Kumite (Fighting) pronounc. 'koo-ma-tay'
As with all martial arts, Karate was developed as a means of self defence and will invariably involve some physical contact. Within the 'Dojo' (training area) and in competitions, the aim is to create a fully focused attack without making physical contact with your opponent. A great deal of mental and physical control is required to do this properly. The martial aspect is in the fighting effectiveness and defence potential – the art is in knowing exactly when to stop. There are different levels of Kumite in class depending on the grade and objectives of the lesson but typically, the following may include:
Ippon Kumite: One step attack followed by a counter attack
Sanbon Ippon Kumite: Three step attack followed by a counter attack
Gohon Kumite: Five step attack followed by a counter attack.
Jiyu Kumite: Freestyle
As a beginner, kumite will be very basic and will consist of basic punching and kicking with a block and counter to your opponent. As you progress, footwork will involve stepping (3 or 5 step) which end in a counter offensive attack. For senior grades, the formatted stepping is replaced with more fluid footwork and punching techniques, along with foot sweeps, back kicks etc. Building up these basic techniques into an effective, mobile style is achieved with practice over time.