Video: Renshu Ni Kumite

Renshu Kumite Ni is the second of two prearranged sequences (yakusoku randori kumite) developed by Hanshi Masayuki Kukan Hisataka to assist karatedo students to refine their favorite techniques into effective sequences utilizing both offensive and defensive strategies.

In fact, the two renshu kumite were created by Hanshi Hisataka in 1963, shortly after his arrival in New York, and stemmed from his observations after teaching classes of non-Japnese for the first time. He observed that, in general, western sports favored lateral motion over angular motion, and thus one of the prime aims of the renshu kumite ni is to emphasize angular motion.

An unique feature of the renshu kumite ni is that it was the first kumite created for the purpose of developing basic techniques used in competition. Prior to that time. kumite was the application of techniques from kata and the sankakutobi kumite. However, such application techniques were extremely intricate and more valuable in the development of real fighting strategies for life and death situations, as well as total physical, mental, and technical development. Renshu kumite ni (literally meaning kumite “practice”) is a scientifically developed fighting training method that can also serve as preparation for the higher level application kumite.

Renshu kumite ni emphasizes techniques of the rear hand and foot, as opposed to renshu kumite ichi, which emphasizes front hand and foot attacks. In addition, renshu kumite ni also emphasizes the succeeding step (tsugi ashi) and 45 degree angular motion. In effect, this implies escaping to the opponent’s blind spot and aids in deflecting the force of a direct attack. In this way, counterattacks are achieved in a circular motion. Accordingly, what commences as linear motion becomes angular motion, and finally, circular motion.

To practice renshu kumite ni, the karateka should bear in mind the intended target, the optimum technique, the manner of delivering that technique, the distance required to effectively deliver that technique, the timing required, and how to recover from the delivery. In this way, the karateka transcends mere technique and utilizes the three minds (mittsu no kokoro) of zenshin, tsushin and zanshin.