Sparring against Shotokan Black Belt

Discussion in 'Members in Motion' started by Azulx, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    I just couldn't help agreeing with that, Buka. :angelic:
     
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  2. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Senior Master

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    This will always be a problem as long as people use it as an identifier or expectation of skill level or knowledge of a system.

    This is where I think belted systems get into trouble. I put myself in the same scenario that you described and I asked myself, what should they expect of me? The first answer was. It doesn't matter, they will find out when I speak or will see it when I do the drills.

    I like this video because this is a perfect example of how people let the belt determine their expectations.
     
  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    The expectation is not a problem, when applied appropriately. In NGA, a given belt rank (up to black) sets a reasonable range of expectations. I know what I should be able to expect in ability, control, and intensity at each rank. I lower the expectation slightly if the person is from a school I don't know (just for safety, to allow for the inevitable variations), but otherwise it's a fairly safe bet. The problem is if someone comes into an NGA school with a belt from a system the people there don't understand (Azulx's black belt in one direction, and a BJJ blue in the other, perhaps) and people don't adjust their expectation. If people react with the expectation they can safely use within the art, it can be problematic.

    When I go to another style, I make no assumptions at first. I'll evaluate as quickly as I can to get some level-setting. Once I know what (for instance) an orange belt usually means at that school, I'll just keep that expectation for that group. I actually find the belts helpful in that context, once I have seen some examples to help set the expectation. It keeps me from having to start my assessment anew with each person. Instead, I can compare them to the mental model I've created for their rank, as I'm practicing with them (using that mental model as a staring point for safety).
     
  4. Psilent Knight

    Psilent Knight Blue Belt

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    Greetings Friends,

    Concerning the idea that Azulx and his Shotokan opponent resembled each other in fighting style may be due to the agreed upon sparring rules. The sparring rules say which techniques can and cannot be used and which parts of the body are legal or illegal targets. Because of this there are only a handful of techniques you can use and only a handful of targets that you can attack. Then there is the confined sparring area and a couple of other factors.

    But with this you are going to have sparring matches in which two people from two different styles will not look distinctive from one another. If we take a Shaolin Kung Fu fighter and put him in the boxing ring, with boxing gloves and he agrees to abide by the rules of boxing, he too will look like an American boxer instead of a Shaolin Kung Fu practitioner.

    Now if Azulx and his opponent in the video were fighting an actual death match where anything goes and they are free to do everything and use everything they have learned in their respective styles, I think that the differences between the two would become more apparent.
     
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  5. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    If Azulx lost though we wouldn't get to see the video.... :D
     
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  6. Psilent Knight

    Psilent Knight Blue Belt

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    I think we would, just not on MT. The other guy would have posted it with pleasure for the bragging rights. :D
     
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  7. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Senior Master

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    I understand what you are saying about the rule, but if a martial arts practitioner is using the techniques that are found in his form and drills then there are more than a handful of techniques available. We usually only see "a handful of techniques" because many martial art practitioners don't practice beyond the jab in sparring and the sloppy backfist (point sparring).

    Not every hand strike in martial arts is a designated death blow and the majority of the people out there can't pull off the techniques in sparring even if they wanted to. The reason why they can't pull off addition hand strikes is because they don't train them in sparring and not because they are deadly.
     
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  8. Psilent Knight

    Psilent Knight Blue Belt

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    Actually, there is another reason; perhaps the most important reason of all and one which I should have pointed out in my prior post. I believe the reason is that under the agreed upon sparring rules certain techniques are preferable whereas others are non preferable.

    The reasons some techniques are preferred and utilized while others are not are many; such as high percentage vs low percentage rate of certain techniques, speed of delivery, economy, safety factors vs risk factors when using certain techniques, the best fighting stance to use, etc.

    In Knockdown/Bare Knuckle Karate sparring elbow techniques are allowed to the body but I have NEVER seen it done in any sparring matches I've ever seen, I do not do it myself when I spar, I have never done it when sparring and it has never been done to me. I can assure you we drill various applications of elbow techniques all the time and most of us are quite adept at using them.

    So if elbow techniques to the body are allowed then why is it that they are never used? Because under those some rules knees to the head and face are also allowed. So what's going to happen if a person lowers his center of gravity and go in for an elbow attack to the body? :cool:

    That type of technique in knockdown rules sparring is low percentage scoring while also high risk at the same time. Not worth it. The safety while delivery factor is not good enough. Thus, another reason, perhaps the primary reason, that Azul and his opponent both stick to almost the same techniques and same fighting style under the agreed upon sparring rules.

    Take Care Friends,
    Osu!
     
  9. Psilent Knight

    Psilent Knight Blue Belt

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    *Edit: Meant to say under those same rules.......*
     
  10. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Senior Master

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    If a martial artist trains his techniques during sparring then those techniques will no longer be a low percentage technique. The only way to get those techniques into the high percentage category is to train the application of those techniques in the context of sparring. Speed of delivery, economy (not even sure that refers to), and safety factors can all be managed by training control as well as Power and Speed. The only techniques they should stay away from is where even the smallest slip can cause serious injury or permanent damage, like don't play around with techniques that target the eyes. Techniques that don't take much effort to destroy something should be avoided.
    Here are TKD hand techniques. The majority of these techniques can be done with the exception of those that fit into what I stated.


    All of this can be done in sparring without sending someone to the hospital.


    If a technique is low percentage then it's because the person didn't train it in sparring.

    I do elbows in my sparring session. I just don't direct them to my sparring partners face and I don't try to blast them in. I have video of me doing this, and people who know me well enough in this group will tell you, that I probably have a video of me using elbows if I say I have one. lol.

    My opinion about sparring is that a person shouldn't spar to win. The reason I say this is because if I have to "Win" a fight then I'm going to go all out. Sparring gives students a unique opportunity to practice dangerous techniques while minimizing the risks of injury. In other words your partner won't knock you out if you do a technique the wrong way.

    They probably aren't used because the people don't know how to use the elbows are they can't control the impact of the elbow. For example, At my school the beginners aren't allowed to use elbows because they don't control it well. I've seen a brother elbow his sister right in the chest and it really hurt her. Keep in mind this happened during drilling and not sparring. I sparred with some of the advanced students and they use their elbows as well, but they measure the distance so that I don't run into it, or that it doesn't land full force, or that it turns into more of a bump and not a full on strike.

    I would be shocked if they had rules didn't allow rising blocks, and blocks that looked like this.
     
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  11. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    I have to disagree with that. Techniques each have an appropriate arena of application. The elbows to the body Psilent mentioned have a very specific arena of application. They require both close proximity and a low approach. Is that possible in sparring? Sure. But there's not enough payoff to be worth the extra effort, especially if the opponent is vulnerable without doing that. Now, if the opponent is taller and closes recklessly? That might make those better choices, but that's finding the proper application arena. Forcing them when there are better-fitted techniques available doesn't make sense.

    Not everything shows up well in sparring, because sparring doesn't often present a valid opportunity for the technique. I have some good grappling techniques I would not expect to get an opportunity for with a trained partner in randori.
     
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  12. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    You dont have to control the elbow. In KK you can hit people as hard as you want. If that elbow dropped people you are more likely to see it.
     
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  13. Psilent Knight

    Psilent Knight Blue Belt

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    I'm sorry but I completely disagree with this observation. Certain techniques in Martial Arts will always be either high percentage in scoring or low percentage in scoring. At the same time certain techniques will always be high in risk/low in safety or low risk/high safety. This is usually magnified by the speed, power and overall fighting IQ of the combatant's opponent. Going low and close for an elbow strike to the body of someone with excellent speed, reflexes, timing and a knee strike of death is high risk, low safety and low percentage chance of scoring and no amount of drilling that particular technique will remedy that. If it were that easy or simple then sport combatants who drill and train their techniques into the ground would all be invincible and untouchable. They would all be able to hit their opponents without ever getting hit themselves.

    By economy I meant economy of motion. A front jab has a better economy of motion than a jump spinning hook kick. A knee to the midsection with the front leg has a better economy of motion than a roundhouse kick to the head with the back leg.

    And we already know that an agreement has been reached as to which techniques to stay away from during their (Azulx and his sparring partner) match which is why I brought up that they were participating under agreed upon sparring rules instead of a death match.

    I completely disagree with this. As I said above, certain techniques will always carry a heavier risk factor than other techniques and it is exacerbated by the physical attributes and fighting IQ of the opponent.

    I agree with this. I myself do not spar to win. I approach sparring as a learning opportunity and I am not trying to win nor am I trying to not lose. I only want to find out what I am doing right and what it is that I need to improve.

    The example I brought up was strictly under bare knuckle, knockdown Karate rules sparring which is what I do at my Dojo. Based upon personal experience and observation elbow techniques to the midsection are simply not done and it has absolutely nothing to do with the combatants' abilities (or lack thereof) to deliver elbow attacks to their opponents' bodies. It has everything to do with the fact that each of these combatants realize that the risk factor far, far, far outweighs the possibility of a successful attack.

    Rising blocks are allowed under knockdown rules sparring and I personally think that they have their place; particularly against attacks coming directly from above like the axe kick.

    Take Care,

    Osu!
     
  14. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Senior Master

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    I have used elbows on people who are my same height and smaller. I've used elbows do defend against long range attacks like kicks, and punches. I've used elbows as part of my long range advancing attacks when the distance goes from long distance fighting to close distance fighting.

    There are multiple techniques and benefits to using elbows but a person isn't going to understand this unless they train it. What is getting me is that this phrase "There's not enough payoff to be worth the extra effort" is being said without the understanding that the payoff is learning how to use the elbows correctly. Learning that they can be used beyond the basic strike that most people think of elbow. That is where your martial art growth benefits from it. I'm not the only one that has this perspective of learning to use the techniques.






    If you aren't exploring your techniques in sparring then you are really stunting your growth as a martial artist.
     
  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    I say again, some techniques don't present much payoff (or themselves, even) in the context of open sparring. It's not even necessarily whether the technique can be applied. Getting inside to deliver an elbow to the body doesn't make sense (except when exploring the technique) when an easier, higher-percentage, equally effective answer exists. The Tai Chi elbow is a good example. There were other options there that would have penetrated where those elbows didn't reach, because elbows don't have the best range for entering. Can they work? Sure. And they should be used where they are the best choice.

    I'm not saying you can't choose to train them in sparring. That's something we've discussed before. But that's not the same as having them show up in open sparring (meaning your regular techniques are available). In open sparring, you go with what is the best fit for the situation, and that tends to not draw on some of the techniques.

    You will probably not see many of my grappling techniques show up when I'm open sparring with another NGA practitioner. Why? Because they know the counters well enough that my striking is higher percentage than most of the grappling. If they give me an opening, I'll slip in a throw, because it is more effective than most strikes. Now, take the strikes out, or even just limit them the right way, and the priority to throws goes back up, because they better match the new openings and are a larger part of my remaining toolbox.
     
  16. Psilent Knight

    Psilent Knight Blue Belt

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    I think this video clip proves my point even further. Notice the many elbows thrown in this training session and not a single one is aimed at the chest or stomach.

    In fact, Nak Muay are the kings of elbows and are almost unmatched in that category. But I would like for anyone here to show me an authentic muay Thai fight in which the combatants are throwing elbows at the chest and stomach area. They always aim their elbows at the face and head instead. Why? That much sought after PAYOFF that gpseymour has explained.

    While Nak Muay are the kings of elbows, they are also the kings of devastating knees. So I'll ask the question again that I asked earlier. What's going to happen if one of the combatants try to go close and low in order to deliver an elbow to their opponent's midsection? Why would they elect to go for a high risk, low payoff target (the midsection) as opposed to a low risk, high payoff target (the face and head)?

    Two more questions. Why do they only throw their elbows at their opponents' face and head? Why do they not throw their elbows at their opponents' midsection instead?

    This observation with muay Thai and the knockdown Karate example I brought up earlier are enough to basically end the entire argument in my estimation.

    Take Care Friends and Enjoy Your Evening,

    Osu!
     
  17. Psilent Knight

    Psilent Knight Blue Belt

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    By the way, I have trained muay Thai for about 5 months at an mma gym in Pittsburgh. And while we learned and drilled our elbow strikes numerous times we never, ever targeted the midsection. In the sparring matched that I have observed up close and personal I have never, ever seen a single elbow aimed at the midsection.

    Take Care Friends,
    Osu!
     
  18. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Senior Master

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    elbows used both in short and medium ranges


    We only see what people train. If they don't train it then they won't use it. It's why Kung Fu practitioners always look like generic kick boxing because they don't train their techniques during sparring. Instead of learning how the techniques works, and learning the timing and set up for the technique. The techniques are automatically written off as "low percentage." By default any technique that you don't train is a "low percentage" technique. In the video above there are some elbows that struck the body and it knocked the opponent down.
     
  19. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Senior Master

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    If you want to aim the elbow to the chest then aim it to the chest. What's up with all of this voluntary restriction that is being placed on techniques.
     
  20. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Senior Master

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    There are some muay thai elbows to the chest in this video. You have to watch the first video closely because they are really quick. Play the video at a slower speed if you need to




     

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