The Importance of Jiyu Kumite

We start Ji Yu Kumite at 3rd Kyu (Brown Belt) denoting the start of the dangerous level in the kyu grades.
The transition from Kihon Ippon kumite to a more semi free kumite (or conversation) between opponents, with Kumite the exchange of hands we express this now in a more free manor but with some rules to keep the learning process within Ji Yu Ippon Kumite.
Why is Ji Yu Ippon Kumite important to our training and journey?
This is for me important to test us in so many ways, Principles, Mentally, and technically.
If you break this down further we have defaults within the drill to keep the control for continuous training but we develop our knowledge and understanding as we move towards our shodan level.
A key point is to understand and demonstrate “Compression and expansion” combining timing and distance, speed, focus and flow with power behind it.
There are many depths to Ji Yu Kumite and we start training all the key principles within our “Kihon for kumite” to become our Ju Kumite (Free Sparring) but we gain this from Ji Yu Ippon Kumite.
From 3rd kyu to shodan one of the most important element within this test of understanding the basics is “compression and expansion”. By demonstrating compression and expansion you need to understand all the good principles of our Karate and Kihon to make it work correctly, so it uncovers many things within one principle. This makes our traditional Karate effective in Kumite.
When we talk of “compression and expansion” we are challenging our Karate to many points to practice, so it’s not easy to do effectively without understanding and training, the Do in our Karate.
Ji Yu Ippon Kumite offers us a process to blend and flow the transition to Ju Kumite and go from a “Sentence of words” to a full flowing conversation in our Ju Kumite (Free Sparring).
How do we have a Good conversation?
The attacker’s contract in Ji Yu Ippon Kumite is to strike forward with full intention to destroy the opponent with a Budo feeling, this is their sentence in the conversation and a rule of the drill.
The defender receives his attack and steps back to create compression to absorb and receive the announced or even unannounced attack.
The importance of stepping back creates many benefits to both, it challenges your opponents’ training to deliver a full budo strike coming forward with intent. This then test your spirit and technique to receive such dynamics and pressure of danger.
The stepping back also creates good distance and gains you some split time to absorb this dynamics and with introducing Compression on the block or movement creates more reverse energy for you to take the advantage to strike back with even more Budo spirit to deliver a counter to destroy your attacker with your sentence back in our conversation as it takes two to have a conversation, This is the importance of expansion.
Stepping back also develops the twitch and reaction to any attack creating the opportunity to receive any unknown attack and revert the pressure back to our opponent gaining the advantage.
Having developed and understanding the key principle of compression and expansion we can then look deeper into Ji Yu Ippon Kumite and then challenge our karate further with Sen no Sen and Go no Sen introducing Tai Sabaki (body Shifting) and Nagashi (Evasion) but within this still applying the spectrum of compression and expansion within different ranges and techniques and timings.
This now starts the process of free flowing kumite to become a more mastered Ju Kumite and freedom of movement.
We continue our Ji Yu Ippon Kumite as our “Kihon for Kumite”, it is open and endless in what you do and how each attack will be a different feel and new experience.
“This is why I feel the importance of Ji Yu Ippon Kumite!

Author: Editorial Team