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"The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the characters of its participants."

Gichin Funakoshi

Karate practice is divided into three areas:

1. Kihon, consisting of basic blocks, punches, kicks and stances;
2. Kata, prearranged forms and movements simulating combat situations;
3. Kumite, sparring with an opponent.

In each category, the beginner is given instruction at the most basic level until the techniques become spontaneous. As the student progresses technically, he or she progresses physically as well, and advanced practices demand greater stamina. At this stage, the student becomes involved with more intricate and difficult katas and more dynamic forms of kumite. As the student approaches black belt level, technique, stamina, speed, and coordination become natural as a result of strong practice. It is at this stage that the serious student discovers that his or her study of karate has only just begun. The object of true karate practice is the perfection of oneself through the perfection of the art.