Kumite – Intermediate

Congrats on your learning!

Now that you know the basic mechanics of the sport and a few rules, it is time to learn about the different actions of a fight, a few new techniques and combos, and we’ll finish with a few more rules.

Main Combat Actions

Attack – Sen

The first and most basic action is the Attack. This is when you decide to score a point. Simple enough.

It is important that you move your whole body on all of your attacks. Basically, both your feet must move forward.

Counter-attack – Go-no-Sen

The second action is called a Counter-attack. This is when your opponent attacks; you block or escape and immediately retaliate with an attack of your own.
In other words, a counter-attack is an attack immediately following a block or an escape.

Once again, it is very important that you move your whole body on the escape AND on the counter-attack. So both feet move back or sideways, and right after forward.

Timing – Sen-no-Sen

The third main time is called a Timing (or Interception). This one requires guts! A timing is when your opponent initiates an attack, and you attack before they are done with their attack.

On a timing with a hand technique, be careful not to move your body forward TOO MUCH. The tip is to move only your front foot forward. The rest of the distance will be covered by the attacker.

On a timing with a kick, you must move back. You can either simply lean back as far as you can. Or, if the attacker moves too fast forward, take a step back while you kick. WHILE you kick, not BEFORE you kick.

New Techniques

Uraken

‘Uraken’ means ‘back-fist’. It is a circular hand technique that uses the back of the hand. Rapidly snap back the back of your hand on the side of the head of your opponent.

You can use Uraken with either the front hand, ‘Kizami-uraken’, or with the back hand, ‘Gyaku-uraken’. Uraken always goes to the face!

Oi-tsuki

‘Oi-tsuki’ means ‘lunge punch’, as in stepping forward with a punch. In Kumite, the punch happens before the step. Start with a long range Gyaku-tsuki. It means that you need to throw the punch so far that you might fall IF… Step 2, after the impact, take a full step forward with your back leg.

Two important things here. 1. After the impact, IMMEDIATELY pull back your hand BEFORE you take a step forward. It is so that you do not inflict excessive contact. 2. Your feet don’t move at the beginning of your technique, as opposed to Kizami-tsuki or Gyaku-tsuki. The forward body movement will happen when you take a step with your back leg.

Oi-tsuki always goes to the head.

Kekomi

‘Kekomi’ is a ‘side push kick’.

Lift your foot just enough that you will not hit the knee or thigh of your opponent. Once your foot is high enough, extend your leg sharply as you pivot your support foot in the opposite direction and your body sideways.

On the impact, the kicking foot is turned parallel to the ground. You hit with the sole of your foot.

You can use Kekomi with your front foot, ‘Kizami-kekomi’, or with your back foot, ‘Kekomi’. Always use Kekomi chudan[body].

Ushiro-geri

‘Ushiro’ means ‘back’. ‘Ushiro-geri’ is a ‘back kick’.

Let’s say you have the left leg in front. Pivot to your right, bringing your right foot to your left foot, showing your back to your opponent, keep your knees bent.Chamber your kick by bringing your right heel to your butt.

Extend your right leg towards your opponent, keep your right foot pointed down and your right foot pointed in the opposite direction of your opponent.Hit with the heel.

Bring back your right leg to the chamber position and get back in Fudodachi[fighting stance]

(Vice-versa if you have your right leg in front)

Always use Ushiro-geri chudan[stomach level].

Ushiro-ura-mawashi-geri

‘Ushiro’ means ‘back’. ‘Ushiro-ura-mawashi-geri’ is a ‘back hook kick’.

Let’s say you have the left leg in front. Pivot to your right, bringing your right foot to your left foot, showing your back to your opponent, keep your knees bent.Chamber your kick by bringing your right heel to your butt.

Keep pivoting right as you extend your right leg past your opponent’s head so that they can see the back of your thigh. Stop pivoting when your body is sideways. From there, bend your right leg and hit the head with the sole of your foot.

After the impact, extend your leg to remove your foot from their face. Bend your leg again to the chambered position. And you can finally go back to Fudodachi[basic stance].

(Vice-versa if you have your right leg in front)

Always use Ushiro-ura-mawashi-geri jodan[head level].

Combos

Kizami+Gyaku

Here, ‘Kizami’ stands for ‘Kizami-tsuki’ and ‘Gyaku’ stands for ‘Gyaku-tsuki’.

Start with Kizami-tsuki and make sure both your feet move forward. Finish with Gyaku-tsuki and make sur both your feet move forward again.

For this combo to work, you must throw the Gyaku at the same time as you are pulling back your Kizami.

The mistake is to completely pull back the Kizami before you throw the Gyaku.

Gyaku+Kizami-mawashi

Here, ‘Gyaku’ stands for ‘Gyaku-tsuki’ and ‘Kizami-mawashi’ stands for ‘Kizami-mawashi-geri’.

Start with Gyaku-tsuki the way it is explained in Kumite – Beginner.

As you pull back your hand, raise your front knee at the same time and finish the kick as explained previously.

For this combo to work, you must lift your front knee at the same time as you pull back your hand. Also, you must not bring your back foot forward before kicking, it will waste time and screw your distance.

The mistakes are to 1) pull your hand back all the way before lifting the knee, and to 2) bring your back foot forward before kicking.

Few Other Rules

You remember that there are two categories of penalties. Category 1 is for contacts. Category 2 is for everything else! Therefore, any other rule involving penalties will be of the 2nd category.

Mubobi is given when you endanger yourself. A good example is if you receive a kick to the head because you ducked without protecting yourself.

Pushing is forbidden. Therefore, if you push your opponent out of the ring, you will receive a penalty for pushing instead of your opponent receive a penalty for jogai[stepping out of bounds]

Last thing for this part is the Mandatory Gear to compete. Here’s a list of what all elite athletes need to have on a competition day:

  1. Obviously, a white gi, which the karate uniform
  2. A red AND blue belt, representing only their color for the bout, not their rank
  3. A red AND blue pair of gloves
  4. A red AND blue pair of shin pads and foot protector
  5. A mouth piece
  6. A body protector
  7. GUYS: Jack strap. GIRLS: Breast shell

Now keep in mind, this is everything an elite athlete has to wear.
Because karate is a combat sport that does not involve physically impairing contact nor mentally impairing contact, you can practice it without any gear!

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