Happo Kumite

Happo kumite (八方組み手) means literally “all sides” and/or “four directional” kumite. Hence, happo kumite increases the complexity of kumite in a way that it adds opponents.

Practice of Happo Kumite

Happo Kumite is a member of the Oyo Kumite group, which is a subset of the Yakusoku Kumite group.  A commonly held misconception is that it has to be practiced with four opponents because it refers to the four directional cardinal directions.

However, its purpose is to allow the practice of technique in a more self-defense based situation. It is the practicing of self-defense techniques from the possible 8 directions of attack. It was originally practiced by forming a circle and placing eight attacking opponents on the circumference of the circle at eight equally distanced points. Each defender stands alone in the center of the circle for a period of 30 seconds up to 2 minutes for the more advanced Karate-ka.

The amount of opponents and angles of attack differs according to the decision of the instructor. The kumite setting can thereby be kihon ippon and jiyu ippon kumite or even jiyu kumite.

Happo kumite

List of Authors:

Dr. Christian Tribowski

Derick Kirkham