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Kihon (“basics / fundamentals”) are the individual movements and techniques themselves. In music, kihon takes the form of playing individual notes or chords. In karate, kihon takes the form of:

These basic lessons in this section are the most important; all other lessons are comprised of this material, and build upon it. As such, these skills must be constantly practiced and polished. Training is a journey without a destination. You can never be too good; but those without a solid understanding of the basics are doomed.

People who only read martial arts books and watch karate videos don’t know karate, they know of karate, and that’s not valuable. Knowing karate isn’t enough; you must become karate, just as a dancer becomes the dance. There is no time to think in the heat of the moment; karate must become a part of you, as you become a part of it. To develop this degree of muscle memory, you must train.

Training is nothing special, nothing magic -- but if you stick with it, you’ll see results. It’s that simple.