Kumite is a combination of Offensive techniques, defensive techniques, and movements between two, and sometimes several karate practioners. It is another form of practice of the art of Karate - Do. Like Kata, it has been developed by great Masters as a way of learning how to use Karate - Do techniques in real fighting situations, when facing one or several opponents.
Kata teaches the theory of Karate - Do and Kumite teaches the application of the theory. In Kumite, one learns how and when to attack and counter attack with a single technique or a combination of techniques. The regular practise of Kumite leads to an understanding of all the principles of Karate - Do. Kumite developes body and the foot movement, control of breathing, concentration and stamina.
Kumite developes a sense of proper distance, timing, reflexes, fighting strategies and the psychological factors involved in an encounter with an actual opponent.
In modern days , Goju Ryu Karate - Do , developed a completely original form of Yakusoku Kumite (pre arranged form of fighting) which at once serves as application and training for Kata,as a preparation for Shiai and for real fighting motions, escaping techniques as a superior form of blocking and co-ordination and combination and foot techniques.
CLASSIFICATION OF KUMITE:
* Yakusoku Kumite :
Yakusoku Kumite consists of a sequence of techniques and motions practised by two opponents in a completely predetermined way. There are ten different sets of attacks in which the attacker moves forward in Zenkutsu Dachi and delivers Jodan Tsugi. The defender moves backwards or sideways and blocks and immediately deliveres a counter attack which may be a tsugi, uchi, geri etc. The techniques used in Yakusoku Kumite can be considered model techniques successfully tested by the Karate-Do masters. Some of the techniques also includes lethal attacks.
* Yonhon Kumite & Nunhom Kumite :
In Yonhon & Nunhom Kumite, the attacker attacks four and seven times respectively. after blocking all these, the defender counters with a single attack.
Since the block and counter-attack are pre determined, the students can practise the same technique for end number of times, till the perfection. Similarly, the partners learn to deliver or deal with a combination of attack which is closer to actual fighting.
* Langeki Kumite :
This is a stable form of foghting. In this type of Kumite, two partners sit in Shikodachi facing each other and fight using only their hands.
The most important advantage of this type of Kumite is that one developes good fighting stance and learns to defend without moving from the original position. By practising this type of Kumite, Karateka can develop better hand techniques and combine them with hard attacks. The speed of delivering the attack also improves.
* Jiyu Kumite :
In this type of fighting, the techniques are pre determined. Jiyu Kumite is the actual sparring where any partner can attack with any technique or combination of techniques. The points are awarded depending on the technique used by the Karateka.
This type of Kumite develops real fighting attitudes, reflexes and the sixth sense which is the feeling for once opponent. It teaches how to manoeuver one's opponent and break up his position or guard.
The major drawback of this type of Kumite is that the chances of injury, minor or major are very high.
* Shiai Kumite :
The term Shiai means challenge, match, contest. Hence Shiai Kumite means challenge fight between two Martial Art Contestants.
In olden days, Shiai used to be a fight till one of the opponents was killed. The fight was either with bare hands or with weapons. The fight used to last till one of the opponent was knocked out or jumped out of the ring and ran away. There were no restrictions on the technique to be used. Earlier, full contact Shiai means the oponent can attack with / to any part of the body.. But, the modern definition of Shiai is different. It is a contest between two players with protective hand and foot pads.
The other type of Shiai was the Semi Contact Shiai where the participants were allowed to use controlled attacks. In this type of Shiai, crtain attacks were banned such as nukite, attack to the groin , knee attack etc. Now a days, the purpose of Shiai fight is to win the fight successfully and skillfully and with complete control.
Shiai is one of the ways to progress in Karate-Do and to learn one's weaknesses and to correct them. Although one should always try to win in a Shiai, the most important thing is to participate to the best of one's ability and not to win at all costs.
* Renzoku Kumite :
Renzoku Kumite is a type of three step pre aranged sparring where the attacker executes three techniques for which the defender performs the blocks.
The main advantage of this type of Kumite is that the junior level Krateka's can practise this as there are no chances of injury. Secondly, it developes mind and body co-ordination.
* Jun Langeki Kumite :
In this type of Kumite, attacks can be done only with the legs, while blocks can be done with hands as well as legs.The most important advantage is that, it improves balance and kicking techniques.
* Bunkai Kumite :
In Bunkai Kumite, we practise the practical applications of the Kata movements.
By practising Bunkai Kata, one understands Kata better. The applications of Kata Bunkai can be applied in normal Kumite. There are almost no chances of Injury. Regular practise of Bunkai Kata improves concentration.