Shugyokan Fighting Philosophy
The Philosophy behind the Shugyokan Shorin Ryu Dojo of training in diverse types of kumite lies in the core foundation of belief that real Okinawan karate keiko (practice) was never meant be just "cardio" training only. The ancient Okinawan bugei ( Martial Arts) had only one purpose for its existence, To protect the king and annihilate the enemy ! Thus in essence True karate must be fighting karate regardless of style and tradition.
Punching and kicking in the air and training with a compliant partner is a great way to practice and develop rudimentary skill for those who are still at the beginning as well a great refresher practice to intermediate and advanced level students. However, if limited to one level or types of training, it can give the karate practitioners a false sense of security and confidence.
To echo Nagamine sensei's sentiments about kumite in his book " Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do". It is apparent that the practice of one person blocking the opponents attack and countering with the other, The nature of kumite ends due to the fact that further movement or attack by the opponent is possible. Nagamine Sensei describe this type of practice as "artificial or dead kumite".
To be an effective and efficient karate-ka it is crucial that we practices all diversity of fighting style. Only then we can truly comprehend the true meaning and essence of karate-do as a fighting art.
Yakusuko Kumite Philosophy
Yakusoku is loosely translated as pre-arranged or pre-determined. This type of practice are great for beginners. It is a safer method of introducing students to the component of fighting karate. Yakusoku kumite teaches beginners the proper way react to attacks and at the same time learning proper executions of counter-attacks.
These types of prearrange sparring has many various forms of practice such gohon kumite (five step sparring), sanbon kumite (three step sparring), kihon ippon kumite (basic one step sparring), kaeshi ippon kumite (countering one step sparring) and happo kumite (eight direction sparring)
There are seven traditional yakusoku kumite practiced in the Matasubayashi Ryu core curriculum as devised by its founder Shoshin Nagamine. The philosophy behind the Matsubayashi Ryu Yakusoku kumite is based upon the seven principles of kumite or essential conditions as outline by Nagamine Sensei thru his teacher Choki Motubo.
Jiyu Kumite Philosophy
Jiyu kumite or also known as Iri Kumi in the Okinawan dialect is translated as "free" sparring. Despite its name, the practice of Jiyu kumite are bounded by strict rules and must be within the scope of karate. All techniques in Jiyu kumite are to done in absolute light or no contact situation. All seiken waza and geri waza must have full control , thus giving practitioners a sense of practicality in using his/her techniques in fighting situation.
Jiyu kumite is often considered an intermediate level of sparring in other dojo. At the Shugyokan Dojo beginners may start their practice this kumite at a slower pace. Students are given the free ranges and opportunity to apply and test the basic principles learned in yakusoku sparring without any pre-determine attacks
Jissen Kumite Philosophy
Jissen means combat. In spite of its brutish graphic connotation, This type of kumite practice holds a vital importance for the students at the Shugyokan Dojo. The purpose of Jissen kumite is to allow students to gained a certain level of combat - readiness attitude and mentality so that they may have the tools necessary to protect themselves from the realistic danger wherever and whenever it may arises. The practice of Jissen kumite involves contact from medium to hard but in a controled manner.
The types of waza included in Jissen Kumite practices are Atemi-Waza (striking techniques), Tegumi (Grappling), Kansetsu-waza (Joint Locks), Jintai Kyusho (Weak points of the human body), Shime-waza (Chokes & Strangles), Nage-waza (Throws & Takedowns) and Ne-Waza (Ground Fighting Techniques).
Shiai Kumite Philosophy
Shiai is a Japanese term for competition or tournament. Basically, its a semi-contact type of sparring. The main aim is to "tag" your opponent before he/she "tags" you first. The Shugyokan Dojo competes in Karate Shiai simply as an additional tools to help students ( beginners and advance alike) to overcome the fear, phobias and jitters of being in front of people. It is also a time where karate-ka regardless of style style can come together to promote the spirit of competition in a healthy and safe fashion as well as making new friends and connections. The underlying splendor participating in Karate Shiai is seeing students karate aquire a commitment in overcoming their own limitations whatever it may be.
Regardless of The Shugyokan Dojo's track record of winning both major and minor karate tournament venue, The Shugyokan Shorin Ryu Dojo does not place any high regards or importance in Karate Shiai ( Karate Tournament ) in its curriculum or training. The Shugyokan Dojo upholds the concept that real karate is fighting karate !