KUMITE (sparring)

Yaksoku kumite:
Yaksoku kumite is sparring in all its various forms.
Pre arranged sparring is broken down into three disciplines
a) Sanbon kumite
b) Ippon kumite
c) Jiyu ippon kumite

Sanbon kumite (3 step sparring)
Is the most basic form of sparring, both attacker (tori) and defender (uke) know beforehand which of them is going to attack and with what technique

The attacker is restricted to using a specified attack and the defender must respond with a specific counter

This type of training teaches distance and timing, both, which are essential to the higher form of sparring

Ippon kumite (1Step sparring)
After training with single techniques more complicated technical combination attacks are introduced

The attacker can use two or even three moves and the defender has to nullify each one, finally delivering their own defence.

At first the attack/response sequences are simple, but as the Karateka becomes more experienced the modus operandi become more complex. Although the attack/defence are always agreed beforehand they are performed more naturally and realistically from a fighting stance.

jiyu ippon kumite
More advanced combination and kumite allows the defender to use any response to a pre set attack

Combinations (renraku waza) are a series of basic techniques joined together in such a way as to teach the karateka fluidity

Through repeated preparation our body develops a memory to any given situation  this is known as a reflex action.

Jiyu Kumite (free sparing)
This is the penultimate stage in karate, when you and your partner can regard each other as opponents. The techniques you use against each other are delivered at random, with control, by either of you at your discretion

Jiyu kumite should only be practised by those grades capable of forming correct karate weapons and of controlling the force used

An opening occurs when your opponent begins their attack. This is when they are most vulnerable and have little defence; they are concentrating solely on the attack and should be attacked instantly.

To create an opening, use a feint to cause a reaction, e.g. kick high, punch low, punch high kick low, a continuous attack using techniques of various levels can often break down an opponent s defence and create an opening.

Karate Competition

How competitions are run

This part is particularly relevant to the aspiring competition fighter, since there are many rules and regulations, plus different scoring systems and some of them are complex and some are suddenly changing I will only give a brief overview.

  Competition area
The area is a square, flat matted surface with 8 metre sides. The area is marked out either in tape or the boundaries marked by different coloured mats. Around the perimeter there should be a one metre escape area , and a further one-metre safety zone . The competitors starting points are on one metre lines, usually taped onto the surface, each of them 1½ m from the centre of the area.

The refereeing Panel consists of:
1 Referee (SHUSHIN)
3 Judges (FUKUSHIN)
1 Arbitrator (KANSA)

The referee is in charge of the area and is the one who runs the matches. The judges assist him by only signalling for points that they clearly see.

The official scorer keeps a written record of the points for the competition; the timekeeper is equipped with a stopwatch or clock. He stops the clock when the referee halts the match and restarts it as soon as the referee resumes until the ¬end of the bout.

He gives a warning by bell or buzzer when 10 seconds of the bout remain and gives a longer ring to denote the end of the match.

Duration of bouts are defined as 3 minutes for senior male and 2 minutes for women, junior and cadets and 3minutes in the bouts for medal placings.

Match procedure(see Fig 1)
The referee calls the two competitors together onto the area.To differentiate between them Ou wears a blue belt and blue mitts and Aka wears a red belt and red mitts.

The competitors enter the area; take up position on their marks and bow (rei) to each other. The match is begun by the referee calling Shobu hajime  (match begins).

When the referee wants to halt the match temporarily or bring it to a close he calls yame  (stop)

At the end of the bout the referee ¬announces the winner by raising the appropriate arm above shoulder height in the direction of the victor. The contestants then bow again to each other before leaving the area.