After years of Karate training, the best thing about Karate is you can always learn something new. No matter how much you train or how many things you learn, there is always room to improve and learn something new.
I recently had a class where my Sensei, Sensei Noia, had us work on a basic kata, Taikioku Shodan, in three different ways.
Taikyoku Shodan with kicks
The idea is to do the kata, and after each move, you add a rear leg kick and put the kicking leg back down behind you, then step into the following technique with a kick after each move. It goes as follows:
Downward block to your left, front snap kick with your rear leg and put it back behind you
Step and front punch, front snap kick with your rear leg and put it back behind you
Continue this for all 20 moves. You can also change up the kicks by doing roundhouse kicks or side thrust kicks instead of front snap kicks.
Taikyoku Shodan with spinning kicks
The next variation was doing the kata with a spinning back kick after each technique.
Downward block to your left, spinning back kick with your rear leg and it back behind you.
Step and front punch, spinning back kick with your rear leg and put it back behind you.
Again, continue this for all 20 moves. When putting the leg back behind, you can kick and pull it back the same way it came or follow through with it, doing a full 360 and still putting it down behind you.
Taikyoku Shodan with an extra punch
The third variation adds a punch to each move.
Downward block to your left, reverse punch, and downward block again
Step and punch, reverse punch, and front punch again
Continue this for all 20 moves and work at doing it smoothly as you progress.
Many options for good kata training
Now you have three new options for your basic kata training, and I am sure you can come up with more. Let me know in the comments if you have ideas for other basic kata options.