I hate sparring. I love sparring.

Discussion in 'Aikido' started by AngryHobbit, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    In sparring and actual competition, I’m not competing against my opponent; I’m competing against myself. My goal is to do better than I thought I was capable of. Sometimes my opponent really sucks and beating him is completely worthless. Sometimes my opponent is far better than me and thinking I’m actually going to win is stupid. I can’t control the level of competition, I can only hope to control how fare.
     
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  2. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master Black Belt

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    Gerry already beat me to this answer, but I still have to put in my two cent's worth ... competing is sparring, sparring is competing. They are different ways of training, and will teach slightly different lessons, but they are basically the same thing. They are physical confrontations with rules applied. The rules can vary quite a bit depending upon who, where, and what art you're sparring or competing in, but it is still a physical confrontation with rules.

    I see a great many martial artists say things like this, but it makes me wonder how many of them have any idea how different the two are. Sparring, or competing, are good and vital ways to increase a person's martial abilities. A fight in the street (in my experience growing up in the wrong part of the city) is much more about a your ability to avoid physical confrontation through de-escalation (or good running skills!) and your ability to inflict overwhelming damage to your opponent as quickly as possible if physical confrontation is unavoidable. I've seen (and been involved in) a great many fights, and they NEVER involved a protracted one on one encounter. Physical confrontation was usually not initiated unless the numbers were on the side of the aggressor, and overwhelming and immediate damage would often keep the rest of them from getting involved. That's not something that is taught in either sparring or competing.
    Don't get me wrong, sparring (or competing) is an essential tool in the martial artist's tool box, and it will allow one to more easily handle the aggressive drunk on the street. Someone that has never been hit will worry a lot about getting hit. :)

    You have to definitely put movies into perspective in order to enjoy the fight scenes. I have had conversations with fight choreographers about reality in fight scenes, and was told point blank that reality is boring. :) Movie fight scenes are artistic endeavors that are designed to excite the audience. They have nothing to do with reality (or often times physics!) and have to be enjoyed with that thought in mind. Makes it better for me when I firmly remind myself of that!
     
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  3. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah not always. And obviously against the right people.
     
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  4. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yes it is hard. That is why people come up with these ways of making it easier.

    You have a duty in sparring to lift the game of the person you are sparring against. That is why you are there. They have a duty to lift yours.

    If you can't spar in a professional manner. You go too hard. You go too soft. You have too much investment in your emotions. You can't help the person you have a duty to help.
     
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  5. AngryHobbit

    AngryHobbit Master of Arts

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    I find it interesting how many people here mentioned sparring in conjunction with competition. I have nothing against competition - and I have tremendous respect for people who compete. It has its own set of challenges, and I respect that.

    But I'd like to clarify - I am in a non-competitive art, and I prefer it that way. So, any sparring I do is solely for the purpose of improving my self-defense skills instead of being a fainting heroine. There is still an element of competition to it - as in who can get to whom first and how well without getting pounded. But the focus is - how well can I learn to do this to make it effective if I were in a life-threatening situation?
     
  6. AngryHobbit

    AngryHobbit Master of Arts

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    My emotions are here to stay. But I do work hard to get them to work for me, when I need them, where I need them. I am very fond of my inner Hulk, and I enjoy learning how to let him out to play at the right time in the right place. :)
     
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  7. AngryHobbit

    AngryHobbit Master of Arts

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    You know, for some reason this reminded me of the first two times I fought off someone successfully. To my advantage, in both cases, my assailant was drunk and there was only one of him. The first time I was 10, walking to school early in the morning in the middle of winter, when it was still dark. The idiot grabbed me from behind - I have no idea why, because I was one of those little nerdy kids with a HUGE book bag on my back. I knew nothing of self-defense or martial arts at the time - I just twisted and shoved with my ginormous book bag as hard as I could, and the dude slipped and fell on his ***.

    The other time I was 13 and fought the guy off with a high-heeled shoe and Soviet-produced hairspray. I don't remember the details, but as I bolted away, I do remember him screaming. I hope that hairspray left him blind for life.

    I often thought about those two times when I started training - almost two decades after the second incident. Somehow, those kinds of fights NEVER make it into any movie EVER. Or not even into self-defense videos. :)
     
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