The tango of Kumite and Kata

Within the world of karate we know that kata and kumite are both integral to building a better fighter, and making them more prepared for the real word. I know that there is a debate within alot of clubs that kata is useless and that the martial world should just focus on kumite. I for one believe in the balance of two like the go and the ju (Goju – hard and soft), if you focus too much on kumite you loose out on the substance of what karate is, the pattern of techniques, mindset, the way the two are linked each kata is like a different animal. They give you new ideas, methods of attack within kumite, allow you to adapt to the situation (alot like shadow boxing but with more deadly applications) which should be tested within the realm of kumite. If you focus too much on the kata you can not test out if those techniques will work for you or not, it doesn’t allow you to test them under the fear of a fight.

I use to be scared of kumite,  use to dread it because of the fear it induced but it was a necessary evil both fun and daunting at the same time. I find now I am comfortable with the idea of needing to test my ideas mindset and techniques in kumite but find that not enough emphasis is put on it and (as well as loosing pain conditioning) I find it slows down my progress I am not able to know if these new ideas are going to work (new in the sense that they are new to me) and that to keep the spirit of kumite (enjoying and relishing in it) alive.

For karateka with need a healthy balance between the two, without kata you might as well do kickboxing, without kumite you can not truly test yourself.  It is yin and yang.

Keep training, never give up, OSU.


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