It is important that you master a few effective techniques that your are able to perform reflexively and flawlessly. The techniques should be tailored to your own strengths and body build. Techniques should be simple with no more than 3 moves. They should be tested thoroughly in practice against a number of opponents to test their effectiveness. These techniques will be the primary techniques used to earn points in tournament competition. The techniques should be so well perfected that it would difficult for an opponent to defend against even if they know the technique is coming. A technique that you have mastered can stand up to this test, a technique that you are only proficient in can not.  The techniques should be simple and not so complex that they are difficult to perform with consistency. 

The techniques should also be tailored to be able to be used against a variety of opponents. For example, if you are good at sweeping an opponent's foot and master techniques that only have a foot sweep in it, you will have your techniques neutralized if you fight someone much bigger and heavier than yourself. It is therefore important to master a few diverse techniques. Some utilizing only punching, some using kicks, some with sweeps, and some with a combination of two or three of the above components. The techniques need not be composed of multiple movements either. If you are fast and are able to effectively deliver a single punch technique like the jab, or reverse punch then you should make that part of your arsenal. The key with the single movement delivery is timing and speed. If your speed or timing is not excellent, refer to the multiple movement combinations, which will give you a better chance of creating an opening for your point scoring technique.

Not having mastered a few techniques will greatly reduce your point scoring ability. You will not have any techniques you will be able to reflexively perform and this will greatly limit the points you can secure. Typically a fighter without a few mastered techniques randomly performs a number of techniques with limited focus, which are difficult to score with. Or, their focus may be good but the timing of the delivery is off just enough to prevent the techniques from consistently scoring. 

Saving One of Your Mastered Techniques

One strategy in kumite is to save one of your mastered techniques for when you really need the point. Good fighters are constantly observing your techniques when you are fighting in the ring. By the fighter observing your techniques they have the ability to better prepare themselves for fighting you and will reduce the percentage that you will be able to successfully score with the techniques you have mastered. Often times you may find yourself tied with points in a match or worse, down a point with 30 seconds left in the match. If it you are finding it difficult to score points with your preferred techniques, your opponent may be prepared to handle the techniques in your "regular" arsenal. This is a good time to pull out one of your mastered techniques that you hold in reserve for such occasions. It may even be a technique that may have a bit of complexity in the movement, but it is a technique that you have mastered none the less. The technique I have selected for this is my oitsuki (stepping forward punch). This is a technique not often seen in competition because few fighters have the foot and hand speed to effectively execute it because it is slower to perform effectively than the reverse punch or the jab. The problem with the oizuki, is because it is slower to execute, once your opponent is expecting it, it is hard to secure points with it. This is why I "reserve" this technique when needed.

Consider this type of technique your "Ace in the Hole". Used when absolutely needed and you can count on it to secure a point when it is needed most.  

Mastering a Few Good Techniques