Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Yakusoku Kumite is Essential Training

Many people question the importance of Yakusoku-Kumite, which can probably be—best described in English—as PREARRANGED SPARRING.

In actuality, I know a simple fact… These days people need to do more Gohon-kumite, Kihon ippon-kumite and Jiyu ippon-kumite than ever before. Why? Because the heavy influence of tournament karate has resulted in a lack of kime in sports kumite events. Actually, yakusoku kumite in addition to bridging kihon and kata to jiyu-kumite, bolsters kime in jiyu kumite.
Am I against karate tournaments? NOT AT ALL. I won many New Zealand National titles over the years, and a JKA prefectural title (in men’s individual kata) here in Japan—apparently the first non-Japanese to ever do so: even though competition karate has never been my focus.
My perspective, and many of my colleagues and seniors here in Japan, is that tournament kumite must technically represent traditional budo karate, which technically, in essence is all about ichigekki-hissatsu (to finish with a single blow).
In sum, yakusoku-kumite, when practiced correctly, is utterly essential for those seeking the true way Karate-Do. There is nothing wrong with competition, however, first and fore-mostly, karate is BUDO; therefore, the acquisiton of a sound mind/heart and effective martial arts techniques is of the greatest importance.
© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan.

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