Karate Sparring/Practice Fighting (Kumite) – Japanese Terms

Goju-Ryu Karate knows a variety of different sparring situations. The most common and most often practiced are Ippon Kumite (1-step sparring) and Randori (free, soft sparring, allowing both students to practice techniques in a relaxed manner).

There are general Karate partner training guidelines that are important to follow to ensure the safety of all participants.

Ippon kumite One point (attack) sparring (defender blocks and counter attacks)
Jiyu ippon One step sparring from free stance
Jiyi kumite Hard and fast controlled free style fighting
Kihon ippon Basic one step sparring
Kumite Sparring
Randori Slow and soft free style sparring with emphasis on technique
Sandan gi Three movement sparring from Gekisai Kata
Sanbon kumite Three step sparring (3 jodan, 3 chudan, 3 gedan) from Gekisai Kata
Sandan kumite Three step three level sparring (1 jodan, 1 chudan, 1 gedan)
Sanbon zuki kumite Three step sparring (blocking with one hand against a three punch combination)

As Goju-Ryu Karate does not have a sports aspects and thus no competition or tournament fighting, there is usually no special protective gear worn during sparring exercises. However it can be beneficial to use protective gear when particular techniques are practiced that otherwise would be difficult or unsafe to perform in partner training.