On Sunday 3rd February 28 Karate-Ka from the Shotokan Karate Ryu met at the Mountfitchet Romeera Leisure Centre in Stansted Mountfitchet for 2 hours of intense training in the traditional practice of Happo Kumite.

Happo Kumite is an applied form of Karate training that promotes a stronger focus on the self defence and martial aspects of Karate-do training founded in the principle that a Karate-ka who is strong against an individual opponent, if unaccustomed to facing more than one attacker, would not be able to effectively use their techniques in a real world situation when faced by more than one opponent.

Happo Kumite requires the defender to repeatedly shift his or her body position to deliver consecutive blocks and counter attacks against multiple attackers throwing head and body punches, front and round kicks from all sides. Happo Kumite requires the co-ordination of mind and body to improve timing, balance, agility, endurance and fluidity of movement between techniques in Kumite practice.

Sensei Michael commented: “I was first introduced to the concept of facing multiple opponents as a brown belt and quickly came to appreciate the complexity of defending against more than one attacker. In numerous courses I attended Kanazawa Sensei placed great importance on the practice of defence against multiple opponents as a means to ensuring Karate training remains practical in a real world setting. The mental and physical agility required to effectively meet attacks in quick succession from all quarters is considerable, but also essential in developing the true martial spirit of traditional Karate-do.”