Kihon Ippon Kumite (Basic One Step Sparring)

Aim of Exercise

The aim of this exercise is to familiarize the student with using karate techniques against a real opponent, which is not readily experienced in kihon or kata. Although this exercise uses only predetermined attacks and defenses, the concept of body evasion is also introduced at a fairly early stage.


This exercise consists of a sequence of individual, predetermined attacks and counter attacks. The individual attacks are made in the order, jodan punch, chudan punch. The defense/counter attacks get progressively harder and more complex, and the importance of correct distancing and body evasion is emphasized at an early stage.

Points to Watch

Learning the different sets often proves to be the most mentally challenging of the 3 K's (kihon, kata and kumite), as each is different, must be learnt on both the left and right sides and there is little thinking time during the exercise itself. When using body evasion to avoid an attack the block should only be used as an extra precaution, however many students believe that they must always make contact with the attack and therefore over stretch or extend the technique so that it becomes weak and out of position. As with all kihon (or basic) sparring, no contact is made (or should not be made!) on the counter attack.