This is roughly translated to mean basic four way exercise.  Kihon-Yon-Dosa allows us to practice the five major blocks stepping forward and backwards.


The blocks are done is this order:

  1. Gedan-Barrai
  2. Age-Uke
  3. Soto-Uke
  4. Uchi-Uke
  5. Shute-Uke


Starting from Soto-Hachi-Dachi, step forward with your left leg into Zenkutsu-Dahci and block with Gedan-Barrai.  Follow up with Gyaku-Zuki and return to Soto-Hachi-Dachi. On the second count, step forward with your right leg and repeat the block and punch as before, then step back up into Soto-Hachi-Dachi. For count three, step back with your right leg into Zenkutsu-Dachi and block with Gedan-Barrai on your left side and follow up with Gyaku-Zuki.  Repeat this on the right side for the final count.

Repeat this pattern another four times so that you have covered all the five major blocks listed above.

It is important to note that Shute-Uke must be done in Kokutsu-Dachi.  With each count, from Soto-Hachi-Dachi drop into Kokutsu-Dachi for the block and then step into Zenkutsu-Dachi for Gyaku-Zuki.  Make sure you don’t step forward, but step to the side and transfer your weight to your front foot.  Maintain the same front leg from Kokutso Dachi.

Kihon-Yon-Dosa – Slow

Kihon-Yon-Dosa – Fast

Mix things up

Pick any move or technique from any kata and use the exercise to practice it.  For example, take the third move in Heian Shodan and put that in Kihon-Yon-Dosa.  Step forward with your left leg and execute Gedan-Barrai, hammer fist, then Oi-Zuki.  Step back to Soto-Hachi-Dachi and repeat on the other side. Once you’ve done this a few time, go back to the Kata.


Chidokan Karate-Do Training Manual (1982) – Kyoshi Sensei John Clutterbuck


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