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What is Ippon Kumite?

Ippon kumite - a term relatively unfamiliar to many karatekas.

What is it? Since when were there different types of kumite? Don't stress! Here's what you need to know about kumite.

Ippon kumite, also known as one step sparring, is typically used for self-defence drills. Sanbon kumite, also known as three-step sparring, is typically used to develop speed, strength, and technique. Jiyu kumite, otherwise known as free sparring, is a combination of applying the two styles of kumite on an opponent.

However, these days, people don't do ippon kumite for competitive sport. Instead, karatekas keep it for the tradition to be passed on. And so, because most people focus on karate as a sport, ippon kumite is not as widely practised.

Although ippon kumite is not as common anymore, it is still a very important part of kumite in karate. It is the basic and foundation of the martial art. Much like in a building, without a good foundation, the building will surely collapse, no matter how strong the material is. With concrete basics, every move you make will impress.

So, don't be afraid by the phrase "ippon kumite". Open your mind to learning a slightly more traditional aspect of kumite that is as gratifying as free sparring, and definitely as applicable!


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