Shotokan training is usually divided into three parts: kata (forms or patterns of moves), kumite (sparring) and, kihon (basics). Long stances that provide stability, enable powerful movements, and strengthen the legs. Techniques in kihon and kata are characterized by deep. Shotokan is often regarded as a 'hard' and 'external' martial art. A way that Shotokan is consider 'hard' and 'external' is because it is taught that way to beginners and colored belts to develop strong basic stances and techniques. Initially power and strength are demonstrated of slower, more flowing motions.   Those who progress to black and brown belt level develop a much more fluid style which incorporates grappling and some aikido-like techniques, which can be found in some of the black belt katas.Kumite techniques mirror these movements and stances at a basic level, but are less structured, with a focus instead on speed and efficiency.


 A set sequence of karate moves organized into a pre-arranged fight against imaginary opponents, is a way to describe Kata.

The Kata consists of blocks,punches, kicks, sweeps, throws, and strikes. 
Body movement in various kata includes turning, jumping, stepping, dropping to the ground, and twisting.
Individual karateka to practice full techniques—with every technique potentially a killing blow (ikken hisatsu)—while paying particular attention to form and timing (rhythm), like in Shotokan, kata is not a performance or a demonstration.
Promoting fitness while keeping the body soft, supple, and agile meaning more emphasis is placed on the health benefits of practicing kata, as the karateka grows older.
Lots of Shotokan groups have introduced other katas from other martial art styles into their training.


Sparring or Kumite (lit. Meeting of hands),  is the practical application of kata to real opponents.

While the techniques used in sparring are only slightly different than kihon, the formalities of kumite in Shotokan karate were first instituted by
Masatoshi Nakayama where in advanced, intermediate, and basic sparring techniques and rules were formalized.
 Kata bunkai then matures into controlled kumite. Shotokan practitioners first learn how to apply the techniques taught in kata to hypothetical opponents by way of kata bunkai.
Kumite is taught in ever increasing complexity from beginner through low grade blackbelt (1st - 2nd) to intermediate (3rd - 4th) and advanced (5th onwards) level practitioners. Kumite is the third part of the Shotokan triumvirate of kihon, kata and kumite.
Beginners first learn kumite through basic drills, of one, three or five attacks to the body (chudan) or to the head (jodan) with the defender stepping backwards whilst blocking and only countering on the last defence.
These drills use basic (kihon) techniques and develop a sense of timing and distance in defence against a known attack.
At around intermediate level karateka learn one-step sparring (ippon kumite).
Though there is only one step involved, rather than three or five, this exercise is more advanced because it involves a greater variety of attacks and blocks usually the defenders own choice.
Counter-attacks may be almost anything, including strikes, grapples, and take-down manoeuvres.
It also requires the defender to execute a counter-attack faster than in the earlier types of sparring.
Free sparring (jiyu kumite), which is where two training partners are free to use any combination or technique of attacks and the defender at any moment is free to counter, attack, avoid or block with any karate technique.
Training partners are encouraged to make focused and controlled contact with their opponent, but to withdraw their attack as soon as surface contact has been made.
This allows a full range of target areas to be attacked (including kicks and punches to the head, body, and face) with no padding or protective gloves, but maintains a degree of safety for the participants. 
Usually in most kumite or sparring matches you would usually have head, feet, and fists gear, also a mouth piece, but sometimes when you watch black belts spar they only have a mouth gard and fists gard.
Throwing one's partner and performing
takedowns are permitted in free sparring, but it is unusual for competition matches to involve extended grappling or ground-wrestling, but it is unusual for that but not for this if they fall down or slip, as Shotokan karateka are encouraged to end an encounter with a single attack (ippon), also there could be more then one attack.
This is introduced at intermedate level which is about blue belt level,this starts in a similar manner to freestyle one-step sparring; the attacker names the attack she/he will execute, attacks with that technique, and the defender blocks and counters the attack.
Kumite within the dojo often differs from competition kumite. In dojo kumite any and all techniques, within reason, are valid; punches, knife hand strikes, kicks, backhand, etc. 
In competition certain regulations apply, certain techniques are valid, and certain target areas, such as the joints or throat, are forbidden.
The purpose of competition is to score points through the application of kumite principles while creating an exciting and competitive atmosphere, whereas the purpose of training kumite in the dojo is to be prepared to kill or cripple an opponent in a realistic situation, but not for real meaning fake.


Kihon or basics is the practice of basic techniques in Shotokan Karate.

Kihon Kata, or Taikyoku Shodan, was developed by Yoshitaka Funakoshi, the son of Gichin Funakoshi, as a basic introduction to karate kata.