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Awkward, Unpredictable Kumite

My first Shorin-Ryu sensei was very skilled at kumite. Back in his time, he could successfully kumite with just about anyone he went with.

One day, he practiced with a student who was mentally challenged. As soon as they started, the student hit him. He thought it must have been a lucky hit, but then the student did it again -- and again.

After a while, my sensei began to study how the student was moving. His awkwardness and unpredictability made him extremely difficult to kumite with.

I also think that most people who practiced kumite with my sensei would have been very cautious with him. They would have anticipated his techniques (or tried to) and been reluctant to expose themselves to an attack or counterattack.

This student, on the other hand, seemed to have no such concerns. He moved when he wanted to move and struck without telegraphing or warning.

I think there is something to be learned from this.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin