Kihon means "basics" or "fundamentals". The term is used to refer to the basic techniques that are taught and practiced as the foundation of most Karate. The practice and mastery of Kihon is also essential to all advanced training, and includes the practice of correct body form and breathing, while practicing basics such as stances, blocks, punches, kicks and progress to combinations, usually in that order.
In our Goju Curriculum emphasis is placed on Kihon. Without correct basics a student will not progress. Kihon is practiced every lesson as "floor exercises", where the same technique or combination is repeated many times as students move back and forth, up and down the dojo floor.
A Kata is a pattern of movements which contains a series of attacking and blocking techniques. Kata were created and evolved by previous masters after many years of research, training, and actual combat experience. Goju Kai Kata originated from Chinese Kung Fu forms which were taught in Okinawa in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
Many of the Goju Ryu Kata names are Chinese numbers symbolizing certain Buddhist concepts. For example, the highest Kata in Goju Ryu, Suparinpei meaning the number 108 in Chinese, has a special significance in Buddhism.
Kumite means sparring, and is one of the three main sections of karate training. Kumite is when a Karateka practices skills against an adversary (partner), using the techniques learned from Kihon and Kata. Kumite can be used to develop a particular technique or a skill for example effectively judging and adjusting your distance from your opponent and applying correct timing for effectiveness of your footwork, blocks, strikes and kicks.