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Thread: What to watch when sparring?

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    Kenpo-Sloth's Avatar
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    Question What to watch when sparring?

    Being a novice at sparring, I find myself looking different places during a match such as the head, eyes, shoulders, hands, midsection, legs and even the clock when I'm having trouble breathing.

    What should I be looking at, and what shouldn't I be looking at, while sparring?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated and probably save me some money on ice packs.
    What have I learned from this???

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    dsp
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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    I'd go with the center of the chest. Fakes come from the head, eyes, shoulders, hands, etc. You will go where the chest goes. And you can see the hands and legs if you are looking at their trunk. I'd avoid looking at the clock.....
    Just my opinion, I'm sure there will be others.

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    dubljay is offline
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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    In my experience the area of focus should be concentrated on the midsection, between the solar plexus and the waist. Any strike generally requires some movement, no matter how fractional, from the core.

    That being said here are some things to consider. By no means am I any sort of expert, but having participated in near full contact sparring matches I learned some things the hard way.

    Sparring is much like driving a car. When driving you have your main area of focus, the road, and peripheral things to keep track of, like mirrors and gauges. Focusing on just one thing will cause an accident or lead to other problems. Such is the same with sparring, pay too much attention to one specific area and you will be caught off guard. Each body part can give hints of impending movements, the eyes widening or closing could mean coming in for an attack, a twitch of the leg could be a tell for a specific combination. Your opponent's breathing is also important to watch, taking a preparatory breath is a key sign of a closing attack. Don't rely on just your eyes, use your ears as well, I have sparred against people who kiai just before they attack, also differing kiais could mean different attacks as well.

    More importantly each person fights differently, requiring a different type of focus than the next person. Stay loose and pay attention. Don't let your attention waver from your opponent. I had to learn to curb my frustration at failed attacks and getting hit. That frustration took my attention from my opponent starting a vicious cycle that rendered me completely defenseless.

    Just my $.02


    -Josh
    Last edited by dubljay; 07-07-2005 at 10:38 PM. Reason: oops
    Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. - Buddha

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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    Keep your hand up by your face and your elbows in by your ribs. Do combinations...my most effective technique has two softning up blows with the third being the shot to the head. The first two are to rabid for them to catch on...by the time the go to deflect them, Im already at the main target. Lately chicken kicks have been working for me...making the second one a side kick.

    If I think of anything else specific, Ill add on.
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    MJS
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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpo-Sloth
    Being a novice at sparring, I find myself looking different places during a match such as the head, eyes, shoulders, hands, midsection, legs and even the clock when I'm having trouble breathing.

    What should I be looking at, and what shouldn't I be looking at, while sparring?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated and probably save me some money on ice packs.
    I tend to focus more on the upper chest/shoulder area. Some people will attempt to confuse their opp. by looking low, giving the impression thats where they'll be hitting, but instead throw a higher strike. I would think though that concentrating on one area, rather than many will be better.

    Mike

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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    I would be careful with the question, "where should I be looking during sparring"? Too much focus on a specific area can get one's mind thinking too much during a match. Relax your mind and body and move with speed and spontaneity.

    This comes with experience and sparring often, but you will get there.

    Jamie Seabrook
    www.seabrook.gotkenpo.com

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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    Sometimes during each session Ill focus on doing something particular. Sometimes its to get a particular move or to get a specific target. It helps me to recognize certain openings
    Susan A. Spann

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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    Thank all of you for your replies

    I hope to spar each week from now on.

    It's only been a year and a half and
    two different schools, but the more
    I learn, the more fun I have.
    What have I learned from this???

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    Randy Strausbaugh is offline
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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    I second the shoulders. Hand techniques will show up well, and a weight shift before kicks will show too.

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    dsp
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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Strausbaugh
    I second the shoulders. Hand techniques will show up well, and a weight shift before kicks will show too.
    That's true enough, but it's very easy to fake with the shoulders. You can move your shoulders enough to fake without committing to the move, it's much harder to fake with your chest and not commit enough to allow a counter.

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    Randy Strausbaugh is offline
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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    Quote Originally Posted by dsp
    That's true enough, but it's very easy to fake with the shoulders. You can move your shoulders enough to fake without committing to the move, it's much harder to fake with your chest and not commit enough to allow a counter.
    I don't think we disagree in essence. After all, if you're looking at both shoulders at the same time, you're looking at the chest as well. Just two different ways to achieve the same result .

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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    I agree with Mr.Seabrook,I try to just relax and react when I see opening.I find when I think too much during a match [which I've never been accused of thinking too much]I don't do as well, as just letting it happen. Like everyone else I'm learning as I go. But as to where I look,chest mid section so the hips are in view as well.

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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Miyu
    Do combinations...my most effective technique has two softning up blows with the third being the shot to the head. The first two are to rabid for them to catch on...by the time the go to deflect them, Im already at the main target.

    Might I add, these are quite effective....she did this to me several times in sparring....after getting frustrated that I simply could not block her, I asked her to teach it to me! Nice technique!

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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    Way I see it, it's like how you use your eyes when driving....
    steady scanning. Don't 'fix' them anywhere.

    Your Brother
    John
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  15. #15
    kajukenpo_grl Guest

    Exclamation Re: What to watch when sparring?

    In my years of training and competing in both TKD and KajuKenpo, I have found that "where you look" when you spar depends on your personal comfort zone. When I began my first tournament, I looked at the eyes, the mid section, and then started finding a point on the lapel of their top to focus on. i found that looking at a specific point of their upper body was easier to decifer what was a "fake" and what was really going to come at me. You learn to "read" your opponent and if you know what to look for, you begin to catch on quickly to what they prefer to execute.

    Now that my training is focused on Kajukenpo and not tkd, my approach to kumite (sparring) is different. Yes, I am only at the rank of Go Kyu (blue belt 5th class) but my training comes from some of the best master's and instructors (Sensei Algene Caraulia Jr. and Master Eugene Madry) of KajuKenpo Karate. Here is what they have taught me.
    1. Be the leader in the ring. Where ever you go your opponent will follow. When sparring, try moving in a triangle pattern, as you drop back to the bottom corner of your triangle, your opponent will follow you, as soon as he/she starts to come toward you, execute your technique. The easiest way to get in is using a ura ken (backfist). When you execute the backfist, instead of pulling your arm back into position, use it to push against your opponents blocking arm, holding it there opens up the rib cage, tag them with a reverse punch to the rib cage. It will work almost everytime! And it's an easy way to score in point sparring (especially in the lower ranks!)
    2. As for where to look. I am starting to see that actually looking PAST or THROUGH the person, works the best. When you look past them, one, not only confuses them because they have no idea what your looking at and think you are disracted, but two, looking past them allows you to see every slight little movement there body makes and it's easier to decifer fakes from what he/she is really going to execute. Your natural human instinct will allow you to defend against them without you even thinking about it. I normally look past my opponent by looking slightly off to the left or right of their head and right above their shoulder.
    I hope you can find this useful and if you would like to talk more, just drop me a line.
    good luck!
    kk_girl

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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John
    Way I see it, it's like how you use your eyes when driving....
    steady scanning. Don't 'fix' them anywhere.

    Your Brother
    John
    Exactly my point John...well put.

    Jamie Seabrook
    www.seabrook.gotkenpo.com

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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    I don't understand??
    I tried scanning (not fixing my eyes in any one spot) and I still got hit .
    This sparring stuff is much harder than it looks!!
    Seriously, I really like sparring

    I'll keep scanning .......................

    (NOTE: was going to put an animated image of that guys head blowing up from the movie "Scanners" here as a joke but it's too graphic)
    If you still want to see it (you sicko) then follow this link:
    http://home.comcast.net/~linuxboy/scanner.gif
    What have I learned from this???

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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    Sloth -

    Like all things, it takes practice - you'll get there, don't worry! ^_^
    Susan A. Spann

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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpo-Sloth
    I don't understand??
    I tried scanning (not fixing my eyes in any one spot) and I still got hit .
    This sparring stuff is much harder than it looks!!
    You are going to get hit regardless. It doesn't matter how long you've been sparring, what art, time in grade but you will get hit. With the more experience it will probably be less and less but even then you will still get hit.

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    Default Re: What to watch when sparring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Miyu
    Like all things, it takes practice - you'll get there, don't worry! ^_^
    Quote Originally Posted by jfarnsworth
    You are going to get hit regardless. It doesn't matter how long you've been sparring, what art, time in grade but you will get hit. With the more experience it will probably be less and less but even then you will still get hit.
    Thanks for your replies!!
    I was just kidding about scanning and questioning why I got hit , however I will keep scanning and ask "What did I do wrong?" each time I get hit

    Tonight is Sparring Night


    What have I learned from this???

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