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Thread: Sparring Hand Positions

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    Default Sparring Hand Positions

    For those of you who like to spar:

    Where do you keep your hands?

    I learned, long ago, to have one high and one low (standard guard)

    My friend, Phil, who is also a boxer, showed me how to stop getting kicked in the head by keeping my hands up by my head like a boxer.

    Darryl, my instructor, showed me something called 'the wall' where lead hand is high and the other hand is across your belly (like you're holding your stomach) to keep people from scoring.

    Lots of people I see sparring leave their hands down completely.

    What's your take on the hands issue?

    --Amy
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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    My guard changes depending mostly on the distance and who I'm fighting. Long and medium range, I tend to use the standard Kenpo guard: every angle close to a 45. Loose, no tension, but alert. Trailing fist just off the lead elbow.

    In close, my fists tend to come up and in some, but not too close. I want the guard to control his and support good elbow strikes; I LOVE elbows in close!

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong
    My friend, Phil, who is also a boxer, showed me how to stop getting kicked in the head by keeping my hands up by my head like a boxer.
    Congratulations. When do you get the cast removed?

    I just worked out with a purple belt who literally put the shoes to the bohunkus of a bb (who does MMA/UFC type fighting, full contact) because the bb only uses the boxers style guard. That guard only works when your hands are taped up like rocks and you have a massive pair of gloves on- and when the other guy forgets his feets.

    Not to disrespect boxers- they are good athletes and generally in really good shape. Also, whatever guard you use, they'll pick you apart if you're not careful. And many of them know the difference in boxing and fighting. They don't allways hit like they have gloves, and they know what feet are for. But when the conditioned response kicks in and they land one wrong, or try to pick a kick with their fist next to their head, it's a trip to the ER.

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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan
    Congratulations. When do you get the cast removed?
    Well, I'm a little torn because until I started using my hands up near my head, I got kicked in the head all the time.

    What do you suggest?

    --Amy
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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong
    Well, I'm a little torn because until I started using my hands up near my head, I got kicked in the head all the time.

    What do you suggest?
    Move. That is what I was taught (universally) is the primary defense against a kick- or anything else for that matter. Even a good block to a kicking leg, when the kick is done with intent, will do more dammage to your arm than his leg. Think about Swinging Pendulum- that universal is a strong block. But we are taught to step up the circle away from the force of the kick, not just to block. So, whether you duck, move to an outside corner, or move inside the arc where the force is less- MOVE.

    If you have to take it on your arm, bring it up like an upward elbow and get it tight to your head. Take the kick on the whole bent arm and the head and neck in support.But I wouldn't want to take it just on my fist.

    Edit: if you can do it, staying relaxed and yielding your whole body to the kick (if you have to take it on the arm) helps. But, not that easy in the split second between realization and actually taking the hit to your head. Easy to say though, huh?

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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    We use a modified boxer stance with the hands high but not totally like a boxer. We train to use the back hand high near the lower jaw, and the front hand just below the chin keeping the elbows down and in towards the body to protect it.

    Coupled with moving the body and head to avoid strikes and kicks this works well. Most of the fighters I've trained love to see someone come at them with one or both hands below their shoulders, because they are going to hit them before they can move their hands to block. We consider blocking a strike the worst possible way to defend yourself when sparring. Moving is the key to avoiding getting hit. I've trained guys that if you are within 6 feet of them with either one of your hands below your shoulders they will hit you before you can move or realize they are even attempting a strike.

    Remember you've got to move. Body position is one of the keys ....
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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    Amy,

    I agree with Darryl on this one.

    To be honest, I'm not fussy where most boxers and kickboxers keep their hands. I feel that most of them keep their hands too high, and it leaves them vulnerable for kicks to the rib area.
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    I have three positions, the standard gard (one high one low). Than is I am feeling intense I have the both infront about the hight of my shoulders and about shoulder width apart. Than once I really get into it I have my back hand at about my solar plex and my front hand down near my knee. I think I got that from my ld instructor and it really works.
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    I guess I'll need to work more on my movement. It's not like I'm standing still the whole time or anything, but I used to get hit all the time in the head until I started bringing my hands up higher.

    I'll play with it.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    Quote Originally Posted by parkerkarate
    I have three positions, the standard gard (one high one low). Than is I am feeling intense I have the both infront about the hight of my shoulders and about shoulder width apart. Than once I really get into it I have my back hand at about my solar plex and my front hand down near my knee. I think I got that from my ld instructor and it really works.
    I don't know if I like the idea of having my lead hand near my knee, especially in continous sparring.

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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwell
    I don't know if I like the idea of having my lead hand near my knee, especially in continous sparring.
    Me neither, but several people at my school do that too. I just get kicked in the head. I"m not sure I'll ever be fast enough to not get hit in the head.

    Good thing I have a hard head.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong
    I just get kicked in the head. I"m not sure I'll ever be fast enough to not get hit in the head.

    Good thing I have a hard head.
    Duck.

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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    Quote Originally Posted by parkerkarate
    Than is I am feeling intense I have the both infront about the hight of my shoulders and about shoulder width apart. Than once I really get into it I have my back hand at about my solar plex and my front hand down near my knee. I think I got that from my ld instructor and it really works.
    Those might work against the "average joe" but I wouldn't recommend them against anyone of significant skill.

    Yikes...
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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwell
    I don't know if I like the idea of having my lead hand near my knee, especially in continous sparring.
    Ah, yeah.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way Scott.
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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong
    Me neither, but several people at my school do that too.
    --Amy
    Amy,

    I know people do it, especially those that compete a lot in point fighting since it's game of strategic tag. In full contact, however, one shot and you'll get your head taken off.
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    I tend to try and read my opponent, the only advantage in my case of having my right hand low around groin height would be to intercept a kick and punch the leg coming at me. That makes them think twice about using that leg in their next attack and might make them limp a little. Also I tend to throw a lot of back hand strikes and from that height I can usually get a good strike to the chin. Then pull back to set up a back kick, but keep in mind I am still pretty new so I am always looking for what might work.
    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you

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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook
    Amy,

    I know people do it, especially those that compete a lot in point fighting since it's game of strategic tag. In full contact, however, one shot and you'll get your head taken off.
    Jamie,

    That happens to me even in point fighting. Some of those 'point fighters' hit hard!

    And yes, those who do it are all point fighters.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
    New Cool (free) kenpo tool bar: http://KenpoKarate.OurToolbar.com/


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    Default Re: Sparring Hand Positions

    THose positions seem to work good enough for me against most of the people I spar at the studio and the WIng Chung guy that I spar at school. Either I am fast enough (not tooting my horn or anything LOL) or they are just being nice to me.
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

    "Sic vis pacem parabellum - If you want peace, prepare for war." -- "The Punisher"


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