Kumite 組手 literally means a meeting of hands or sparring, and is one of the three main sections of karate training, along with kata and kihon. Kumite is the part of karate in which you train against an adversary, using the techniques learned from the kihon and kata. This Differs from kihon and kata, due to the fact you are only training against an imaginary opponent.
In Meibukan Goju-ryu, dojos practice forms of Yakusoku Kumite only. Yakusoku Kumite means pre-arranged sparring. There is no practice of jiyu kumite - free sparring. There has never been free fighting in classical Okinawan Goju-ryu. In jiyu kumite, Karate becomes a sport, and classical Karate is not a sport. Okinawans practice Karate-do, meaning the way of the empty hand. Also, jiyu kumite can hinder the development of good Karate techniques, especially in Okinawan Goju-ryu, where the emphasis is ending the fight with one devastating technique
Here is a list of different forms of Meibukan Yakusoku Kumite:
1/ Renzoku kumite - Continuous sparring
2/ Kakomi kumite - Surrounded sparring
3/ Ippon kumite - One step sparring
4/ Nihon kumite - Two step sparring
5/ Bunkai kumite – Kata Analysis sparring
1/ Renzoku Kumite - this is practiced with the rhythm of different Taikyoku patterns done in a straight. Instead of practicing your pattern in four directions, you would practice your pattern facing one opponent. There are no turns in the forms, instead of when you block you always step back to face the same opponent, and when you attack you always step forward. In the dojo, when in pairs, the higher rank calls then attacks, so this means the lower rank always performs the pattern first. After its performed, then change sides, so lower rank calls and attacks.
2/ Kakomi kumite - this is practiced with the rhythm of different Taikyoku patterns, but with the movements of the four directions. This is good practice in fighting multiple attackers.
Many beginners have problems with proper foot position (i.e. what foot forward). Here is a diagram to help teach what foot to have forward.