(Paired practices)

The literal meaning of the term kumite is "uniting hands". In classical Okinawa Karate there was no 'sparring'. The distancing and techniques employed in such competitive engagements bear little relation to the range at which an actual encounter would occur. Instead, Okinawa Karate, and in particular, Goju-Ryu, uses a number of close range training drills with a partner to build the attributes required to apply the techniques of kata.

In kumite training we untie kaishu kata which we already learned, and we study techniques of defense and offense in kaishu kata. Understanding its technical purpose, we practice the techniques of attack and defense with fighting spirit like a real situation.

Miyagi Chojun

Miyagi Chojun - Kyoda Juhatsu - kumite Miyagi Chojun - Kyoda Juhatsu - kumite
Miyagi Chojun and Kyoda Juhatsu

Tai Tanren
(Body forging)

In a real life encounter it is almost inevitable that we will sustain impact to parts of the body. The various tai tanren (conditioning) drills serve not only to harden the body, but more importantly, they build an indomitable spirit capable of enduring pain and forging ahead with confidence.

Ude-kitae - 01 Ude-kitae - 02 Ude-kitae - 03

Sandan Gi
(Three-level techniques)

This basic drill consisting of three strikes and corresponding blocks to jo, chu, and ge, is sometimes viewed as unimportant, the many benefits gained from its regular practise lost behind its apparent simplicity. Moving and stationary drills develop a keen sense of timing and distancing, as well as the ability to blend and redirect, using softness to overcome strength.

Sandan Gi - 01 Sandan Gi - 02 Sandan Gi - 03
Sandan Gi

(Pushing hands)

This is the original 'sparring' of the Ryukyu's. Miyazato Eiichi Sensei said that all you need is kakie. Before WW2 it was common for Karate practitioners to test their abilities through bouts of kakidameshi, with death being the occasional outcome. Thankfully such old fashioned customs are now confined to the history books, but the practise of kakie remains preserved in Goju-Ryu, providing students with a means of developing the Sanchin body structure in a dynamic form before then progressing to test their techniques against an uncompliant partner to develop intuitive reactions.

Kakie Kakie

Bunkai Oyo
(Analysis - Application)

In the Shinsokai students are encouraged to use the kata as a resource for investigation and analysis in order to find appropriate ways of applying the techniques according to their individual physique. In Karate there is no 'one size fits all', but the basic principles mean that suitable techniques can be found by any person who dedicates sufficient effort, not just the young, strong, or physically gifted.

Miyagi Chojun - Miyazato Eiichi - bunkai Miyagi Chojun - Miyazato Eiichi - bunkai Miyagi Chojun - Miyazato Eiichi - bunkai
Miyagi Chojun Sensei applying kata techniques on his lifelong student Miyazato Eiichi

“No matter how you may excel in the art of Karate, and in your scholastic endeavors,
nothing is more important than your behavior and your humanity as observed in daily life.”