sparring

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by samuelpont, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. Tenjin

    Tenjin Guest

    I agree with this, but you are still talking about one person being uke here I'm talking about two people going at it, resisting and trying to each apply techniques to one another at "realistic speed." I don't see how someone does not get hurt when the techniques are designed to hurt someone when you are going full blast with both people as tori.
     
  2. KyleShort

    KyleShort Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Ca
    Why does sparring have to be "realistic speed"? Look at the Russian martial arts...plenty of slow sparring. In escrima we have controlled sparring that works at varying speeds.

    Why does sparring have to include the techniques that would break bones? You can limit techniques and still spar...again, the point here is that you are clearly not trying to train the techniques that you do not allow =) You may only be trying to practice evasion, movement, stance changes etc...

    But on the point of full speed sparring with joint locks etc. You can certainly avoid injury...judoka, samboists etc. do it all the time. In anycase the risk of injury is no greater than most sports like basketball, baseball etc. Also, as noted in another post, there is plenty of control even at realistic speeds amongst higher level practitioners.

    The key is that begining students need to be limited in what they can do, so as to avoid injury. This actually serves a duel purpose of having the students focus on fundamentals of movement prior to going into advanced techniques.

    For example look at chi sao, a form of controlled sparring in Wing Chun. Beginning students focus on motion, as skill builds you add on unexpected motions, probing, push, pulling and eventually controlled striking, locking and takedowns. The hubud hubud drill in Escrima works in similar ways.

    Now if you still limit the concept of sparring to 2 "fighters" squarred off engaging in full contact slap and play guided by sporting rules...then sure
     
  3. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Messages:
    3,522
    Likes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Japan
    Can I just intrude here and try to clarify things a bit?

    If I see what is going on correctly, I think that the people that say they don't like sparring are mainly talking about competition. By that, I mean when you get two guys on equal ground going at it for one of them to "win" over the other.

    But the guys that seem to be advocating "sparring" mainly seem to be talking merely about a situation where things are not predetermined in advance. KyleShort has talked about things like non- full speed sparring, multiple opponents and the like and never mentioned anything about taking note of who "wins".

    I think that some of the kata training that I have engaged in here in Japan would qualify as sparring under the loosest definitions. Go see the "where do we draw the line" thread in the traditional section to see a whole conversation about that.

    As for myself, I oppose the idea of competition. I dislike even the idea that there may be a possiblity that people take note on how well they did in such situations instead of merely using it as a learning tool. With all the egoism that martial arts has in it, it is only a very short step to people developing habits for sparring and not combat. In other words, training for sparring instead of sparring for training. And that leads to bad habits.

    At the same time, if used in moderation and in the right way, I do believe that some drils where the end result and the like are not predetermined are a valuable part of training.

    But the second anyone starts talking about how they can or have beat someone on the mat I think they have been lost forever from the path of true budo.
     
  4. Grey Eyed Bandit

    Grey Eyed Bandit Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,503
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Location:
    MAP Hell
    One drill that we have employed at times that we learned from a Kuntao seminar was that someone performs a technique on his partner and stops just short of securing control definitely, so that the other guy has the opportunity to counter and set up his own technique...etc etc.

    Thing is, you need to actually KNOW those things before you start sparring to any serious extent. Otherwise you'll limit yourself to what you've done in sparring.

    At the expense of countless techniques and strategies, yes.

    Which brings us to what I perceive to be the problem at hand. As I've said before, it is a well known fact that the average Bujinkan practitioner has an understanting of kihon worse than crap. Before we've solved that issue, whether or not we're going to be using sparring as a training form doesn't really matter.

    Normally, I'd say that "doing so in full speed when you're a beginner leads to sloppiness and bad habits". To which you'd probably reply "who said we had to go fast?" as stated above.

    And after that we'd both come to the conclusion that what we were talking about was a training form not much different from regular kata practice. You still following me?:ultracool

    I've seen this, as well as what could most accurately be described as "knife tapping" in regular Bujinkan practice as well.
     
  5. DWeidman

    DWeidman Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    What I am talking about is a tori and a tori. And to this date - a strained wrist (me) is the most serious injury. No one has been lost due to being seriously hurt.

    Really? You sure about that?

    Perhaps you should let us know what your sparring experience is... If it is little to none - then you need to preface your comments with that disclaimer.

    I will answer this last question after I get a reply to your experience with full intent, realistic speed free response....

    -Daniel

    PS. Anyone that wants to discuss this with me - please keep my answers and Kyle's separate. I am not sure Kyle and I are on the same page here...
     
  6. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    San Francisco
  7. KyleShort

    KyleShort Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Ca
    Daniel,

    You are right in that I am discussing a different point related to sparring.

    However, I do agree with what you are saying as well, that's just not really what I am talking about =)

    Thanks for posting the distinction to keep things clear for everyone.
     
  8. DWeidman

    DWeidman Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Lance -

    Since you were on the board this morning and still haven't posted your free-response experience - I will assume it is rather limited and you are speaking from the "theory" level. If I am incorrect - please remedy that.

    With that said...

    Here is the crux of the issue from my vantage --

    Does everyone remember the 4 stages of learning taijutsu?

    1. Unconscious Incompentence
    2. Conscious Incompentence
    3. Conscious Compentence
    4. Unconscious Compentence

    If you aren't at #4 - then you have no business attempting to apply taijutsu in a "free-response" manner as a learning aid. You have to have your basics down well enough to NOT have to think about them as you apply them. (I believe this is at the heart of Nimravus' issue as well).

    Once you have those skills subconsciously - you can put a group of people together that can apply them at realistic speeds (NOT FULL SPEED) and still have the control to not break and smash everything they hit. We are VERY honest about being struck - and what it would do. There are times I have applied counters and in he middle of the counter stopped and admitted the shot I would have taken to get in wouldn't have let me continue...

    It isn't an ego contest - it is a learning tool.

    When you move the speed to about 85% of reality - the moves you can get away with at half speed are cut significantly. And without the pausing that is common among Buj dojos - the attacker is not where you are used to him being. Joint locks which work soooooo great in class are PRETTY HARD to get on at realistic speeds...

    On to the second part - which is people getting hurt. Until you have trained this way - you won't understand how hard it is to "hurt" an accomplished fighter. This requires no more explanation - as you either understand this or you don't. If you don't - rest easy - it is probably easier to sleep at night thinking your techniques are soooo deadly that no one can take them.

    I am open to any discussion about how this all works...

    -Daniel Weidman
     
  9. KyleShort

    KyleShort Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Ca
    AMEN! Thanks for putting this point so succinctly. Indeed this is what I mean by getting experience with dynamically adjusting...the attacker is not where you expect them to be...the technique does not quite seem to work the way you trained it. You can make it work but it takes repeated exposure to understand...IMO

    *Bows* Many people believe that a few hits with a club will take someone out...possible, sure some percentage of the time, but if you have sparred full contact with sticks (alla esrcima) you see that you can take several heavy blows before your body even tells you that it needs to fail. Similar with groin strikes...in dojo kata training we are conditioned that the attacker will buckle over when you hit them in the groin...but I can say that this only happens a percentage of the time, as it can take up to ~20 seconds to even register the pain.

    Along the same lines, a boshiken to the ribs hurts like hell in 2 person kata at 50% speed...in 85% speed or so, where everyone is hopped up on adrenaline, you barely feel it.

    If you can't make a technique work in "realistic speed" sparring as Daniel mentioned it, you probably can't make it work at all. If it is simply difficult to make it work under said sparring conditions, then you can bet that it would be difficult to make work in a self defense situation.

    Just a note for all, I firmly believe in kata skill training. I also believe that it is worthless if you are simply taking it at face value. You need to not train to be a template of those that came before you, but leverage what they have given you to understand what you already have. Internalize it and discover what works for you because not everything you learn in kata will work for you, even though it may work for another. Sparring is not the only way to learn this, but it helps.
     
  10. Kreth

    Kreth Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Messages:
    6,980
    Likes Received:
    86
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Oneonta, NY
    Good point. I think eventually you need to look deeper than the exchange itself in any given kata, and look for the strategy:why things are being done as they are...

    Jeff
     
  11. Grey Eyed Bandit

    Grey Eyed Bandit Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,503
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Location:
    MAP Hell
    Which can prove to be somewhat difficult if you lack the technical expertise/experience required.:asian:
     
  12. Tenjin

    Tenjin Guest

     
  13. DWeidman

    DWeidman Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    You see - the problem I have with the tone of your posts is how "authoritative" it sounds. Re-read the paragraph above for case in point.

    I have seen what you are talking about - and I have seen really impressive free-response (which -- according to your statement doesn't happen)...

    I posted the 4 stages of learning and said when I think you should be starting free-response. Would you say the people you have watched were at the 4th stage?

    No problem. I am glad you were at a seminar instead of just avoiding an online discussion... :)

    Perhaps you would like to try this paragraph again. It has nothing to do with the topic at hand. And yes - contrary to popular belief - some people are harder to hurt then you expect them to be.

    I say this from my own experience and my own misconceptions...

    I wouldn't say ego - I would say blissful ignorance. Sorry if you feel like I am trending here...

    No offense taken (although I assume offense was meant)... I left you a nice, easy way out with the rest of the quote that you conveniently chose to NOT quote. "If I am incorrect - please remedy that."

    I openly used the word "assume"... as opposed to your comments of "...the stupidest thing I have ever seen posted...".

    My question was asked to lay foundation to the discussion. If you had considerable experience with this - and had salient points - the discussion would be different now. Since you don't - there is little to discuss as you.

    Sorry for the reality check.

    Why didn't you say, "At my current level of experience - I feel its not a valuable tool FOR ME for the reasons I have stated?" Why are you making a judgement for the art???

    I rarely take any discussion personally. Even discussions / comments that are meant to be personally insulting....

    -Daniel
     
  14. rutherford

    rutherford Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,194
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    As somebody who used to train within JKD (from the PFS side), took a decade off, and then recently began training with Bujinkan folks; I feel compelled to share my obviously neophyte opinions on the matter.

    First, I don't think the energy drills mentioned are anywhere close to my definition of sparring. Sure, Uke (to use Japanese terms) freely chooses when to attack and by what method. And Tori responds freely. But the intensity level is still at drill speeds and are really aimed at training specific attributes.

    The beauty of these drills is that after showing one to somebody and training with them for 5 minutes, you can have them close their eyes and they can instantly feel when Uke changes the energy by throwing in a free response. The sensitivity is certainly there.

    Good taijutsu practice breeds the same sensitivity because you should always be able to say, "Hey, I've been here before." The experience seems to have much more depth, if perhaps it is not as quickly realized.
     
  15. KyleShort

    KyleShort Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Ca
    And with my post I was not asking you or anyone else what your definition of sparring was, I was simply stating mine :)

    That having been said, I consider sparring just about anything that allows free attack & response (even if it is constrained to a certain speed and selection of techniques). Our definitions differ, no argument there.

    The primary point that I was making was that in my experience training in the bujinkan there was very little free (sparring) training. Sure much of the time you are shown something and told to respond to the same attack in your own way (free for you)...or perhaps the same depending upon the intent of the exercise. BUT the keystone here is the initial attack(s). They are almost always known prior to the attack, so it is not really free. Your mind and body already knows what is comming. But again, I am not saying what is better or worse. IMO I like to have a blend of both types of training.
     
  16. rutherford

    rutherford Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,194
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    And I hope that you were not unhappy to have me share my own definitions. I certainly would not demand that you use them.

    . . . Huh.

    Using your definition, I would say that the all of the training I've done has been sparring.

    In my training group, we always change things slightly between repetitions. We'll decide what type of movement we're going to train, and then try to explore the ways that the movement is applicable.

    I'm a new student, so I like to have Uke say, "Hey, I'm gonna throw this type of attack for a while." In fact, I need those right now to stay within the parameters of the training because if I respond freely I'm going to go back to what I know and not what I'm trying to learn.
     
  17. DWeidman

    DWeidman Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Just so we understand more about this - how long were you in the Bujinkan? What was your rank when you left?

    Thanks,

    -Daniel
     
  18. shinbushi

    shinbushi Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Manhattan Beach, California
    Since at my dojo, we spar a lot, I thought I would give my 2 sen.

    And there you have it. It seems ludicrous to me that having rules in place for competition or randori (or even partner drills in the dojo) somehow implies the watering down or ineffectiveness of an art.

    All MA training has rules. Nobody goes around slamming on an Omote Gyaku with the intention of breaking uke's wrist. No one goes around altering the angle of their throws with the express intention of dumping uke on their head. Nobody actually trains eye-gouging or throat-ripping or joint dislocation - at least nowhere near at full intensity.

    Having a randori element to an art creates an environment in which core principles (maai, kuzushi, positional strategy on the ground) can be applied full force against fully resisting opponents, with a limited number of relatively safe techniques to ensure no-one gets badly hurt. All the nasty stuff can be drilled separately, with compliant partners or at low intensity. The two things aren't mutually exclusive.

    But I would argue very strongly that the best way to learn how to apply core principles is through randori. The Bujinkan has tons of ground submissions. So how come when I started BJJ (at a purely sport-oriented school) I got tapped like a typewriter? Because BJJ (like all combat sports) has strategies and principles to deal with live opponents that were lacking in my previous training.

    Though Sparring and drills against progressively resistant opponents is not the end all be all of training. IMHO it should be included to some degree from day 1. I know some people think this engrains bad habits but form my experience. When you start kata training (cooperative waza and format kata) students use too many attributes (Speed, strength, athleticism). When people start sparring they do the same thing. I have found that even if someone has trained for decades without sparring, the 1st time they spar the will use attributes.


    Sparring may not be like real life but neither is training slowly with cooperative training partners. You need IMHO to have both. There are of course other ways of pressure testing your skills, but for me and my dojo it is sparring. Just to clarify We do kata, henka drill in addition to sparring.
    Also From Noted Koryu pratictioner, Ellis Amdur
    From shenwu.com


     
  19. Grey Eyed Bandit

    Grey Eyed Bandit Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,503
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Location:
    MAP Hell

    You have a point, but that problem gets worse if you don't have to worry about these things while sparring. You can't utilize the same strategy in a submission match as in reality, because you don't know if your opponent has an unexpected backup, be it a pushdagger, a lady with a gun or friends with steeltoed boots.

    If your opponent is resisting, you should be doing something else.

    Lacking, or difficult to get to?

    I don't know who said it first, but "don't judge the world by your own ****** standards". For god's sake, one can fix this problem without admitting defeat!! It just takes time and hard work!!
    I've had the opportunity to attack my current instructor freely with a knife, using whatever attacks I felt like using. This was at a regular training seminar right in the middle of regular training. He took me out in less than 10 seconds without any life-threatening injuries on his part. And here comes the best part - I have no clue whatsoever as to how strong he is. Nor do I know how strong Nagato sensei is, even though I've been his uke. Get my point?

    Real, real, REAL good taijutsu has you down for the count without you ever having the slightest clue as to what happened. This type of ability exists, I've had it demonstrated to me myself and I don't care if someone says otherwise. Up until around september 2003 I will admit I had my doubts about budo taijutsu in several contexts. Now, I doubt myself and my own ability instead.
     
  20. shinbushi

    shinbushi Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Manhattan Beach, California
    By resisting it means non-compliant, active opponent, not that you are forcing a technique against resistance.
    I lived and trained for 7 year in Japan with Soke and Nagato Sensei. I am at my 20 yr mark , I think I know good taijutsu. We are not talking about waza or principals or even theory but training methods.123
     

Share This Page