Having reached your Brown belt you are now permitted to use a number of advanced techniques during kumite. In the interest of safety, it’s important that you develop an adequate ability in these before you start executing them against fellow students during kumite.
Its also important to realise that advanced techniques are low percentage techniques. This means that making them a success during kumite is difficult unless you set them up properly.
Therefore, the last thing an instructor wants to see is a Brown belt suddenly throwing nothing but advanced techniques. It’s important that you keep your kumite practical, but when the opportunity arises, it’s both challenging and exciting to endeavour to implement an advanced technique.
This of course is a process that takes time (years) so don’t be concerned if you have yet to develop these techniques at all prior your next grading.
Below is a basic description of the three techniques Brown belts are permitted to use during kumite are. You can read more about each technique in the Brown Belt Kumite Tips.
1) Spinning Back Kick (jiten ushiro geri)
Once a student reaches brown belt they are permitted to start practising the spinning back kick (jiten = spin, ushiro = back, geri = kick) during kumite. This is a very powerful kick and one that a student of lower grade may not be able to control or conduct safely. It’s important that before you start using it as part of your kumite arsenal that you feel comfortable with the technique and your control of the technique.
2) Foot Sweeps (ashi barai)
The foot sweep (ashi barai) is one of the most impressive techniques in kumite. It is also one of the most dominating as, depending on how effective it is, has the ability to:
- Put your opponent on the ground.
- Leave your opponent completely unbalanced giving you ample opportunity to seize the advantage.
- Leave your opponent slightly off balance yet too distracted to protect themselves from a forth coming devastating attack.
3) Hook Kick (ushiro mawashi geri)
Once a student reaches brown belt they are permitted to start practising hook kicks (ushiro mawashi geri) during kumite. This is a highly advanced kick and an exciting challenge that many higher grades take on. Unlike the spinning back kick and foot sweeps, the hook kick is an advanced technique that most karate-ka would refrain from using in self-defence. But this does not make its practice a waste.
Liken hook kick practise to a footballer (soccer player) who can do a number of tricks such as juggling a ball for minutes on end. While they may never directly use this technique in a game, the skills it develops (such as balance, coordination, ball control, concentration etc) would serve them well on a regular basis.
Hook kicks, whilst often used for fun in kumite, develop many useful skills that a karate-ka may not develop were they never to engage in their practice. Some of these include:
- Increased leg strength.
- Increased leg speed.
- Increased flexibility.
- Improved footwork and foot speed.
- Improved coordination.
Furthermore, in self-defence, a person would follow right through with their kick. As kicks must be pulled in kumite (to ensure student safety), after touching the target the leg travels back the way it came.