Article3 About Full contact training フルコンタクト・トレーニングについて
Josep Claramonte
What are the benefits of training kumite with full contact? What is the difference between full contact and no contact?

When training kumite in WKF version the rules forbid the contenders with hitting each other with full power. It is not allowed to use the full force of your karate techniques into the other person.

One may think that in order to keep karateka healthy and free of injuries this method is the best one. Well, these rules do not avoid injuries, but they avoid several benefits of the karate practice:

-Experimenting the full power of your techniques
-Knowing if your techniques are really good and powefull enough
-Confronting yourself against someone who can hurt you
-Get you used to a stress situation 

Let's revise one by one: 

If your tsuki and geri are always used trying to not touch your oponent, they will likely not touch your enemy if a fight starts in the street. This will be a great danger for you.

And if you manage to land the tsuki your hand is not used to such impact. The anatomy of the human body in movement is extremely different to that of a sand bag, the pads and the makiwara. These tools are useful and have their benefits when used correctly but their uses and intentions are different. Only hitting a human body you will get used to it without danger for yourself. 

Yes, everybody can hit the sand bag really hard. Everybody can make the makiwara shake. Everyone can hurt a friend with a full power punch. But... will that be enough to end a fight? Will you be able to hit a vulnerable spot? Will you land your technique where you want to? Will you hit with the part of your hand you expect to? Will you knock out someone bigger than you with a chudan tsuki?

Knowing what works is extremely important because will allow you to focus on the techniques that are more effective and to not waste your energy and precious time in useless movements. 

If your oponent can not hurt you because the rules do not allow him to do so, why should you defend yourself?

One can argue that WKF fighters defend from each other with foot work, blocks and anticipation. That is true, but usually your oponent is focused in scoring points without being touched. In a real fight your enemy might be drunk or on drugs or angry and not fully conscient of his acts, so he may act unreasonably, attacking without control.

Experience under this circunstance is extremely useful. 

This last one is my favourite.

The previous ones are obviously benefits, but can be argued. You may not be fully convinced, and it is legit to have dubts. But having a kumite with real fire against someone stronger than you puts you in a really unconfortable situation.

Being hit from all angles, feeling unable to defend, having to fight with pain, exhausted, scared... This is a gift for our training. If full contact kumite is conducted regularly one can get used to the stress situation of being in a (almost) real battle. This will allow oneself to get ready to think, to decide what is the best thing to do (punch, kick, move, push...) and, definetively, will help you to REACT when attacked.

If you are unable to react under stress all your training will be useless. You will be defenceless. You will be dead.

Full contact kumite is not easy or pleasant, not even when you “win” the fight. But it is the closest thing to a fight so getting used to it can help you save your live.

Learn to react under stress. It will be useful in all aspects of live.

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