The Meaning of Kumite
Kumite is a method of training in which the offensive and defensive techniques learned in kata are given practical application. The opponents are face to face.
The importance of kata to kumite cannot be overemphasised.If techniques are used unnaturally or in a forced way,posture will break down. And if the kata techniques becomes confused when applied, no improvement in kumite can be expected. In other words, improvement in kumite depends directly on improvement in kata: the two go together like hand in glove. It is a mistake to emphasise one at the expense of the other.This is a point to be careful about when practising kumite.

The Types of Kumite.
Basic kumite, jiyuu ippon kumite and jiyuu kumite are the 3 types of kumite.

Basic Kumite
in this most elementary form of kumite, the opponents take a fixed distance from each other and the target is agreed on beforehand. They then alternatively practice attacking and blocking. This may be done as a single attack and block- ippon kumite – or a series of five – gohon kumite – also 3 sanbon kumite.

Jiyuu ippon kumite
The method of Jiyuu Ippon kumite is this. Both karate-ka take a kamae (posture – specifically that of the arms and the torso) freely at an optional distance. Announcing the area the technique is aimed at, the attacker attacks decisively.Against this the blocker freely uses techniques they have mastered and counter attacks at once.