Contact in training...yes or no?

hongkongfooey

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How many people incorporate contact in their training? Is it during one steps and self defense practice, sparring or both. I feel that contact is required in order to understand the proper execution of the techniques. Any thoughts?

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Blindside

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I've seen no contact sparring and its damn silly looking, I really can't even imagine what no contact self-defense looks like. How do you expect to learn anything without contact?

So as you might imagine, we do lots of contact, start light with lower belts and build as tolerance of the training partner does.

Lamont
 
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hongkongfooey

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I have to agree with you Blindside. Contact is very important in learning to defend oneself. I worked with a guy who used to rave about his son's karate class. I inquired about their training methods and was informed that they do not spar and contact was frowned upon. I told him that he should have just enrolled his son in ballet, since that was essentially what he was doing. They only did forms and basics, which isn't a bad thing, well at least drilling the basics had some merit.

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beauty_in_the_sai

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I like contact sparring for 3 reasons: One, you know what it's like and will feel like when you hit someone, two, it teaches you how to effectively block, and three, when you are hit on the street, it won't be for the first time. I can see no contact as a beginner, but once you get up there in ranks and your technique and focus gets better, contact sparring is a big up!

Becky
 
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hongkongfooey

hongkongfooey

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beauty_in_the_sai said:
I like contact sparring for 3 reasons: One, you know what it's like and will feel like when you hit someone, two, it teaches you how to effectively block, and three, when you are hit on the street, it won't be for the first time. I can see no contact as a beginner, but once you get up there in ranks and your technique and focus gets better, contact sparring is a big up!

Becky

You make some very good points, Becky. I even believe that beginners should make contact at white belt, just not real hard, maybe 25% power.

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mantis

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contact is very essential in my system for sensitivity. We do block and punch if we know the training partner is going to block, but we definitely do not fire punches at the faces :)
 

Fluffy

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I teach sparring in three section;

1) no contact, learn what you can do before you do harm and understand how to protect yourself. Also learn how to deal with gear. (no white belts ever spar, color belts at this phase)

2) point sparring, at this point they have learned how to protect themselves and they also have learned some type of debth perception, this is usualy lite to moderate contact with gear on. (color belts, black belts - tourney sparring)

3) Street fighting, how to survive a street encounter. Taught the difference between point sparring and actual SD. (Advanced (by invitation) color belts, Black Belts only)
 

Rich Parsons

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With Weapons: Contact with weapon to weapon, no contact with the person. It happens, but the thought is to have control and not damage the other person.

Empty Hands: Contact from the beginning for feedback and understanding.

Self Defense: Basic Grabs, and parries and blocks, and what have you.

So the answer is Contact but controlled contact.
 

AdrenalineJunky

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I think there was a similar thread that I responded to in length. In short, contact sparring allows you to test what you know; you shouldn't be paying someone to teach you self-defense, if you're not sure it will work.
 

Laborn

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Alright. My School and schools in the past always had contact, for self defense, for sparring, they always said "you fight how you train, if you train to use no contact, or you train to stop your fist an inch before you hit them, it wont be effective training in SD" I love seeing how hard i can hit someone, or how light i can, either way it's my choice, with no contact, it's not my choice.

And me personally i like seeing how high my pain tolerence is. Im use to pain because we fight every week, im use to being hit by hard hitters, with no contact, i wouldn't be use to being hit. I prefer contact, totally.
 

rziriak

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Definite contact. We are having a big test next Friday. The closer we get to a test, the harder the contact. I have a couple bruises to prove it. Our school believes in the reality of SD.

It takes a certain mind set to be able to train like this. Mr. Speakman told us a person has to be a little off to really enjoy this stuff. I agree. I'm thankful for real contact.

My $.02
 

green meanie

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Ultimately, full contact sparring is necessary if you're going to learn how to fight and survive. Anyone who's only being taught how to dish it out and not how to take it is only receiving half the training. My two cents.
 

MJS

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green meanie said:
Ultimately, full contact sparring is necessary if you're going to learn how to fight and survive. Anyone who's only being taught how to dish it out and not how to take it is only receiving half the training. My two cents.

I couldnt agree more! There are times when running a drill when the contact may be less, but IMHO, if you're not feeling some contact, getting resistance, etc., you'll be giving yourself a false mindset and will be in for a big surprise if the day comes that you must defend yourself outside the training hall.

Mike
 

MJS

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rziriak said:
Definite contact. We are having a big test next Friday. The closer we get to a test, the harder the contact. I have a couple bruises to prove it. Our school believes in the reality of SD.

Especially on a test! I've sat on some and was getting so pumped up watching the intensity, and others I've sat there shaking my head at the sad display of techniques.

Mike
 

beauty_in_the_sai

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Fluffy said:
2) point sparring, at this point they have learned how to protect themselves and they also have learned some type of debth perception, this is usualy lite to moderate contact with gear on. (color belts, black belts - tourney sparring)

I never did care for point sparring much. I never saw the real point in it. Some tournys wouldn't even let you hit to the head for points. But on the street, everywhere is fair game, not just the chest and head. And, on the street, no one is going to stop the fight and yell "Point!" when you hit your attacker in the head or chest or he hit you. Before anyone points it out, I know I'm a taekwondoist, and usually TKD does point sparring. However, my school barely ever did point sparring. The only time we did was to get ready for a tournament. Just my two cents. :) Not meaning to offend fluffy, ofc, as he's cool!

Becky
 

jfarnsworth

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All types of sparring is necessary. I like how fluffy has his sparring set up. Remeber that point sparring is different than sparring with your friends at the studio. Point sparring is different than continuous sparring. Continuous is different than full contact. Full contact is different than self defense. Self defense is different than saving your *** when it comes down to you and one other person.
Point sparring is good at showing you to get in and out and then it's over. It just might help you one day to get in, throw a couple of shots, then continue out and get away. Be aware of all types of sparring and practice many. :asian:
 

Seig

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My approach is very simple. If you never hit anyone in practice, when it comes time to hit someone for real, you will not be able to hit them for real. Likewise, if you never receive a blow, when you actually get hit, it will not only be a shock to you, it will seriously delay your reaction time.
 

jdinca

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Fluffy said:
I teach sparring in three section;

1) no contact, learn what you can do before you do harm and understand how to protect yourself. Also learn how to deal with gear. (no white belts ever spar, color belts at this phase)

2) point sparring, at this point they have learned how to protect themselves and they also have learned some type of debth perception, this is usualy lite to moderate contact with gear on. (color belts, black belts - tourney sparring)

3) Street fighting, how to survive a street encounter. Taught the difference between point sparring and actual SD. (Advanced (by invitation) color belts, Black Belts only)
Great approach.

We do no contact in the beginning belts, past blocking drills and doing SD techniques on each other at slow speed to learn targeting, body position etc.

Faster contact as rank increases. Orange belts are allowed to join the light contact class(point sparring). Our instructor trainee class is also the place where "dummies" start learning how to take a punch, kick etc. You learn quickly to give when you're hit with a rear kick to the solar plexus as opposed to just standing there and taking it. Techniques on each other are also used to develop control at this level.

Upper ranks/instructor plan on getting hit. At this level you can also be invited to the full contact class. The curriculum and focus are different than SD. SD techniques are done full speed with contact and speed but with control. It still can hurt. Mass Attacks are done full speed, full power but no strikes to dangerous targets such as the throat groin, knees, etc.

As discussed in another thread, I think sparring is very valuable as a tool in a overall training curriculum but it's not the end all the MA training. The rules in sparring can instill a false sense of security because there are rules about how and where you can hit. Real life has no such rules. I do think though, that at some point in training it is important to understand what it's like to get hit.
 

jdinca

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As a side question, how do you all handle contact when female students are involved? Do you let the women hit each other? Do you put them up against a male student? Do you take them on as an instructor? It can be a dicey situation if not handled properly.
 

Grenadier

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Yes AND no.

For lower ranks that have not had much experience, I don't want them making contact at all, for ippon / kihon kumite, and I don't have them free sparring just yet. Instead, I'll make the emphasis that I want them to punch / kick with full speed / power, but stop it within 6 inches of the target, at first. As they become more experienced as beginners, I'll shorten that distance. I NEVER want to see a half-hearted technique thrown.

For intermediate ranks, I feel that they are experienced enough, and coordinated enough, to land a blow at the surface of the target. Basically, tapping the gi. This never changes the fact that I want full speed techniques thrown, though.

For advanced ranks, I trust them to give each other a decent tap, going beyond the surface, but not so far as to harm each other. By this level, they should also be able to take a decent tap. After all, all of those calisthenics should have toughened them up by now! At the same time, though, everything is under control. Nobody is out to injure each other, and everyone is expected to learn from their mistakes. Anyone who does seek to deliberately injure his fellow classmate, gets the boot (and his contract shredded).

Regardless of the level, I continue to emphasize that the techniques are thrown at full speed. The karate-ka simply changes the distance at which the point of impact is. This way, they aren't afraid to throw good techniques, and have a much better mechanism of control, than to simply pull one's punch.
 
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