Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Technique of the Week (October 1th, 2009)

From Kyoshi David Baker

Chief Operating Officer
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA


“One-step sparring” is an informal training exercise extrapolated from the first count of our Yakusoku kumite.

As in Yakusoku kumite, two partners bow to each other, then position themselves in the same ma-ai and yame position of Yakusoku kumite. Then, on the command, one partner initiates any Shorin-Ryu attack, randomly chosen, whereupon the other partner responds to that attack and then immediately delivers a counter attack.

They both then return to yame stance, and from there the other partner attacks. Back and forth, alternating so that each partner initiates a new attack in sequence.

After awhile, you’ll develop a rhythm where there’s no thinking, just attack and respond. At first, most deshi defend with a formal block and then a counter. But after some practice, you can instead sidestep the attack and counter. Or, as in the third defensive move of Yakusoku Kumite Sho, respond with both the block and the counter punch simultaneously as one technique.

Initiate your attacks with either hand and use all heights of attack – low, middle, and high; all distances – close, medium, and long range; kicks, punches, shuto, elbows, backfists, etc. Mix it up; don’t let your partner guess what’s coming.

Take it easy at first. Relax and breathe. Work with your partner and make it almost like a game of tag. Start out slow and build up to a steady rhythm back and forth.

Finally, as in Yakusoku kumite itself, the purpose is not to overwhelm your partner, but to learn with him and raise the level of training for you both. Develop the ability to react instantaneously to an attack when you don’t know what’s coming. Zanshin.

Domo arigato gozaimasu,
Kyoshi David Baker

Chief Operating Officer
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA
founded by Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro
under the direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione