/ (ˈkuːmɪˌteɪ) /
Save This Word!

martial arts freestyle sparring or fighting
There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?

Word Origin for kumite

C20: Japanese, literally: sparring
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012


What does kumite mean?

In martial arts, kumite refers to sparring—free-form fighting between two opponents, typically involving light blows or strikes that don’t actually make contact.

Kumite is most closely associated with karate, and one of the forms of karate practiced as a sport is known as kumite. In kumite karate, two opponents spar against each other with the goal of being awarded points by judges for effective strikes.

The kumite form of competitive karate was first included as an Olympic event in the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021 (along with the performance form called kata).

Example: In kumite, opponents usually refrain from landing full-force blows out of respect for each other.

Where does kumite come from?

The word kumite is borrowed directly from Japanese, in which it means “sparring.”

Sparring has been a part of martial arts training since ancient times, but the formal nature of kumite evolved as karate and similar martial arts became popular forms of self-defense and, eventually, sports. Kumite karate was first included as an Olympic event in 2021 at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Did you know … ?

What are some synonyms for kumite?

What are some words that often get used in discussing kumite?

How is kumite used in real life?

Kumite is most closely associated with karate, and kumite karate is an Olympic event.

Try using kumite!

What does the word kumite mean in Japanese?

A. sparring
B. defending
C. karate
D. kicking

How to use kumite in a sentence