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Thread: MT: The Importance Of Sparring

  1. #1
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    Default MT: The Importance Of Sparring

    The Importance Of Sparring
    By MJS - Thu, 13 Dec 2007 02:09:48 GMT


    How much time do you devote to sparring/fighting? Do you feel that its important to do this in your training or is it something that you can do without? If you do spar, do you focus on a particular area?


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  2. #2
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    London, ON
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    Default Re: MT: The Importance Of Sparring

    My students fight continuous every week.

    Sparring is critical in my opinion
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)

  3. #3
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    Kerrville, Texas
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    Default Re: MT: The Importance Of Sparring

    If we didn't do continuous sparring, I'd have to find another place to train. What I enjoy is the continuous sparring where action is not stopped if I fall, get thrown or knocked to the ground.

    I just don't see how any art could be considered practical if there were no fighting. Just my .02 cents.
    ~Bill Richardson

    Rudeness is the frustrated attempt of a small mind to communicate.

    Forgive everyone everything

  4. #4
    bujuts is offline
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    Default Re: MT: The Importance Of Sparring

    It has its merits. But where it sometimes falls short is allowing the student to gain ownership of the other's body via domination of the skeleton. Reason is, you can't truly own the body in a free form environment without actually inflicting damage. Pulling the shots or shortening joint breaks for the sake of safety (obviously needed) creates a non-realistic response and allows the one being attacked to counter in a manner he/she wouldn't be able to under conditions of real violence. The same is true for the use of padding.

    Many spar in a fashion that look nothing like their techniques. I don't mean that they execute whole techniques in a free form environment (that is rare, and isn't the objective anyway), I mean that sparring often lacks the same degree of sophistication in movements as the rest of their kenpo - neutral bows bounce and bob and are lighter and shorter, forward bows are abbreviated, and twist stances sometimes disappear altogether. At the beginning stages, much sparring takes on the form of kickboxing. There are some talented kenpoists that eventually marry the two, however. The objective in my mind should be to get kenpo to a spontaneous state. More importantly, this means spontaneity in the Impact Manipulation, Contact Manipulation, and Contact Maintenance phases.

    Sparring is part of the puzzle. Our group leans more towards learn to attack attacks and develop sponteneity all the way to the Maintenance phase. Here, the Sets form the basis of the system, not techniques. Techniques form a critical platform for learning and applying the base system, and of course as learning tools they are predicated on particular situations, responses, and stimuli. Given that ownership of the skeleton is the objective, an approach of ebbing and flowing, acting and reacting - an approach that is so characteristic of "sparring" - puts the student's mind in a constantly reactive state. A constantly reactive state can be a potential liability in multiple assailant situations (which, IMHO, kenpo excels at beyond any system I'm ever seen), and in that regards development of spontaneity should also develop skills at being proactive.

    Again, sparring has merits and limitations. Anything we do is an approximation of a truly violent state, but short of those holo-decks from Star Trek (where you good pretty much take kenpo to any end on a daily basis ), the important part is to maximize our potential to deliver effective violence through good training in those approximations.

    Good topic, look forward to more.

    Steven Brown

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