Kumite

Kumite is that part of karate practice that refers to the practice of fighting or combat.  We often call it sparring.

According to Wikipedia, "Sparring is a form of training common to many combat sports. Although the precise form varies, it is essentially relatively 'free-form' fighting, with enough rules, customs, or agreements to minimize injuries."

Goju ryu kumite is generally classified in three separate types of activity or practice:

  1. Yakusoku kumite, or prearranged techniques performed with a partner.  These are known in practice as "one-steps;"
  2. Jiyu kumite, also known as Ippon (point) kumite.  This is the sport fighting you see in tournaments or on TV, where one contestant is awarded a point for what would be a disabling blow.
  3. Freestyle kumite, or full contact hand-to-hand combat. No rules. Just survive and win. This is NOT a part of the GKK/traditional practice, though some instructors may introduce aspects of it.  Protective equipment is required for full contact.

Jiyu kumite sparring is practiced without keeping score or tracking points, but as a method of developing technique and becoming accustomed to fighting.  It is practiced SLOWLY (slow motion to half-speed) at first, one side attacking slowly and the other blocking gently (if at all) to allow attacker to develop technique and targeting.

Remain relaxed.  Keep guard up with wrists on center line at all times. (Center line is that vertical line running through your center of gravity to floor, so your fists stay between you and your opponent.)   Do not turn your back on your opponent.

Punches and kicks are pulled back at impact (no penetration/light contact). No contact to head, face.  No techniques to throat, groin or lower body unless prearranged. Foot/leg sweeps, reaps and throws are permitted.

DO NOT BLOCK FORCEFULLY IN SLOW MOTION/HALF-SPEED SPARRING TO AVOID INJURY.

One-Steps (Yakusoku Kumite)

One-steps are prearranged movements with a partner used to train in technique application, body distancing and preparation for jiyu kumite.

Basic sparring preparation

Both partners stand facing each other in ready position (yoi). One is the attacker. One is the defender (uke).

As taught by Chairman Yakamura, attacker first steps forward into right sanchin dachi, then left sanchin dachi, fists remaining down by sides.  Then comes the attack.

Techniques will be pulled (meaning making light contact to the body). No contact to face of head, stopping 1" away from target.

Emphasis is on good technique, strength and focus.  Body distancing is crucial to enable practitioners to begin understanding how to adjust their position/stance relative to opponent to avoid attack and maximize striking/kicking technique.

Basic sparring #1

Attacker steps into right zenkutsu dachi (front stance) and punches upper body toward defender's face.

Defender steps from ready position back into left sanching dachi, blocking the incoming strike with a left age uke (rising block).

Then defender punches with right arm to attacker's face (pulling punch before contact).

Defender keeps right arm extended throughout the block and counter-attack.

Basic sparring #2

Attacker steps into right zenkutsu dachi (front stance) and punches middle body toward defender's midsection.

Defender steps with right foot from ready position back into left shiko dachi (horse stance), blocking the incoming strike with a left chudan uke (middle block).

Then defender rotates hips toward attacker into left zenkutsu dachi and punches with right arm to attacker's solar plexus.

Defender keeps right arm extended throughout the block and counter-attack.

Basic sparring #3

Attacker steps into right zenkutsu dachi (front stance) and punches downward toward the knot on defender's belt.

Defender steps with right foot from ready position back into left shiko dachi (horse stance), blocking the incoming strike with a left harai otoshi uke (lower circular block).

Then defender rotates hips toward attacker into left zenkutsu dachi and punches with right arm to attacker's solar plexus. Defender keeps right arm extended throughout the block and counter-attack.

Other combinations

Combo 1.

Attacker steps into right zenkutsu dachi (front stance) and punches middle body.

Defender steps back into left sanchin, blocking with right fure uke (outside in block with forearm).

Defender steps forward with right foot into sanchin dachi, striking attacker's face with right backfist (elbow down).


 

Combo 2.

Attacker steps into right zenkutsu dachi (front stance) and punches lower body.

Defender steps back into left sanchin, blocking with right fure uke (outside in block with forearm).

Defender secures attacking arm and strikes right furi uchi (wielding or swinging strike/punch) to defender's head (temple).


 

Combo 3.

Attacker right punch to middle body.

Defender steps back into left cat's foot stance (neko ashi dachi), blocking left kake uke.

Defender shifts weight to right foot and kicks left sokuto/kansetsu geri to hip joint of opponent's front leg.


 

Combo 4.

Attacker steps in, punches middle body.

Defender steps forward and blocks left kake uke.

Defender strikes right shuto to attacker's temple.


 

Combo 5.

Attacker steps in, punches middle body

Defender blocks left chudan uke.

Simultaneously mae geri to attacker's navel (middle body just above knot of belt).


 

Combo 6.

Middle body attack

Defender steps back into left sanchin, blocking left chudan uke.

Defender secures arm, steps forward into right side horse stance (high) and strikes palm up to the right (attacking) side of attacker's head with a ridge hand (palm up).


 

Combo 7. With Take Down

Attacker steps in and punches middle body with right arm.

Defender steps foward into left zenkutsu dachi on approximately 45 degree angle to avoid oncoming leg, blocking with nagashi uke (sliding block).

Defender steps in with right foot into a high zenkutsu dachi so his right foot is deep into outside of attacker's stance/right leg, approximately beneath groin.

Defender simultaneously attacks with right ridge hand to left side of attacker's neck .

Defender slides right hand around neck to control attacker, then rotes body to left (shifting weight to left leg at same time) and taking attacker to the ground. (Note to secure the gi and hold arm to keep attacker from hitting floor with force.)

 

Jiyu Kumite (example)

Jiyu-kumite training Yamamoto, Imamura, Naka

Chairman Yamakura fighting Chuck Norris.

From GKK: Close in techniques

Close-in Fighting Concepts – Techniques, Timing, Distancing. Greg Dodge. December, 2003