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Kumite, or pre-arranged fighting form, represents an integral aspect unique to the study of Shorinjiryu. Offensive and defensive fighting in a “promised” sequence enable the participants to develop timing, distance and power in safe manner. Materiala are posted on a scheduled basis. Please come back and check again.

Definition And Purpose Of Kumite

Kumite is an exchange of offensive techniques, defensive techniques and motions between two, and sometimes several karate practitioners. It is another form of practice of the art of Karatedo. Like kata, it has been developed and codified by great Masters as a way of learning how to use karatedo techniques in real fighting situations, when facing one or several opponents.

If kata teaches the theory of karatedo, then kumite teaches the application of theory. In kumite, one learns how and when to attack and counterattack with a single technique or a combination of techniques. The practice of kumite leads to an understanding of all the basic principles of karatedo. Like kata, kumite develops body and foot movements, expansion and contraction of motions, control of breathing as a source of power, concentration of force and stamina. Moreover, kumite develops a sense for the proper distance (maai), timing, reflexes, fighting strategies (senjutsu), and the psychological factors involved in an encounter with an actual opponent. The proper distance is one that is dictated by circumstance such as size, strength and technical level of the opponent. The timing of the attack, body movement and counterattack mean the precise moment at which the technique must be executed. Good reflexes are required in order to be able to feel your opponent and reach him with a lightening-fast technique. Kuzushi is concerned with creating an opportunity to attack or counterattack, such as opening up the opponent’s guard. The psychological factors involved in kumite are not only the fighting spirit, courage, and confidence in one’s own ability, but also to take the initiative toward one’s opponent, to anticipate his actions, and to develop a sixth sense with which to really feel not only the opponent’s actions but also his mind and mental attitude.

Unlike kata, in kumite one is pressed by an opponent so that its practice is more strenuous. There is an emulation between the two partners who are, in fact, helping each other to achieve greater results in the art of karatedo. This attitude is conductive to a mutual understanding of, and respect for each other, and thus becomes a source of harmony with others at large.

In ancient China, prearranged kumite were devised as a means of practicing the best proven techniques in a safe way by determining, in advance, the roles of attacker and defender and the number and types of techniques to be used, etc.

In Shorinjiryu Kempo this form of practice was called jaoshu (meaning “crossing hands” or “exchange of techniques”) or dashu (interspersing of blows). The Chinese art of Tai Chi Chuan, in Japanese toishu (testing the techniques or hands), is a practice of consistently alternately pushing and pulling and opponent to develop a feeling for his body motion, strength and ki.

In Okinawa, and then in Japan, kumite became known as kumiai jutsu or kumi uchi, but was mainly used to complement kata training as a means of explaining the techniques displayed in kata. In the modern day, Shinan Kori Hisataka, founder of Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo, developed a completely original form of yakusoku randori kumite (prearranged form of kumite sparring) which as once serves as application and training for kata, and as a preparation for for shiai (competition) and for real fighting situations. In this form of kumite practice the emphasis is on fast body motions, escaping techniques (sideways and in circular motions) as a superior form of blocking, and the coordination and combinaiton of hand and foot techniques.

In Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo, kumite is practiced with either empty-hands or weapons and with or without protective equipment.