Jiyu-ippon kumite (semi free sparring)

Jiyu-ippon kumite (semi free sparring)

At many Shotokan Dojo, Jiyu ippon kumite is normally the required kumite when taking 2nd Kyu brown and white belt, 1st Kyu brown and two white belt and shodan 1st degree black belt. This training also uses a lot of tai sabaki (body evasion).

When first practiced, the attacks in jiyu ippon kumite are pre arranged, later developing into any attack sparring.

The most common form of Shotokan jiyu ippon kumite is long range, with attacks, oizuki jodan, oizuki chudan, mae geri, yoko geri kekomi, mawashi geri and ushiro geri. Some shotokan groups add other attacks, such as gyaku zuki and kizami zuki.

Jiyu ippon kumite can also be practiced at medium or close range, moving or stationary and with or without hikite on the attacks and counters.

For the first time, moving and feigning can be used while attacking and defending.

The defense and counter is usually free, but many shotokan karate dojo have pre arranged block and counter sequences, which include a large selection of blocks, counters and tai sabaki ( body movement).

The ‘ikken hissatsu’ (to kill or finish with one blow) is still the attitude to have when attacking and defending. Make sure your counters are devastating, or rather, don’t be content with a counter to someone’s shoulder. Once you have delivered your counter strike, imagine what the effect would have been like, if the counter strike had connected fully.

With kihon ippon kumite, the distance between attacker and defender is set, but with ju ippon kumite (if you practice ju ippon moving), the distance between attacker and defender is continually changing. Because of this, timing is imperative, both on attack and defense.

The time between the attackers attack and defenders counter should be small, the same time, or even before the attack completes.

Jiyu-ippon kumiteĀ 

My sensei always used to say, if you practice jiyu ippon kumite and kihon ippon kumite properly, you will have a strong fundation for self defence.

This is the third basic kumite that is need when taking black belt, all three of these basic kumite must studied and practiced diligently before thinking about testing for black belt.

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Linden Huckle

About the author

Linden Huckle has been practicing and teaching karate for over 50 years and believes first and foremost, karateka should enjoy their karate. He says 'there is nothing better than seeing a person develop into a great person through their karate practice, while at the same time enjoying karate.'

Linden Huckle