One Step Sparring - Karate Drills

One Step Sparring - Karate Drills

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One Step Sparring - Karate Drills

Posted on Nov 6 2011 at 03:00:19 PM in Other Sports

One step sparring (called 'ippon kumite' in Japanese) is a two person martial arts drill (often seen in Karate, Taekwondo, and similar styles) wherein one partner will deliver a designated, controlled strike and the other partner will take a designated type of step and perform a controlled block and counter. As a rule, all martial arts that use one step sparring will have a series of one step, two step, and/or three step drills, that follow a progression of increasing difficulty and realism. The general idea is to give students a basic idea of how to apply their blocking / parrying techniques in combination with defensive footwork and counter attacks. As students become proficient with advanced one step drills, it is important to also teach them how to vary timing, distance, level of contact, and how to create combinations of counter attacks that flow naturally after a successful defense.

This article details the list and explanations of the one step drills required on my karate syllabus, which may be found at my website linked in the author bio below.

List of one step sparring drills:

Basic One Step Sparring

In these basic one step drills, it is preferable to block outside of your opponent's attacking arm or leg, to help drill maximum safety from potential followup attacks. However, performing blocks to the inside should also be drilled, wherein students should practice multiple blocks to the inside to defend against both of the attacker's arms or legs.

Against Junzuki / progressive straight punch to lower body -
Step back and perform low block; step forward and junzuki

Against Junzuki to solar plexus -
Step back and perform outside block; step forward and junzuki

Against Junzuki to solar plexus -
Step back and perform inside block; step forward and junzuki

Against Junzuki to face level -
Step back and perform high block; step forward and junzuki

Against Front Snap Kick to the midsection or lower body -
Step forward at a 45 degree angle outside the line of attack, while performing low block, then pivot your body towards your partner and perform reverse punch. If your defensive step leaves a lot of room between you and your partner, then step in towards him or her as you punch, and use your blocking hand to 'check' their lead shoulder.

Against Roundhouse Kick to the upper body or head -
Step at a 45 degree angle along the line of the attack – for example, if the attacker kicks with his or her right leg, you will step forward at an angle with your right leg, to your right. You should move in far enough and just quickly enough that you will be at close range before the kick is completed, and the attacker is able to punch effectively. As soon as you are in close range you will pivot into your partner and perform an outside block to the kicking leg – above the knee only – then complete the counter with a reverse punch.

Intermediate One Step Sparring

Against a straight punch to the lower body -
Step back and perform low block, then shuffle in as you perform a back fist – reverse punch combination.

Against a straight punch to head level or midsection -
Step back such that you will be able to use an inside block to the outside of the attacking arm. For example, if your partner steps in with his or her left leg, you will step back with your left leg. Immediately 'check' / trap the attacking arm with your off hand as you shuffle in and perform an elbow strike to the body.

Against a straight punch to head level or midsection -
Step back such that you will be able to use an outside block to the outside of the attacking arm. For example, if your partner steps in with his or her left leg, you will step back with your right leg. Immediately open your blocking hand and perform a small brush block on the attacking arm, as you use a lead leg front kick to the midsection. Follow up with a simultaneous pull with your blocking hand and a reverse punch to the body. The pulling motion should be to the outside of the blocking hand and at a downward angle. For example, if you blocked with your left hand, you will pull to your left.

Against a wide swinging hook
Step forward with either leg and perform outside block to the forearm of the swing. If your partner swings with his or her left hand, you will block with your right hand, and vice versa. Immediately follow the outside block with a compact hook to the jaw.

Against a high straight punch -
As your partner steps in to punch, lunge forward such that you will be in a mirror image stance and perform a high block – reverse punch combination. For example, if your partner steps in with his or her left leg, you will lunge forward with your left leg.

Intermediate Front Kick Defense - Throw
Step forward at a 45 degree angle outside the line of attack, while performing low block. Slide your hand under the leg and rotate your arm upwards as you step through such that you will windmill your partner's foot upwards, and their shoulders down to the mat. Do this slowly at first with control. It is strongly recommended that you and your partner have a basic grasp on breakfalls before practicing this and the next drill.

Intermediate Roundhouse Kick Defense - Throw
Step at a 45 degree angle along the line of the attack – for example, if the attacker kicks with his or her right leg, you will step forward at an angle with your right leg, to your right. As you enter close range, begin pivoting towards the kicking leg, and perform inside block above the knee using the hand on the same side as the foot you stepped in with, and scoop the other hand under the lower leg, as you complete a 180 degree pivot. For example, if you stepped forward with your right foot, you will inside block with your right hand, and cinch the leg with the left hand. All of this should be done with one smooth motion, and done correctly you will throw your partner. Remember to use control.

Advanced One Step Sparring

Knife Hand Block Drills -

Drill #1 - Your partner will step in and jab with the left hand. Step back with the left foot, pivot to the the left, and redirect the attacking arm using a quick brush with the left hand. Your left arm's motion will look like the basic knife hand block setup. As you do this, your right hand will also come up into knife hand block setup. You may use this motion to practice a controlled strike to your partner's elbow joint. Follow through with a shuffle step as you trap the attacking arm with your left hand, and use a controlled downward elbow to your partner's chest to break the spinal alignment of his or her stance, then finish with a downward 'cutting' motion with your forearm. This drill should be performed on both sides.

Drill #2 – Your partner will step in and throw a wide swinging hook with their right hand. You will step back with the left foot, pivot to the left, and redirect the attacking arm with the same type of motion as in the previous drill. As you do this, you will bring your right hand into knife hand block setup with the intention of striking the bicep muscle with your elbow. Follow with striking to the head with either your forearm or hand, then pull down your partner's head, use a knee strike to the abdomen, and a controlled submission or elbow strike, then a takedown (such as a sweep). This drill should be performed on both sides.

Using our footwork drills to develop one step drills -
The smashing, sinking, spinning, and switching movements listed in the article 'In Pursuit of Perfection II' in the student manual 'Understanding Karate-do' lend themselves very well to developing advanced drills. These drills should generally include body shifting, counter attack combinations (including techniques such as lead leg kicks), and finishing techniques such as takedowns, holds, and locks. Students should try to use these footwork drills to develop skill in as many of their techniques as possible and gain a deeper understanding of bunkai (application of kata).

Yakusoku Kumite (Prearranged sparring) by Dave Lowry

  Article Information
Created: Nov 6 2011 at 03:00:19 PM
Updated: Nov 7 2011 at 08:37:39 AM
Category: Other Sports
Language: English

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