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From conventional Kumite to free Kumite


Johnny Gence Sensei and Bruno Bandelier work Sen-no-Sen

From conventional Kumite to free Kumite:

Here is the second part of the report of the internship with Johnny Gence Sensei which took place in my club, at the Langres Dojo the 07 / 04 / 2013.

I asked Johnny to do an internship geared towards the fight, and he built the program as follows:

In the morning : Kata - Bunkai. You will tell me: "What is the relationship with the fight? And yet, believe me, we fought well. I invite you to read the report and watch the video of the bunkai.

And for those who would still have a doubt about the relationship with the fight, here is what Johnny would answer them:

"For the bunkai, I mostly worked on things that require that the movement is done properly in terms of placement and structure for it to work, in short work its strength to put the other to the trouble. Moreover, I imposed a rhythm story to put them in the movement. (See Johnny on Kwoon Info)

But let's move on to the afternoon and kumite:

Johnny-Ganja-Teach-to-childThe first class was dedicated to kids under 12 years old (but Johnny let us put the kimono too (we're all kids anyway :-))

I will not dwell on this children's course except to say that once again the little ones were delighted to work with Sensei Johnny Gence who knows how to put themselves at their level and their level to explain them principles sometimes complicated.

I focused, for the group of young people, more on the sports side but working on the timing, the reaction time etc. then applicable to any type of confrontation. (See Johnny on Kwoon Info)

Johnny's pedagogy is well known, but in front of children I promise you it's really something. They literally drink his words and above all he knows how to make them understand and feel what karate.

Toward 15h30 we resumed the internship with adults to work the Kumite. We feasted!

From conventional Kumite to free Kumite:

Johnny followed to the letter the path announced in the title starting with kumite the most conventional (Gohon Kumite) to take us along the exercises to the free Kumite or at least, as he says himself: « ... in total uncertainty zone.«

So we started (Wow, I'm going to literature!) By the most conventional kumite, the Gohon Kumite.

The Gohon Kumite is a conventional assault on 5 steps and 5 identical attacks. It's like we're doingIppon Kumite but reproduces 5 once and with a counterattack only on the last attack.

Stage Langres Conventional KumiteThe Gohon Kumite is often considered as a basic work for beginners, but it allows Tori and Uke to work Kumite, namely control of distance, stability, speed, rhythm ...

But it's true, if we practice the Gohon Kumite in a strictly conventional way where everyone knows the attack, the level, the rhythm ... this work quickly becomes repetitive and boring. But it is a necessary evil.

To make the work more attractive, Johnny will withdraw as and when conventions.

Remove conventions or add unknowns:

For exampleTori changes pace at his convenience, so Uke does not work repetitively anymore but has to wait for Tori to start. The forbidding side of the Gohon Kumite is already much less present and Uke must remain vigilant (Zanshin) throughout the work.

Then Johnny will add a new uncertainty by allowing Uke to counter-attack whenever he wants and Tori will have to block this counterattack. For Tori it gets a lot complicated because instead of doing his 5 attacks in a repetitive way by not thinking almost and with a certain serenity, he will have to remain attentive and be responsive because he does not know when she Uke counter attack.

This work improves Zanshin (alertness) and responsiveness by disrupting Tori's state of mind. Indeed, in the classic Gohon Kumite, Tori only focuses on his attack a bit as if he was doing Kihon. There he must both make his attack perfectly, but must remain vigilant against his opponent who can fight back at any time.

We went then to Kumite Sambon. It is a conventional kumite close to Gohon kumite but on 3 not instead of 5. So in the same way, with Sambon Kumite we can withdraw conventions, or add unknowns in order to work Zanshin and reactivity.

By means of modifications, Johnny made us Kumite Sambon very particular :

Firstly, Tori makes three different attacks (ex: Oizuki Jodan, Oizuki chudan, Maegeri chudan) so even though Uke knows Tori's attacks in advance, he has to think between each technique, it's a lot less repetitive. Then Johnny adds handicaps to Uke. For example by forcing him to block only with the left hand.

In fact Johnny showed us only examples, but we can go on almost infinitely.

The principle is quite simple : we start from conventional work and as we master, we remove conventions, or we add unknowns or handicaps to get closer to the total uncertainty zone, Free Kumite.

We will then work on a single step (Ippon Kumite), always with this same principle of subtracting this or that convention in order to increase as and when uncertainties for both Uke, but also for Tori.

An interesting job was for example for Uke not to block or counter, but only to make only one displacement. Back, on the side, in rotation ... it does not matter, what counts is that there is only one movement, ie one foot that moves. This work seems quite simple, but Johnny will explain in the video that we should not anticipate too much because otherwise we can be trapped by the attack. You really have to try to move according to the technique of Tori.

After this exercise, Johnny chained on an absorption work : Uke takes a step back by absorbing the technique and then immediately. We talk about absorption because Uke does not move back a lot, but on the contrary, you have to keep your body forward. It's more a change of guard. The front leg passes on the back, but do not come crashing backwards in Kokutsubut rather stay ahead in Zenkustu for the counter. When the leg is backed up, there is a change of guard, the body fades and "absorbs" Tori's attack, it's a little as if the body was wrapping around the attack to chain immediately against as soon as the back foot touches the ground.

We did this exercise while working at 5 : One of us was in the center, then turned to an opponent. It triggers the attack, you had to absorb then hit, then change your opponent and so on. It was really interesting to do.

Johnny made us a demonstration (I put on the video), it's fun. What impressed me about Johnny's work is that it feels like he's idling, there's no rush, everything is fluid ...

We finished with a fairly simple but very interesting work to work Zanshin and responsiveness : You stand face to face on guard, Tori must do Gyaku Zuki and Uke must counter it, also in Gyaku Zuki, before Tori touches him. That's what we call Sen-no-sen or attack in the attack. This work will improve timing, responsiveness, speed of execution and Zanshin. Johnny advises to do this a few minutes early in class to really get into the bath ... and in the skin of a Karateka.

What to remember from this internship is that the Conventional kumite is a base on which we can rely to make a work more and more close to the Free Kumite. It suffices for that to modify the conventions in order to take Uke and Tori to areas increasingly close to total uncertainty.

I have prepared a video of the course. You will find all the phases I just described and the demonstrations of Johnny.

>>> Download the video

That's it, on the 3 hours, I tried to sort out the most interesting passages, I hope you enjoyed.

Leave me a comment below, thank you!

See you soon,

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  1. Trackback: Johnny Gence, the 3C and the internal pressure

    My name is Samira, aged 35ans, married and I have a baby 2 years and 7 Months (1m67cm, weight: 70 Kg). Here I practiced karate since my childhood from 5 years with my little brother to 1998.Enfaite I have a brown belt.
    The stopping of this discipline was only because of my studies, (Bac ...) after it was move of my family in a village where there is no club of karate. I was doing my katas on the beach with the presence of my dad. Then it's the professional life, I do not find time to practice any sport, work, home and vice versa, an unbalanced diet, a huge stress, result: Total fatigue from the head to the fingers of my feet , pain in the stomach, intestines to the feet ... Doctor's consultation: Lack of food hygiene and sports. 2010 marriage, 2011 childbirth, it is low back pain, for weight gain during my pregnancy of 20 Kg, I have the vertebral column that squeezes down is the explanation of the doctor, so always a belt for the back and no weight gain.
    Before I registered in your site, I look for karate training at home, with my friend Google, this one among his 3 first proposals was, karate clear and clean so I spent a day in read you articles and see you advises; it's really a real reference accessible and understandable with a motivation and perfect simplicity 100% bravo M. Bruno for everything you bring, even if there are some mistakes, but people are perfect and it's not is not too late to learn.
    My problem now is that I want to have my black belt, I want to resume training in a club, but my husband does not agree, so at home how to do it is not like the dojo ( also there is no where I'm going to put the big bag), it broke my will and my self-confidence, I train at home there are now two days but I do not feel at 10% of what I was before, it's lost in advance I believe BUT NO I want to find this ambition, will, trust in myself alone and with your blog to at least exceed this less than I ???? And find my perfect health; AND ESPECIALLY MY Personality.
    For information, I noticed that since I stopped playing sports, my life became a bag filled with stress, illness, depression ....
    And for self defense, it was in 1999, I went home in the afternoon, passing by a street, a Mr. my target spitting on my face, I made a dodge, I asked what's this stupid gesture, he wanted to beat me so my motto that day was "The best way to defend yourself is to attack" right away I made a maegeri in his belly and a sweep in holding her hand, and I put it on the ground and I sat on it. The problem that was in my head if I get up and that this individual regains his strength, is that I will be able to fight him, I was very scared, I trembled, so I kicked him and I fled. At home I was haunted by myself, and I have never told this story to my family until now. How to be self-confident ????
    Thank you for reading this message, it matters a lot to me.

    • Hello Samira, it hurts me when I see a woman in such a situation because I refused to marry me too young because the majority of men do not encourage their wives for what they wanted to do, but you have to find your own inner strength and your will to resume, Put your goal in front of you and trace your path With a rule is better because it will be right Do not let the others jostle you


  3. Karate is not that!
    I have the impression to see a karate from a past time that does not dream anyone.
    I am exasperated!
    there would be so much to say !!!

  4. Hello Bruno
    The work is very interesting and fun, it's true it changes the traditional
    good luck and thank you for sharing this work

  5. Thank you very much Mr Bruno, it was excellent and very informative. I learned a lot of things, especially about Kumite, especially, the transition from conventional to free kumite. We must admit that it is with practice that we learn.
    Thank you for this video, and see you next time

  6. chapuis gerard at

    Hello !

    I just watched the video, and it's very original as exercises.

    Simple changes and that we do not think.

    The internship had to be very interesting. Thanks to Bruno for the video.

    Friends to all!


  7. Good evening Sensei BRUNO
    I am very happy for the sense of perfection that you put in us to practice karate sport in all completeness.and other teacher that you put at our disposal.
    Thank you Sensei BRUNO soon.

  8. serif ble patrice at

    I am being emu from the work shot by Me.
    What I want to know all of us practitioners and we must practice BUDO or SAMOURAI.
    But I do not understand I ask the phone you do not arrive at my name one day it is not good.

    here is my phone ... 00225 47 75 11 50
    05 88 51 23
    40 25 40 66
    09 05 25 07
    I invite you to Ivory Coast at home

    OSS ........................
    I am a proud patriot CN 3eme DAN Shotokan
    President of the Organizing Committee to the Ivorian Federation of Karate and Associate Tenipline. KIKDA.


    OSS ............ ..

  9. I think it's a very accurate and very good internship report that teaches me a lot just by reading it and imagining myself in action. Thank you very much for this testimony on kumites. Sincerely bruno

  10. Hello Bruno,

    What can I say after reading and seeing such remarkable work. I am simply impressed. I would like to know if you will organize such a seminar next year. Also, can other karate do disciplines take part in your seminars?

  11. a very interesting video that makes me want to put on the kimono right now, thank you Bruno and Johnny;). I can not wait to take one of his internships, I really like his method of work and teaching ^^

  12. Super Bruno video, there we have the content of the shot.

    I'm still not karate, but what I see on this video is very interesting. I really like the bursts of attacks with the hands in the belt, and that the legs that move. Excellent.

    The work in Randori is nice too.

    And all those laughs of kids around, I love it.

    Thank you for sharing.


  13. Thanks for the cr.Always informative to see johnny practicing; and it 's nice because you work with similar approaches in my club, which is far from being the case everywhere ....
    MAÏGA, here is a link that will surely be useful.

    But I can not help but to tell you that with a minimum of google search, you could have found this information by yourself, and if you really intend to go to the next exam, it is gand time to worry about what you have to spend.And your teacher, he does not advise ????

  14. Sensei I would like to know if I can have the first dan program. As I intend to attend the next exam I would like to have the program thank you.

  15. Hello,
    very good use of conventional assaults in a process of progression and in the development of motor skills. I really loved this video. Hat to Bruno and Johnny

  16. Super Cr, as usual, I did not even remember what I had done lol.
    You have not chosen the best photo against lol

  17. Bravo Bruno for your "intellectual" work on karate. Combined with practice, this discipline becomes democratic, accessible and understandable. Thank you for your commitment and your passion. Kiki.

  18. Thank you for reporting and thank you for these techniques.

    Are you preparing for an internship for next summer?

    Thank you for keeping me informed, I am deeply interested in the discovery of other masters.

    Your site is nickel!

    gael fredet Guyana

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