The term Kumite is referred to as “sparring” in karate. In the general context, it means “meeting of hands”. Any form of combat training with a partner is referred to as Sparring. The other styles of karate do not need a partner whereas kumite needs a partner to practice with and that makes it different from other styles of karate. Special training in Yakusoku-kumite or “sparring with announcement” is given to beginners and intermediate students. What makes this different from other styles is that the attacker announces the style of attack and who the target will be before the commencement of the fight. This gives the defender a chance to block or evade the attack and plot a smart counter-attack. In Yakusoku-kumite, especially for the beginners, contact is not permitted. A counter-attack contact also is not allowed. What they really have to do is to abide by the idea that contact should be made with the other’s gi, or uniform and in no way touch the actual body. Jiyu-kumite and “freestyle sparring” are practiced by advances karateka. This type of sparring facilitates the partners to throw attacks and combinations at their own will without any prior announcements. A good sense of control is inevitable and significant in this kind of sparring. The traditional methods of Shotokan kumite training are listed below.


  • Kihon-Gohon-Kumite
  • Kihon-Sanbon-Kumite


  • Kihon-Ippon-Kumite
  • Jiyu-Ippon-Kumite


  • Jiyu-Kumite
  • Shiai-Kumite
  • Oyo-Kumite

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