Sparring: not technique against technique, but mind against mind

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by NinjaChristian, Jun 26, 2016.

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  1. NinjaChristian

    NinjaChristian Green Belt

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    So I'm sparring with a friend of mine who is a 1st degree black belt. Kick for kick and punch for punch I can do pretty much everything he can do, but he still beats me in sparring. Now I can employ most of my kicks into sparring pretty well, using the right one at the right time, but against him I felt like a white belt again. I started using the worst kick for each given situation. Most of the people I fight are aggressive, and so I've become quite good at using my kicks against aggressive people. But what he did is stay back, and wait. and wait. and wait. By all this waiting, he shut off just about everything I know how to do. So I tried being the aggressor. Well, turns out I'm not that good at being the aggressor. And he used this against me. He would wait until my patience wore out(not long) then he would counter whatever I threw. This isn't the only thing he did, though: he walked around me in these patterns that threw me off, made it really hard to see any kind of opportunity to strike. As a bonus effect, they made me really irritated. He did all this and I believe more(not quite sure) with the intention of messing with my mind; and it worked. He did it so well I didn't even know that's what he was doing until he told me.
    Along with all this, this is what he told me: 1. I mainly throw two kicks: side kick and round kick 2. Just about every side kick I throw is a spinning side kick 3. I am quite impatient 4. he was able to see when I was trying to make him concentrate on something or move his guard, and predict where my next strike was coming from.
    The interesting thing about the spinning kicks is I did not realize that I had thrown any spinning side kicks.

    Had a great time, though. I learned a lot.
     
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  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Thats the trick of it.
     
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  3. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Sparring is from the head up...

    And offensive fighting is much harder than defensive... You have to start by figuring out how to close range and deliver the strike... without getting hit yourself.
     
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  4. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Timing is everything. :)
     
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  5. NinjaChristian

    NinjaChristian Green Belt

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    YES agree to this! He didn't telegraph anything to me, and I had no idea what to look for. And he almost completely shut down my kicks, by just coming in at the right time.
     
  6. NinjaChristian

    NinjaChristian Green Belt

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    maybe that is why i do so well against offensive fighters. I believe the thing you are supposed to do with defensive fighters is to trick them. I tried this on my friend to no avail. I will do better next time though.
     
  7. IcemanSK

    IcemanSK El Conquistador nim!

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    Give yourself some time & permission to learn & make mistakes. You're proving in what you've written that you're thinking through what's happening when you're sparring.
     
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  8. NinjaChristian

    NinjaChristian Green Belt

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    Thanks, hard to remember that it's still early for me and I can't expect to beat every guy I fight. Something that made fighting him particularly frustrating is that He didn't beat me at my own game, he beat me at his. He kept me from playing my own game. He is better with his hands, while I am better with my kicks. So he neutralized my kicks by timing his entrance; than I was all his.
     
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  9. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Trying to force your opponent to play your game and not to play his game. You need to have a "plan - how to enter and how to finish".
     
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  10. IcemanSK

    IcemanSK El Conquistador nim!

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    Just continue to try new things & analyze what happened during the sparring (not just what you did wrong or what the opponent did right). Not everyone has the same strengths or weaknesses in their sparring. If you can leave your ego at the door, you can learn a lot and grow from the experience. You're on your way. :)
     
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  11. NinjaChristian

    NinjaChristian Green Belt

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    Sorry, I don't understand what you are saying
     
  12. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Sparring is not you punch me and I punch you back, or you kick me and I kick you back. You will fall into your opponent's trap and be forced to play his game instead. Sparring is "my game plan" against "your game plan".

    For example, if your opponent like to

    - kick, you should move from the kicking range into the punching range ASAP.
    - punch, you should keep him in your kicking range as long as you can.
     
  13. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Do you do Olympic type sparring, or more of a kickboxing style?
    One tactic to use against counter fighters is to "bait" them. See what attacks you do that they like to counter and how they counter. Then use that attack planning for the followup / defense / counter to their counter
     
  14. NinjaChristian

    NinjaChristian Green Belt

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    At my school it's continuous point sparring, using hands and feet.so more of a kickboxing style.
     
  15. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Another tactic to draw in a counter fighter is to is to slowly shuffle away from them in small increments. Many fighters will consciously or subconsciously try to keep the gap the same and move toward you. You can then try to time an attack as they are moving toward you.
     
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  16. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Not sure what you mean by "Spinning kicks" Does this mean it is a kick with the rear foot turning either forward or rearward?

    the reason I asked is because in Olympic Style you see a lot of these. For other styles i.e. Kickboxing style, I consider it a cardinal rule to NEVER (with some exceptions) initiate an attack with a rear leg. Too easy to see it coming. Always initiate with a lead leg or hand (Closest weapon to closest target) and follow up with the rear leg. Also, vary the level and or angle of the attacks.
     
  17. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    How many punches in combination are you throwing when you get countered?


    If it is one from out of range then that will be most of your problem.
     
  18. NinjaChristian

    NinjaChristian Green Belt

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    funny sparring him I did a lot of things that if I thought about it I would never do. Might be related to the fact that I have been practicing long range & fancy kicks recently.
     
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  19. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    If the person you are fighting plays the defensive game then attack his or her limbs. Eventually it will take a physical toll and a mental toll. You'll eventually frustrate your opponent into fighting out of his strength. I will caution you, be aware that your opponent may be equally good at attacking and defending. The goal however is still the same: Make you opponent fight against your strengths and not your weakness.
     
  20. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm going to go against the grain here and suggest something odd: Play his game. Just play it knowing there is a good chance you will lose at it, so that you don't get frustrated.

    You have in front of you a guy who is very good defensively, and willing to be defensively. You're not used to that, as you're normally used to aggressive opponents, which I'm guessing means that you're used to being defensive. So you're aggressive skills are not that great. Note: none of this is guess work, it's what I got directly from your post.

    By being aggressive against him, you may lose, but you will learn how to be aggressive. Since he's good at dealing with aggressive opponents (this part is guesswork, but I'm assuming that he spars the same people as you), you will have to work really hard at your aggressive fighting which, as long as you stay focused and fight calmly, can help you improve how you fight aggressively. Even if it's not your go-to fighting style, it's useful to be able to do, especially if in the future you're forced by situation or sparring partner to be aggressive.

    Personally, I suck at being aggressive because most of the people I spar are either aggressive or less patient than me/less able to deal with my defensive footwork. It's something I'm working on, but I wish I had someone who was like the guy you described to spar regularly with.123
     

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