In kumite we tend to use all limbs available to us, to successfully deal with our opponent, however, sparring which begins with both the participants kneeling or seated facing each other is known as Iai, Seiza Waza or Suwari Waza and this is something that we practice at Stafford Shotokan Karate.
Iai combines all elements of karate such as Ippon Kumite, Kata, Jiyu Kumite etc. and allows you to use pure technique to effectively handle an attack without the use of your legs.
We teach Iai in six stages:
- Defending and attacking from the front
- Defending and attacking from the rear
- Defending and attacking from the side
- Defending and attacking against wrist holds
- Defending and attacking from choke holds
- Learning how to kick and sweep from the floor before being applying this technique to all other stages
Iai is good to practice as it helps one to understand technique over strength.