Who is Welcome to Sparring

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Big Don, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Another tip for instructors who teach children lol.... practise Thai leg blocks! that way when you get an annoying child who likes to kick you you can block the kick without harm to you and they go screaming off to mum who then, as she didn't see anything untoward that would hurt her little darling, tells them to run along and stop being a wimp lmao!

    In this country (prob do in other places too) we have challenges to fights in car parks, usually pub ones. They are actually very 'civilised' affairs with the fights being fair, one on one and with more or less boxing rules. I have a dvd (shh) of such fights, it's mostly gypsies who fight but others do as well.

    The organised fights among the football supposrters are something else and nothing at all to do with martial arts. They are nasty, bloody and often with knives ( another reason to ban knives her)
     
  2. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    Our sparring nights are "open door." You'll have to sign a waiver, but if you want to get on the floor, you are welcome to. Unsurprisingly, you'll start by fighting our better fighters so we can gauge where you are at and what your skill is like.

    We've had people from all different styles drop in and glove up, it's a learning experience for everyone. I've never seen a "challenge," and the need to run scared from even the potential for one is pretty sad.

    Lamont
     
  3. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    The rules for MMA sparring in a class are stricter than TMA sparring for the reasons you've said. We never fight in class. if you were to come to a class you'd find that we often spar in a single style and it would be very easy for a TMA person to find themselves very much at home with us. You would know exactly what to expect, our classes though relaxed are very disciplined. There are different sets of MMA rules, in amateur rules there are no head shots at all which is something a TMA person might find hard not to do when sparring.
    We drill a lot of techniques and if you want to spar stand up we can do whichever style you'd like, kickboxing, K1 rules, MT, points or semi contact and TKD. Most of the MMA fighters come from a traditional background such as TKD or karate so it's not so far removed from TMA as you'd think.
     
  4. shihansmurf

    shihansmurf Black Belt

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    I have sparred at a rather large number of schools over the years as a guest. I have yet to be considered as a "challanger" and have had positive experiences at all of the schools the I have worked out at.

    I don't just find the idea of a challange laughable but I am forced to wonder about the character of any martial artist who would allow such a thing to occur in their school. When last I checked we are not wandering ronin or wild west gunfighters. There is no upside in accepting a challange like that. If you lose you lose face, if you win you have undercut all the teaching about not getting into pointless fights in the first place.

    I also wonder about the level of confidence that a martial artist has to feel in his ability if he is threatened by someone wanting to spar him.

    Mark
     
  5. Grenadier

    Grenadier Administrator Staff Member

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    If someone wants to spar with our people, then they have a few choices:

    1) They can enroll in classes, and work their way up the ranks, and eventually be allowed to spar with the others, or...

    2) We can meet in a tournament event. I'd be more than happy to spar someone at one of the USA-NKF matches.

    We may even offer y'all an invite to our tournament.



    Other than that, no challenges are allowed. If someone wants to go around from dojo to dojo, cruising for a bruising, they won't find it here.

    The way I see it, the days of John Keehan (aka 'Count Juan Raphael Dante') and the dojo wars are long gone, and in this day and age of litigation, it's simply best not to do as he did.

    Remember, that Keehan's best friend died in one of those dojo brawls, which eventually led to Keehan developing one of the nastiest ulcers, and bleeding to death on the inside.
     
  6. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    How did this thread get from a friendly invitation to spar to a diatribe on challengers? I'm sorry but it's ridiculous, no one is challenging anyone anywhere!
    It's just a fun thing, we are all different styles so fitting into each others class is difficult but a friendly spar is something we can all do. There is no need for people to get on their high horses and start chuntering about breaking limbs. If for example a MT member who does Muay Thai in California happens to be in New York where another member does TKD wouldn't it be pleasant if they could have a friendly spar together? They would find it awkward to do each others basic classes and as one is only visiting they can't go through the grading system. I think this is all the OP meant, members of MT who happen to be in the locale of others having a friendly spar together as it's probably the one thing we all have in common as our styles are very different.
     
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  7. Big Don

    Big Don Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well said. I wondered the same thing myself. Part of the fun of sparring is seeing how you react to other people's style of fighting, stealing little bits of good stuff here and there is an added bonus...
    C'mon, no one really has any "Ancient Chinese Secrets" Although, there was that one style that claimed "Ancient Egyptian Secrets"...
    Anyone foolish enough to go about challenging people wouldn't be likely to last very long at all. There is always someone better, and even if there is only someone "just as good" he has friends, with bats...
     
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  8. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    EGO. That's how...

    Personally, it's a judgement call on whether a guest is welcome to spar or not. Generally, folks from within my style are welcome anytime. Beyond that, if I know you, we can probably make it happen. A stranger? We'll have to chat. Depending on a few things, most especially attitude, I may let you move with me or some of my students. But if I think you're just going to try to hurt someone... Nope.
     
  9. MBuzzy

    MBuzzy Grandmaster

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    That is true, the challenging issue is a bit removed from the original point....
    I really think that it comes down to a few factors. First, in Traditional martial arts, its just considered a courtesy to let another school know when you're coming to train. Second, in my mind in a TMA school, it does raise some flags if a COMPLETE STRANGER walks in to a sparring class with no notice and wants to fight. You're right, they are probably not a challenger and they probably have no ill will. BUT, as a school owner, you have to be wary. Because 9 times out of 10, they are fine. Probably just wanted some practice while on vacation...or mix up their sparring partners a bit. But what about the 1 out of 10 who MIGHT not be that innocent? Is it worth taking the chance? How about the students who are not there to fight as much as possible? There's always that possibility and as a school owner you have to be careful. Just look at all of the threads around here talking about liability and the stupid lawsuits people file. When you own the school and are responsible for the property, if something happens, its your butt. I know that I wouldn't take a risk on someone off the street that I didn't know. At least my own students, I KNOW and know their abilities, limits, and issues.

    We just had a talk in class tonight about tempers while sparring. I'm sure that THIS happens everywhere. You have someone who can't separate classroom sparring from their anger. Someone gets a good shot in - even if it is accidental and some people just snap. Otherwise good students. In a controlled environment where you know them, it is usually easy to manage and control. What if you got a complete stranger in your school that suddently snapped because someone got a good hit in?

    Or the issue of control? I know even some high ranking belts that either haven't LEARNED the proper control or don't feel it is necessary for classroom style sparring. I've taken some full power hits from people in our "light or no contact" sparring. Sometimes accidental, sometimes a lack of control......usually we bow, make sure everyone's ok and continue. But frankly.....I just don't trust people. Unless you know them, see them every week, how can you know?


    Now, as you said Tez, if I were to contacted on MT by someone who I knew from here that was going to be in the area and they wanted to get together to spar, no problem! I know (as well as you can on the internet) them, it is prearranged, perfectly harmless in my opinion and a GREAT training opportunity.

    If I owned a school, any MT member would be welcome at my sparring classes anytime, although I would like to courtesy of a call ahead - which I don't think is too much to ask.

    Now if I owned a school and a student from another style, from another school walked in to sparring class and wanted to fight, I would definately think twice. Not that they were challenging....but to be quite honest (and this is meant with no offense to ANYONE here), there are plenty of nutballs out there just looking for a fight....and it is REALLY easy to buy a karate uniform and belt. If for no other reason than in this crazy society if something happened (one of my students hurt them or they hurt one of my students), it is my *** on the line. At least with your own students, the risk is a known quantity.
     
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  10. MBuzzy

    MBuzzy Grandmaster

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    This is a great point....a stranger, you can probably tell pretty quick what their intentions are. Could be to practice sparring, could be to get insight on another school for a tournament, could be to hurt someone, heck, could be to set up a lawsuit, as crazy as it sounds you never know....and it does happen. But it totally depends on the person and the circumstances.
     
  11. Doc_Jude

    Doc_Jude 3rd Black Belt

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    This happened to me back in the day, some guys coming into our dojo (Bujinkan) wanting to "spar". When it was explained to them that we don't just "spar" at the drop of a hat, they then just wanted to "train". What it actually was was a "let's all go out with our big friend that has many years of hard-style karate & two black belts and watch him kick the frak out of some ninja poozers." After I got done with him, his friends woke him up and they left. A week later, his friends came back, wanting to join up for real.
    That's what most of the people here seem to be talking about, & I'm sure more than a few of them have experienced this. Some poozers come in wanting some ego entertainment. I feel the same way. You come to my school in a pack and want to "spar"... expect a cold reception, since we don't train for sport, but to defend life.
     
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  12. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I can't imagine anyone walking into my club and wanting to fight. I know if someone did we would just burst into laughter. My instructor would be very amused. Lets see, what do we train for? In the MMA classes we train for competition, in the self defence classes we train to do just that, in the control and restraint classes we teach nurses, doormen etc how to deal with aggression, drunks and other problems you find in the types of jobs they do. In our students/fighters day jobs they train to kill people. Some who train with us occasionally train how to kill people furtively and creatively very often without weapons though they do interesting things with blades. Ego's however are left at the door, not to be honest that many of them have egos. More presence than ego and a great sense of fun which probably puts people off really, we appear soft when training I expect. They don't talk about kicking butt, they don't need to. I suppose a relaxed, laughing class isn't much of a 'conquest'.
     
  13. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Have the courage to speak softly

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    That last part is such an important point, Irene, that it needs another 'pointer' to add attention to it so it doesn not get glossed over. Whilst we are, I think, wandering far from the original OP, we do have to bear in mind that reactions where the majority of students are service-people will vary widely from those places where most students are 'ordinary' Joes.
     
  14. Drag'n

    Drag'n Green Belt

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    My school lies somewhere between TMA and MMA. We also have an open door policy and we get a number of ranking kickboxers and mma fighters comming in regularly for sparring.
    But most of them either know my instructor or are introduced by their trainer who we know.
    They always call first to let us know, out of courtesy, and to make sure our fighters are in that night.
    Some come specificly to spar with my instructor or a particular fighter.
    But we have had a few unanounced arrivals. We accomodated them just the same.
    Very rarely do guys come in looking to prove something. But it has happened.
    After a few well placed knees and elbows from my instructor that drop them to the floor, trying not to puke their guts out, they usually soften up and become very polite! :)

    I always try to train in different dojos when I'm on the road.TMA or MMA. Its always a good learning experience.
    But I ALWAYS contact them first either by email or phone to let them know my background and what my intentions are.
    Not to do so would be rude.
    Courtesy is an integral part of budo.

    I wear a white belt and go through the whole class like everybody else. I spar by their rules with the intention of having some fun and learning something.

    I have encountered some egos when visiting though. Some guys seem feel like they are being challenged and they have to protect their schools honor or something.
    At one school I really had to do everything I could to defend myself from getting beaten up by the schools instructor and senior students!
     
  15. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think everybody wherever possible does actually phone to let the clubs know they'd like to come along. I work shifts so often people will often...out of consideration for my sleep pattern, not phone to let me know they are coming. Some people just hear about the club from a friend of a friend and have no number to phone so they pop down. Some people know that if they come unexpectedly it's a lovely surprise. Everyone who has walked through our door though has said why they are there and always in a friendly manner.
    Even when I was with my TMA club a few years ago which was in a local sports centre on the High Street we didn't have people walking in challenging anyone. I know the instructors (very tradtional Wado Ryu) wouldn't have regarded anyone walking in as a challenge either. If you actually treat people with courtesy and hospitality it's actually quite hard for them to be aggressive with them. It's how I work in my occupation, using a soft word to turn away a hard one and never to get defensive or aggressive. I'm afraid some people regard being polite and welcoming as being soft.
     
  16. karate-dragon

    karate-dragon Orange Belt

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    We have a regular sparring time. I think it is only common courtesy to either have the head instructor call before his students went somewhere else to spar to make sure it was welcome, and /or go with them. I have often been invited by other schools to come and join them "anytime" but would always call first and announce that we were coming. I would not accept people from another school to show up uninvited or unannounced. Personally, I would rather have people come to my school because I know that things are strict and there will be no injuries. You never really know what you might walk into at someone else's school. I have been invited to go to someone else's school and then felt as though we were there for them to try and beat on and things can get ugly.
     
  17. YoungMan

    YoungMan 2nd Black Belt

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    Although we have had guests come to class who were recommended by our Instructor, we have also had many who came to class on their own. Alas, many of them did indeed come to try to prove their superiority over us. However, all were welcome to try. We never turned anyone away. In fact, the more bad manners they displayed the more we looked forward to sparring. This especially applied to those who didn't care about forms or basics, but only wanted to free fight. Not bowing was a plus.
    As I recall, it went something like this:
    -Thump- They get knocked to the floor. Repeat 2-3 times per person. Multiply X 20 black belts.
    You get the idea.
     
  18. green meanie

    green meanie Master Black Belt

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    We almost always spar during the last 15 - 20 minutes of practice. If someone dropped by (unexpectedly or not) and wanted to take a lesson they would be more than welcome to participate in the sparring at the end just like everyone else.
     

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