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Kumite Kicking Strategies

The following exercises are suitable for Brown and Black belt students who wish to take their learned basics to the next level for effective application in sparring.

Withdraw with mawashi-geri
Push withdraw from close range with mawashi-geri

Objective: Being able to vary your kick attacks not just going in straight, getting the distance right for the longer reach of kicks and combining a kick within a combination - in this case with the retreat.

Close in and push yourself against your partner, then move off to the side and setting the distance fire off a mawashi-geri as you retreat.  Do both legs retreating to each side.  Keep your fist guard up.

Punch feint mawashi-geri
Double feint mawashi-geri jodan

Change direction twice with short punches and raise the knee on the side to belt line height as if to do an intended hook kick, but instead mawashi geri to the opposite side.  The supporting foot will need to be completely pivoted around to allow your body to get the angle and extension necessary.  Push away their leading hand guard with your leading hand as you kick.

Sweep feint ura-mawashi-geri

Sweep feint ura-mawashi-geri jodan

​Objective: Feint an off-centre sweep whilst blocking to enable a disguised ura-mawashi-geri jodan

Avoid a defensive punch by going in to the outside line and palming away their leading guard.  Feint a sweep from the back leg before quickly switching it to a hook kick ensuring a snap back with the sole of the foot.

Punch jam, mawashi-geri

Punch, jam-push, mawashi-geri jodan

Objective: Making distance for a kick after punching

The opponent is standing firm after closing in with an oi-zuki, gyaku-zuki combination.  Push them back with your momentum and skip mawashi with your front leg.

Feint punch shift mae-geri

Feint side drift double punch, switch diagonal mae-geri

Objective: To avoid straight line mae-geri attacks all the time, feint punches whilst drifing to the side changing legs for a diagonal attack with mae-geri

After shifting forward with a jab, immediately switch legs whilst moving diagonally and jab with the other hand.  Follow on immediately with a mae geri attack with the back leg.

Short range jumping ushiro-geri

Double punch, jumping ushiro-geri

Objective: Varied kick in a standard combination to confuse the opponent

After shifting forward with a standard jab and gyaku-zuki, execute a close range jumping ushiro-geri.  The jump goes directly upwards rather than forward to hit the target.

This kick can also be used in defence instead of a kizami geri to counter back to an opponent that who you have blocked as they moved in.

Outside shift mawashi-geri

Outside slip jab, mawashi-geri, jab

Objective: Sliding to the outside for a front attack rear leg mawashi-geri

This is an alternative to the usual expected rear leg mawashi-geri attack.  Starting in mirrored stance, slide out to the outside whilst faking a jab punch and launch an almost simultaneous rear leg mawashi-geri chudan.  Follow up with another jab as you land.

Gyaku-zuki mawash-geri jodan

Gyaku-zuki, front leg mawashi geri jodan

Objective: slide in gyaku zuki, straight to front leg mawashi-geri jodan

Slide in with a gyaku-zuki to the body and straight to front leg mawashi-geri jodan before stepping back out.  A simple attack that very much depends on speed of the 2nd technique.  Its important to do the punch and kick in one exhale move rather than 2 counts.  Kick as the gyaku-zuki arm pulls back with the waist.

Feint move, Ura-mawashi-geri

Feint opposite side attack, front leg ushiro-mawashi geri jodan

Objective: step in to feint an outside attack, kick to opposite side with front leg ushiro-mawashi-geri jodan

Lead with a jab to the upper section whilst stepping forward and feinting an attack towards the outside; step in and kick to the opposite side with an ushiro-mawashi-geri jodan.

Angled mawash-geri jodan

Gyaku-zuki, turn mawashi-geri jodan

Objective: Effectively kick jodan mawashi-geri after an opponent avoids a gyaku-zuki by turning

The attacker goes in with an gyaku-zuki chudan and the opponent turns off 90 degrees to avoid the punch.  Immediately pivot around to face the opponent by moving the back leg and kick mawashi-geri jodan with the front leg.

Feint, driving mawashi-geri

Tai sabaki with punch feint, power mawashi-geri

Objective: Feint punch attack and changing line of mawashi-geri

Switching so you are toe to toe, lead with a feint high jab as you shuffle in slightly but then quickly skip the front leg to the outside line for a back leg mawashi-geri chudan to the body.  Careful as this can be quite a heavy kick if not controlled.

Exerpts from:

Kumite techniques seminar 2001 by the Japan National Team Coach, Seiji Nishimura

YouTube - Alex Chichvarin at

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