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KUMITE is a form of training which translates to sparring in English, where both offensive and defensive techniques learned in the kata are applied in practice. The quality of a student’s kumite goes hand in hand with the quality of their kata. If the kata techniques are performed in an unnatural, forced or confused way, no improvement in kumite can be expected. There are three types of kumite: basic kumite, jiyu ippon kumite and jiyu kumite.

Basic kumite is the most basic form, in which opponents face each other at a fixed distance and agree on the target attack area beforehand. They take turns practicing attacking and blocking.

Jiyu ippon kumite involves opponents in which the attacker announces their attack and performs it decisively. The defender uses any mastered techniques to respond to the attack. The aim of this training is to practice the actual techniques of offense and defense. Contrary to basic kumite, the opponents take a posture of their choice and face each other at optional distance.

Jiyu kumite is the most advanced form of sparring, in which the attacker does not announce the intended technique. This requires great skill and is not recommended for beginners. Below is an example of jiyu kumite in competition.

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