What are Kata and Kumite the two forms in Karate?

Here is everything you need to know about the two disciplines in Karate: Kata and Kumite.

Kata and Kumite
Kata and Kumite

Kata and Kumite the two forms in Karate: Karate at the Tokyo Olympics will kickstart in a few hours. This will be the first time, it is being held in the Olympics, since the games began in 1896. It is yet to be made a permanent sport in the Olympics. A total of 8 events will be featured at the Olympics. The events are scheduled to be held at the Nippon Budokan, an indoor arena located in Tokyo.

There are a total of two disciplines – Kata and Kumite. Kumite will have a total of 6 events across men and women, split between 3 weights classes each. For the men – 67kg, -75kg and+75kg, for the women- 55kg, -61kg and +61kg. The Kata discipline will feature just one event each for men and women. But, what exactly are Kata and Kumite? Here is all you need to know about the two forms (disciplines) in Karate.

Kata is the solo form discipline

Kata is a solo form of karate that is practised or choreographed alone. It is believed to have originated in China, and is considered an integral part of a karateka. It is performed on an 8×8 metre mat. The participants are required to wear a Karategi. The participants performing will be judged by five judges using the flag system.

The participants are not allowed to perform the same kata twice even in the same round, or if the contest goes to the tie-breaker. At the Olympics a total of 102 approved Katas are available and the participants are allowed to perform only from that set. The winner will be the one who gets the most flags in favour of him/her from the judges.

A total of seven technical points and three athletic points are used for judging. The 7 technical points are – techniques, transitional movements, timing, breathing, focus, conformance and stances. The three athletic points are- strength, balance and speed.

Kumite is the sparring discipline

Kumite is more like combat sports. The athletes square off in an 8×8 mat here as well. The matches last three rounds, or it gets over when one competitor outscores the opponent by 8 points – whichever comes faster. The scoring goes like this, straight punch to the body gets you one point, and kicks to the body 2 points, whereas a high kick or takedown gets you three points.

As usual, there will be 5 judges, and the one with the most points at the end of three minutes will be the winner. In the event of a tie, the one who got the first point will get declared as the winner. Knowing Kata is an important part of taking part in Kumite.

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