KC Shotokan Karate
2026 Broadway
Kansas City, MO 64108

(816) 421-1110


Sambon Kumite
Jiyu-Kumite drills


Revised Aug 22, 2011


Sparring (kumite) is a form used to apply offensive and defensive techniques practiced in the kata, under more realistic conditions, in which by prearrangement between participants one applies offensive and defensive techniques.  Karate, to the very end, should be practiced with kata as the principal method and sparring as a supporting method.

April 2, 2007 Midwest Jiyu-kumite (free sparring) championship highlights:

Karate-ni sente nashi  空手に 先手 無し    [ からてに せんて なし ]   

  •  Karate   空手  [ からて ]  (literally ‘empty handed’)

  •  ni  [ ] means ‘toward’ ‘karate-ni’ could be read ‘in karate’ or ‘toward karate’. 

  •  Sente   先手  [ せんて ]  (literally ‘first hand’) means ‘the first move

  •  Nashi  無し [ なし ] literally ‘without’) means ‘does not exist

So ‘karate-ni sente nashi’ means ‘the first attack does not exist in karate’ – a fundamental strategy in karate-do is to force  the opponent to commit to a first attack – at the moment he does, you destroy him.  (this phrase can also be translated, 'there is no first attack in karate').

It has long been said that there is no advantage to the one who makes the first attack in karate, and whether performing kata or kumite, the front fist is used for defense and the fist held to the back is used for offense.  Consequently, immediately following (without a hairbreadth delay) the blocking of a opponent's attack with the front fist, the rear fist is used to destroy the opponent.  If there is even the slightest delay in the movement, one will be forced into the predicament of maintaining a defensive role.  There are times, depending upon the moment or adjusting to a changing situation when the defensive hand becomes an offensive hand (changing hands, or 'hente'), and frequently in actual cases it is more effective than the orthodox use. 

In SKA, we practice the following kumite forms:

Ten no Kata Ura   prearranged single engagement matches
continuous attacks
Sambon-gumite     triple engagement match
Ippon-gumite   single engagement match
Jiyu ippon-gumite   free single engagement match
Jiyu kumite   free sparring
Torite   escaping
Suwari-waza seated techniques
Nage jiyu kumite   long distance free sparring
Nage no waza   throwing techniques
Iai   closest distance single engagement match



Copyright © 1999-2009 Kansas City Shotokan Karate Club, Kansas City, Missouri. All rights reserved. 
Site Design and maintenance by: Mike Lyon at www.mLyon.com

We're Listed On The Kansas City Business List