Kihon is the performance of basic techniques, and is the foundation of all subsequent learning in karate. All students start karate by learning basic blocks, strikes, kicks, and stances. Over time, these moves are practiced repeatedly so they become second nature and fluid.
Kihon is taken very seriously and is taught very consistently in the dojo to ensure that correct technique is learned at the very beginning. Bad form in the basics leads to ineffective technique and injury, therefore much attention is given to correct kihon techniques throughout the curriculum.
Through continual refinement, kihon becomes central to learning the kata and drills, and in depth study will lead to more advanced techniques.