Jiyu-Kumite drills

KC Shotokan Karate
2026 Broadway
Kansas City, MO 64108

(816) 421-1110




Revised Aug 22, 2011


print supplement to JIYU KUMITE CLINIC and DOJO DRILLS INSTRUCTION with godan, Greg Scott (2 DVD set)

DRILL 1 - Punch in place

  • Allow speed to be a primary focus at times.
  • For MAETE Start with both fists turned upward in front of your body and allow punching hand to only turn over at extreme end of punch.
  • Don’t allow punching hand to drop, pull back, or adjust even the slightest bit prior to punching.
  • Punch out + return on exactly the same line.
  • After focus, the returning punch moves rapidly, not casual (keeps mental focus and allows for realistic combinations).
  • Head moves in alignment with the body. Don’t nod or pull chin up.
  • Front knee must go in slightly with each punch.
  • Also try performing punches with front foot going in with each strike, then returning. Back foot stationary.

DRILL 2 - Shuffling/Footwork

  • Some developed for balance and movement dynamics, some may apply to actual pre - attack movements.
  • Move your focus from speed, to balance, or to distance.
  • Develop ability to punch at any time as lower body performs footwork patterns.
  • When punching during a forward movement, punch ends just before front foot hits the ground.
  • Use a mirror (or ask opponent) to identify any unnecessary movements and eliminate as much as possible.
  • Arms must “float” and eliminate even slightest movements caused by lower body patterns.
  • Learn to shuffle forward or back immediately after a side shuffle or foot change.

DRILL 3 - Multiple Opponent Reverse Punch

  • Focus primarily on speed.
  • Both opponents use right hands for Maete and reverse punch or both use left.
  • Each Maete attacker gets into position as fast as possible to allow an attack immediately with (1) shuffle from a dead stop.
  • Experienced members go 100% with strict control – NO KIAI =NO KIME!
  • Never block the maete then reverse punch. The reverse punch must be
  • executed before the opponent is inside ma.
  • Reverse punch:
    • Don’t open & close fist.
    • Don’t drop fist prior to punch.
    • Contact opponent just short of full extension (contact with bent elbow = a late punch).
    • Punch leaves only from point on hip (fist up) and returns rapidly after contact on same line.

DRILL 4 “Ippon” Jiyu Kumite

    • Start each attack at MA distance.
    • Develop the ability to determine if defender is staying or backing out before you initiate your attack.
    • Focus on variations of only (1) technique at the time. i.e: Maete’s only for a while, then frontkick variations, then backhands , etc.
    • Control, but learn to attack 100% with no effect to your KIME (feeling) regardless of the opponents intent (to counter or not).
    • Key points:
      • If you thought defender was going back, but he stayed and your attack was late or inside MA, you lost.
      • If you thought defender was staying, but he backed out (your attack fell short), you lost.
    • Start at Ma and only
      • Stay and reverse punch

      - or -

      • Back out
    • Learn to mislead the attacker so the attack is delayed or falls short.
    • Only stomach reverse punch initially till both develop keen sense of timing and distance (defensive upper level reverse punches generate excessive caution initially).
    • Key point:
      • Opponent moves, you move. If you have time to wait and see the technique, you most likely were not at Ma.

DRILL 5 - Multiple Jiyu Kumite Exchanges

  • Best with 4 - 7 each opposing line.
  • Not distance Jiyu Kumite. Both quickly move to Ma, take stance, begin.
  • If opponent attacks first, defend or get out. Don’t get caught “flat footed”.
  • One exchange only (focus on exchanges from Ma) then move to opposite line.
  • Swap positions in line to face different opponents, if necessary.
  • Develop offensive and defensive skills simultaneously.

DRILL 6 “Fighter in the Hole”

  • Best with groups of 4,5 or 6.
  • Pair up groups may be based on size, rank, or ability.
  • Each individual match can stop at ½ point or (2) ½ points, or to the end of each time period.
  • 1 minute to 1½ minute rounds are best.
  • If more than (1) group, a member starts each match and all groups together and times it. Each of those matches stop when required points scored or time runs out.
  • If any groups finish a match quickly wait till all groups have finished that current match, then start next match together.
  • Referees move in & out quickly & limit commands (rounds are short, not too much talking).
  • “Fighter in the hole” faces each member in the group. Than a new fighter is put “in the hole” (This will result in all members facing each other 2 times).

DRILL 7 - Bag Kumite

  • Don’t just hit the bags – strictly focus on a particular aspect.
  • Focus on speed at times (not just power).
  • Move from point A to point B (The bag/opponent) as fast as possible from ma.
  • “What tells the opponent (bag) you’re attacking at the moment” and see how many telegraphs you can eliminate.
  • You must contact the bag just inside Ma. Therefore watch for “short” punches and kicks. Don’t give in to the temptation to punch/kick at a closer distance.
  • Use the bag (swinging and still) for 1,000’s of repetitions to create well formed, well timed techniques – 2nd nature.
  • Learn to attack the bag without thinking (Mid - Mind).
  • Learn to attack opponents as you attack the bag:
    • Focused.
    • Uninhibited.
    • No reservations brought about by opponent’s size, rank, reputation.
    • “SEE IT”.



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