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TMA UnderGround >> How do you spar in your TMA school

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3/31/04 4:26 PM
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ifidieidie
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Edited: 31-Mar-04
Member Since: 11/12/2003
Posts: 251
 
I'm trying to encourage a change in the sparring program at my TMA school, and I was wondering what kind of sparring do you guys do in your TMA school? No contact, no gear? Light contact, foam-dipped gear? Heavy contact, headgear and 16 oz gloves? Do you only use the techniques of your style? Or do you also use say, Western boxing, Thai kicks and knees, and wrestling takedowns? Does everybody in the school spar? Or is it a special class that only interested people do? Do you think sparring attracts students, or turns them away because they mostly want exercise and they are scared of sparring? Thanks for all replies.
3/31/04 4:46 PM
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tjmitch
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Edited: 31-Mar-04
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In my school it depends who you are and what you are interested in, and who is in the room at the time. A typical Thurday night sparing/kickboxing class is very light contact, mostly drills/technique/theory stuff. Some pad work, a decent workout but not real sparring.No leg kicks, no sweeps, no takedowns, no knees, no nothing. This is enough for a good portion of the students. There are even some where this is too much. The Saturday sparing class is more contact. Depending on who you are fighting you are allowed to sweep and leg kick. The head contact is keep reasonable. Nobody should be getting rocked or KOed, but bloody noses and some resonable solid contact is fine, again, depending on who you are playing with. The sort of rule of thumb is the level of contact always defers to whoever wants less. Thursday morning I work out with just our sifu and 2 or 3 other students. Not a class that is on the schedule. The only real rule when we spar is nobody gets hurt or angry. But you are free to use whatever you want. We are primarliy there to learn shuai chiao, but when we play everything you know is fair game. The contact again is kept reasonable around the head, and it isnt really "full contact" just solid contact, but not hitting as hard as you can. Also, there are times when we spar during our normal Tues night class. Depending on who is there and who is teaching,this can range from the little contact pitty pat to more like the free fighting we do on Thurs Mornings. 3 times a year we fight full contact except head shots, which should be kept to like 75-80 percent. i would say less than 5% of the school has any interest in much more contact or free fighting than the Thurs night class.
4/1/04 9:45 AM
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Millenium Falcon
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Edited: 01-Apr-04
Member Since: 11/12/2002
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I pretty much agree with TJMitch. I'm not TMA, but have always prefereed headgear and handgear, light-to-medium contact, taking it up a notch if both guys agree to it.
4/1/04 12:52 PM
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ifidieidie
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Edited: 01-Apr-04
Member Since: 11/12/2003
Posts: 254
Thanks for the feedback so far guys. Anyone else?
4/1/04 4:00 PM
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Willybone
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Edited: 01-Apr-04 03:55 PM
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We had 3 main types in HKD.
No contact, no padding, all kicking - This was just part of our regular warmup routine, and was clearly very unrealistic in the techniques you'd use. Everyone did this without exception and no real complaints.

Light contact, hand/foot padding, no punches to the head - This was more for advanced students, and partners could mutually agree to step it up to include more techniques, but most kept it at standard TKD type rules. Some folks got really uptight about contact during this, and you could tell who was there for fighting and who wasn't. I had my jaw dislocated twice at this level.

Medium contact, hand/foot/head/mouthpiece padding, no kicks below the belt - This was for advanced students. It was also done in a seperate class run by our most hardcore teacher (a woman, incidentally) who was also the most cardio/strength demanding of all the instructors, no surprise there. This class was very demanding and most students avoided it like the plague.

We also had sparring as part of the black belt tests. Gloves and instep pads, only, and no kicks below the belt. People lost teeth, fingers were broken, generally nasty.

We were never really allowed to bring all of our techniques into any of them, though. The rules were no takedowns, no locks, no legkicks, etc... Some folks would bend the rules, but only rarely.


For judo, it was the usual randori. Some students were open to trying non-judo locks, but most of the time the focus was just on competition legal judo.
4/1/04 10:57 PM
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theJJKid
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Edited: 01-Apr-04
Member Since: 10/21/2002
Posts: 277
I do Japanese Ju Jitsu. Stand up sparring is not really done at the regular class but is reserved for the shootfighting class. Only a handful of people are interested in the shootfighting side of it. We are ramping up the amount of sparring (or free fighting as we call it) at the shootfighting classes. Some days we will just do ground grappling, sometimes standup wrestling, boxing, kick boxing, or amateur shootfighting with no head contact and no gloves. Only those who have the right protective equipment can participate. Grappling doesn't require any, but a mouthpiece and groin guard are highly recommended.
4/6/04 8:28 PM
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glock4life
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Edited: 06-Apr-04
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When I was in Chung Do Kwan, as a teen or kid you had to wear gloves, shin guards and a helmet to spar, and it was medium contact with NO grappling, except Judo style takedowns or legsweeps. As an adult, we didn't wear the helmets, and shin guards were an option. Brown and black belts were allowed to go pretty damn hard with each other btw.

In Hapkido we had different types/levels of sparring One way was similar to my CDK training with only kicking and punching. Another was called "hard sparring", where we put on boxing gloves, headgear and mouthpieces and went at it with some serious force. Couple guys got ko'd by accident. It was pretty much a kickboxing class. Another way was "open sparring", gloves only, kicking/punching/takedowns and grappling (to a degree anyway). Some of the best training I ever did was in that Hapkido school.

 

4/8/04 3:44 AM
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ifidieidie
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Edited: 08-Apr-04
Member Since: 11/12/2003
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Thanks for the responses. Sounds like most of your schools have different levels of sparring, with more contact sparring for advanced and/or interested students.
4/8/04 11:44 AM
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glock4life
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Edited: 08-Apr-04
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I once visited a TKD school that also had it's roots in Chung Do Kwan, and they had what was called non-contact sparring. They actually weren't allowed to hit each other (even lightly).

I really was embarrassed by that.

4/21/04 1:01 PM
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juszczec
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Edited: 21-Apr-04
Member Since: 02/23/2003
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ifidieidie "I'm trying to encourage a change in the sparring program at my TMA school, and I was wondering what kind of sparring do you guys do in your TMA school?" I'm just curious, what is the current method and what's wrong with it? "No contact, no gear? Light contact, foam-dipped gear? Heavy contact, headgear and 16 oz gloves?" Foam dipped or cloth gear for hands, shins and feet, cups, mouthpieces, sports goggles if you want. For 11 and under, light contact to the body, light to no contact to the head. Adjustments made for the age, weight and experience of the participants. For 11 and up, harder contact allowed as you get older/more experienced. As long as a technique that lands does not cause injury (cutting, breaking, unconsciousness) the level of contact is assumed to be ok. Adjustments made for age/weight/experience. It is explained to all students the opponent will match their level of contact. "Do you only use the techniques of your style? Or do you also use say, Western boxing, Thai kicks and knees, and wrestling takedowns?" Strictly style techniques, karate in our case. No boxing, knees or leg kicks. Sweeping one or both legs out from under the opponent is acceptable, as long as you follow it with a striking technique. We also do standing and kneeling takedown to submission grappling. "Does everybody in the school spar? Or is it a special class that only interested people do?" It is a special class. However, any instructor can have folks spar on any day. Also, at some point students start sparring as part of their rank tests. "Do you think sparring attracts students, or turns them away because they mostly want exercise and they are scared of sparring?" We have separate exercise classes for those who just want to break a sweat. If the student wants to learn karate from us, they know sparring is part of the package. Mananging fear is the biggest problem and we do it on a case by case basis. Typically, we pair beginners with more experienced people. The experienced student is told to fight to the beginner's level and not go thru them. These matches are supervised and its the ref's responsibility to keep the action under control. Mark
4/22/04 2:39 AM
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ifidieidie
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Edited: 22-Apr-04
Member Since: 11/12/2003
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Thanks for the feedback, Mark. It sounds like your school has a well-managed and successful program. There really isn't a sparring program at my TMA school; it's just me and two other guys getting together to train. Basically it's not really taught at all. For the most part I personaly use MMA techniques (which I train at a different school) when I spar, which is sad because I would like to be able to incorporate more of my TMA style. We have senior students who have been there for many, many years who have literally never sparred. I get my sparring at my MMA gym, but watching my TMA classmates move up through the ranks and become instructors without any sparring seems wrong to me.
4/22/04 8:57 PM
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juszczec
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Edited: 22-Apr-04
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ifidieidie "Thanks for the feedback, Mark." Anyone who knows me will tell you how much I like to talk ;-) "It sounds like your school has a well-managed and successful program." Thanks. I'm very happy to say the people who stick with it can use what they are taught. No, they won't beat professional fighters and none of them are going to be champs at UFC. But these aren't any of our goals. "There really isn't a sparring program at my TMA school; it's just me and two other guys getting together to train." Now that's a good thing. It'll force y'all to change up tactics on a regular basis. It'll also serve as a great workout if you rotate people. Person A spars with B while C rests. A spars with C while B rests. C spars with B while A rests. B spars with A while C rests. I've been training like this for the last 7 years and just love it. Its almost no fun going back to the dojo and fighting point matches again. For you guys, the sky's the limit. You can allow/disallow anything you want. You can avoid any fixed rules and let decisions about allowable techniques/appropriate targets/levels of contact up to the 2 guys in the ring. Me and the guys I spar with do it like this. 2 minute rounds. No point calling, I know if you get one in on me and vice versa. If you get the other guy in a bad position and its clear he can't recover, stop the action and let him reset. Contact is whatever you feel like absorbing. The other guy will hit you back as hard (or softly) as you hit him. Everyone wears pads on hands and shins. Everyone wears a cup. Mouthpieces are optional. We all wear shoes (tennis or wrestling). Some guys cover the laces with TKD instep pads. Attacking the joints is not allowed. Striking the eyes is out. If both parties have cups, kicking the groin is allowed but left to the participants discretion. We did have one guy who did light leg kicks. Some folks were ok with it, some weren't. Ultimately he started kicking to the body because his flexibility improved. "Basically it's not really taught at all." and "but watching my TMA classmates move up through the ranks and become instructors without any sparring seems wrong to me." and "We have senior students who have been there for many, many years who have literally never sparred." and Wow. That's too bad. Although there's room for lots of different points of view, I really don't understand this one. "which is sad because I would like to be able to incorporate more of my TMA style." What do you do? Maybe I can help. Mark

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