Pre-set partner work allows us to work with an opponent. Because it is pre-set, each student knows what the other is doing. This allows us to concentrate on distance, angles and timing without fear of being hit when we make mistakes. The pre-set exercises are not as such an example of “What to do if …” but are exercises to teach the principles behind defence and counter attack. This part of the syllabus builds on the Target, Timing and Technique, The Dead Time Principle (taught in Combinations) and the Direction and stances by adding distance. Jiyu Kumite is free sparring. Whilst the student must exercise control so as to avoid injury, there is no knowledge of what the opponent will do (unlike pre-set partner work). This allows the student to practice all the techniques they have learned.
There are three main types of kumite:
- Ippon Kumite is 1 step sparring. The attacker performs a single, agreed attack. The defender performs a counter attack.
- Kihon Kumite. Whilst Kihon means basic, this is the most difficult area of partner work. Kihons work on the basic Wado Ryu principles of body evasion and simultaneous defence and counter attack. There are no blocks in Kihons, instead the defender avoids or redirects the incoming attack and counter attacks whilst the opponent is off balance or out of position.
- Ohyo Kumite. Ohyo Kumite is where the attacker performs a combination attack. The first move(s) designed to set up the defender for a follow up attack.
Other types of Sparring
Ji yu Ippon Kumite is one step free sparring, This is rarely practiced at DKC and is more prevalent in other styles of Karate. In this exercise the attack is limited to one move, but the defender does not know what that one move will be. This is not a pre-set partner work but limiting it to only one attack frees the defender from the worry of being hit with multiple follow up techniques if their defence does not work. The exercise can be expanded to two attacks (Ji Yu Nihon Kumite) or three attacks (Ji Yu Sanbon Kumite) etc.. However, it should be noted that pure Wado Ryu karate attempts to defeat an opponent by redirecting their attack. In essence this should mean the defender should be able to stem the attack on the first technique. If your first defence allows the attacker to follow up with a second attack it is not really an effective defence.
Ji Yu Kumite is “Free Sparring”. There is no pre-set attack or defence and no limit to how many techniques can be performed concurrently.
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