“Kumite” is roughly translated as “sparring”. It includes pre-arranged sparring drills where both participants know exactly which attack and which counters will be used.
Karate uses a very methodical “building block approach” to building skills. The most basic Kumite drill is called Gohan Kumite (5 Step Sparring). Gohon Kumite is not designed to teach realistic attacking and blocking skills, but rather it teaches the students good timing and sense of distance, which will be built on later in much more realistic Kumite drills where these skills will be essential.
In progressive Kumite drills a greater variety of attacks are used, the defender can use side-stepping/different angles as well as chosing their own favourite counter attacks to suit their own personal strengths and likes.
The most advanced form of pre-arranged Kumite is Jiyu Ippon Kumite (Semi-Free One Step Sparring) which is demonstrated below.