Overcoming the fear of sparring a specific opponent, and my bad habits

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Ivan, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    I'm not talking about beating a middle-of-the-road opponent. I'm talking about sparring an opponent that is somewhat better than you, instead of completely out of your league.

    And as you catch up, that difficulty increases.
     
  2. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Ok....still in my experience....the more difficult the opponent the better.

    It doesnt matter that you are getting dominated...you just keep working and learning.

    If you are sparring a 10 every day that 5 doesnt seem so hard to compete against....what can they do that you havent seen. My son goes into most tournaments knowing that he wont have to fight anyone near as good as his every day sparring partners.


    Just to add....this worked for him....everyone is different.
     
  3. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Depending on where you're at, the person who's somewhat better than you could be a middle of the road opponent. Hell, the person completely out of your league could still be a middle of the road opponent. But you'll never get to the point that you can fight in their metaphoric arena unless you fight them a lot.
     
  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    There are a couple of things that go around in my head on this one. I'd probably learn more in a technical sense if I spent more than 1/3 of the time working with him (rather than him actually trying to beat me). But I think I'd become a better fighter by dealing with that 2/3. The 1/3 of working with should give me something to focus on to get some openings and make something happen. And learning to fight through those times when I can't seem to make anything happen would be powerful learning.

    I actually have - at a very early point in my curriculum - a period where new students aren't allowed to fight back. The sparring is light and technical, but they're allowed no offense. I'm getting them some familiarity with just surviving, using defensive tactics when they get overwhelmed, and keeping their head. I think that's important. The OP could learn that (probably already knows some of it - could learn it better) with this guy. And if the guy is working with him 1/3 of the time, that 2/3 should become less intimidating pretty quickly.
     
  5. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    If the opponent is a middle-of-the-road opponent, then chances are they won't shut down everything and there WILL be an opportunity. Unless the other person is an extreme beginner or is really struggling with the material.

    This topic isn't about middle-of-the-road opponents, but someone who is significantly better than everyone else you spar.
     
  6. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Self defense sparring and Taekwondo sparring are two completely different things (I say this as someone who does both TKD and HKD).
     
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  7. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Thats exactly what cb was saying though. The middle of the road opponent is the one who might be slightly netter than you, but youll gain more by fighting the completely dominant opponent.

    But what i was saying there is depending on what arena you're talking about the middle of the road opponent could still dominate you. The low-end olympic athletes, could probably dominate 95% of people in their style, but when you look at them at the olympic level, they are middle of the road
     
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  8. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    They're only "middle of the road" because you narrow the scope to those elite few. When you cherry-pick your statistics you can make any argument you want.
     
  9. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, that wasn't part of my argument. I was just explaining how middle of the road can mean different things to different people. And your middle of the road is someone elses "significantly better than me"
     
  10. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    You're right, bro. And that's where a good instructor is important. Teaching fighting arts has a lot to do with recognizing and somewhat managing different personalities as well as physical skills, or potential skills.
     
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  11. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    True enough. But we're dealing with some of the same basic reactions in both. @drop bear has brought this up in reference to the way folks at his gym prep for MMA, too. Sometimes (more often for some folks than others) we react badly when overwhelmed, and learning to deal with that overwhelm and keep cool enough to regain some control from the eye of the storm is a powerful tool.
     
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  12. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think "middle of the road" is always (like "average") going to be relative to the population. A "middle of the road" kicker in a decent TKD school would be the star kicker at most NGA schools.
     
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  13. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    I'll clarify....when I stated middle of the road...I meant the opponent that's skill level is between your level and the dominant fighter's level.
     
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  14. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    That's a rough thing to overcome, and the only thing that will help, believe it or not, is getting hit again and learning that you can take the hit. I teach a sparring stance where the hands are not always in the same area. They move randomly, so that the opponent doesn't have a constant target to find a hole in. However, at least one hand is ALWAYS up to protect the head. You might see if something like that works for you.
    The best way to overcome the habit of dodging backward is to spar with your back against a wall. That way, you can't go backward, You can only evade to the side (or straight over your opponent), and that is preferable. We call it V-in, V-out, for the direction of travel. If you stay on your opponent's attack line, they will continue to attack. Once you evade off the line, they now have to break their attack to change direction and that's a great time to counter-attack.

    As far as the continually getting you....that's what 3rd Degrees should do to Green Belts! :D
    However, they should also teach. Perhaps you can go to him and ask him to show you some block/counter combos, or offensive combos, and work drills with him. I would think that he would be happy to help you with that.
     
  15. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    I haven't heard that saying in years! Ha! Not much call for being inside the other guy's skin in the judo/aikido mat-space. I heard it the first time when the boxing coach at my muay thai gym said it to me when I was about to spar with a guy who'd been there quite a bit longer than I. I … had... figured to kickbox him, but the coach was way smarter than my dumba$$… the guy would have leg kicked me like he was cutting down a tree. Instead.. it was the super-tight treatment, which I found out, right then, that I liked. A lot. Body hooks, one-hand head clinch, shift knee (can't do those in all training, I get it), upper cut when they duck a choppy head hook. All from basically inside a standing guard. Brutal way to fight. Got to have good core/abs though, since the way out of it is to gut blast the guy who is tight on you.

    @Buka... I'd never have thought that Bill Wallace would have "boxed" anyone. I mean, I know he could, just didn't know he ever had to.
     
  16. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Bill had very good hands. Especially when he went from sport Karate to ring fighting.

    And he was wicked smart.
     
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  17. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Spoken like a true Masshole. ;) I went to college in Mass, and I heard “wicked” everything. Haven’t heard it in a while.
     
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  18. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    You went to college in Massachusetts? Bro, that's wicked pissa!
     
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  19. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Yup. The armpit of America - North Adams. Most students were from the Boston area. I became a popular guy my first day - wearing my Yankees hat. I honestly wasn’t even thinking about it. I had so many people say so many things to me. I just had to rock that hat every day.
     
  20. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    I grew up in the city of Boston.....as a New York Yankees fan. You know why? My dad used to take me to Fenway Park to see the great Ted Williams. Maybe the best hitter of all time. Afterwards my dad would let me wait around where the players came out so I could get autographs.

    Sometimes, if the Sox lost or it was starting to rain or if the game went extra innings and the time was getting late, the Sox players would say “not today, fellas, next time”. But the Yankees, win or lose, rain or shine, regardless of the hour, would sign every kid’s everything. Your hat, your glove, the program, your baseball cards.

    I said to my father, “Daddy, I like these guys better than our guys.” He said, “Son, this is America. You can like anyone you want.”

    I’m still a Yankees fan.
     
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