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Kumite

 

Kata and kumite are complementary training methods. In kata, one learns basic techniques; in kumite, one applies them with a sparring partner. The principles of kihon (see above) still apply proper karate techniques, demonstrate correct power and speed, and, above all, exercise good control - contact is prohibited. One must remember that, while kumite is a useful application of the fundamentals learned through kata, it is not a substitute for kata.


There are three types of kumite: basic kumite, ippon(one-step) kumite, and jiyu(free) kumite.

Basic kumite, consisting of five or three-step sparring, permits the karateka to cultivate basic blocking and attacking through prearranged techniques. It is a useful introduction to sparring for beginning students.

 

Ippon kumite also involves basic, prearranged techniques, but adds emphasis on body movements and proper distancing from the opponent.

 

In Jiyu kumite, techniques are not prearranged. The karateka may freely engage her physical and mental powers, but must strictly control her attacks - contact is prohibited. The karateke must be well trained and disciplined enough to make apowerful blow that stops just before it reaches its target. For these reasons, only advanced students may practice jiyu kumite.

 

(Note: Most karateka learn jiyu ippon kumite - a combination of one-step and free sparring - as brown belts. In this semi-free form of sparring, both sides must use basic, prearranged techniques, but may not according to their own rhythm and timing. Jiyu ippon kumite often serves as a bridge between ippon and jiyu kumite.)

 

Relevant Japanese Terms in Karate

Pronunciation

All vowels are short and pronounced as follows:


"a" as in father

"i" as in "teen" except shorter

"u" as in "boot" except shorter

"e" as in "bet"

"o" as in "boat" except shorter and without the off-glide.

 

Longer vowel sounds are the same sounds as above, but given more time.


"aa," a longer "a"

"ii," a longer "i"

"uu," a longer "u"

"ei," a longer "e"

"oh," a longer "o"

 

Except for the above, if you see two or more vowels in a row, they are each pronounced clearly without becoming a single diphthong. An apostrophe is used where a glottal stop occurs (like between the "n" and the second "a" when pronouncing "an apple").

 

Consonants always take their "hard" sounds. Ao "gi" is pronounced with a hard "g" (i.e., not "ji"). "Ch" is always as in "cheese."

The hyphens don't mean anything but serve to distinguish separate syllables when it might be ambiguous, or to separate a word into two semantic parts. There shouldn't be a pause for hyphens.

 

Parentheses are used whenever a word might be omitted by some people, or if the translation could mean more than one thing. For example, "nukite," literally only means "spear hand," which is just the name of the "weapon" you form with your hand, but it is also often used to mean the attack, "spear-hand thrust." So "thrust" is in parentheses.

 

Quotation marks are used on the English side to distinguish between literal translations of the Japanese terms from their more figurative meanings (quotes indicate literal translation).


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Self Defence Education Trust
International Olympic
Sportaccord International Federations Union
World Karate Federation International World Games Association Japan Shotokan Karate-Do Kanninjuku Organisation Japan
Asian Karatedo Federation
Government Of India & Indian Olympic Association
International Olympic Committee Karate Association of India
South Asian Karatedo Federation (SAKF)
Self Defence Education Trust
International Olympic
Sportaccord International Federations Union
World Karate Federation International World Games Association Japan Shotokan Karate-Do Kanninjuku Organisation Japan
Asian Karatedo Federation
Government Of India & Indian Olympic Association
International Olympic Committee Karate Association of India
South Asian Karatedo Federation (SAKF)
Self Defence Education Trust
International Olympic
Sportaccord International Federations Union