke
(upper-rising block), performed, while stepping backwards, to counter the attack, finishing with a counter-punch (Gyaku Zuki) after the last defence. The initial attack is carried out with the attacker in formal Zenkutsu Dachi
stance, while the defender stands in Shizentai.
Sounds easy? Next time you're in the Dojo, try it - at high-speed! Believe me, it's not as simple as it sounds.
Other sets (there are 5 main ones, in addition to the above) mix combinations of attacks, defences, and counter-attacks. For example, the Chudan
(middle-level) attack from Set 4 is a stepping punch (nice and simple). But the defence and counter-attack is a combination: Shuto Uke, Kizami-Geri, Nukite
(look up the words for yourself in the Karate Dictionary on this website). And remember, all sets are performed from both sides, left and right.
Both left-hand and right-hand attacks and defences must be learned, and 5 different attacks Jodan Zuki, Chudan Zuki, Mae Geri, Kekomi Geri, and Mawashi Geri,
are involved from Set 3 onwards.