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Shotokan Karate Academy

Class Curriculum

What are the classes like?

We teach both children and adults at Shotokan Karate Academy with separate classes for each. Within our youth program we offer many different levels of instruction, with each class level being suited to the age, ability and receptiveness of its particular members. Our beginner youth classes are quite different from our advanced youth classes, allowing us to provide specialized attention to beginners as well as more challenging material to our advanced students. Our youth classes provide a supportive, friendly, and inviting atmosphere while remaining one of the more structured youth programs in the state of Maine.

We offer two levels of adult classes that accommodate the beginner up through the most dedicated black belt practitioner. Our adult instruction has a common sense approach that provides faster paced instruction for the young, flexible, and strong, while allowing the “mature” beginner to fully participate according to each individuals own unique abilities and limitations.

Also, we offer a very popular class specifically for special needs adults. This very special group is enthusiastic, and they love coming to karate year after year. All are warmly welcomed regardless of ability or aptitude.

A typical class format includes:

Kihon (Basics, fundamentals), Karate is built upon a strong foundation of basic movements that include specific stances, punches, blocks, and kicks. Proper body alignment, breathing, and fluid movement are emphasized, as are concentration of energy and mental focus. These basic fundamentals are practiced during every training session by every level of karateka (karate student).




Kata (form, pattern, mold), The prearranged formal exercises of karate, are its very essence. They are sequences of movements which simulate attacks and defenses against a number of imaginary opponents. Kata contain all the basic techniques and stances, which are necessary to attain rhythm and coordination. Each kata begins with a block to emphasize the use of karate strictly for self-defense. They can be roughly divided into two types: those that emphasize muscle strengthening and body building, and those that concentrate more on speed training and the development of lightning fast reflexes.




Kumite (Sparring) According to Master Funakoshi, kumite is “…a form used to apply the offensive and defensive techniques practiced in the kata under more realistic conditions in which, by prearrangement between the participants, one applies offensive and the other defensive techniques.” In other words, where the practice of kata assumes an imaginary opponent, kumite is practiced with another karateka in alternating roles of defender and aggressor. 

Kumite allows the practical application of the moves found in the kata. Contact is not allowed during kumite, affording students the opportunity to safely learn proper distancing, timing, body-shifting, and focus. Kumite always begins and ends with sparring partners bowing to one another as an indication of respect, and to show appreciation for each student helping the other improve.

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