- Nov 7, 2017
- Reaction score
- Southeast U.S.
We segregate more by size than rank so you will line up in front of all ranks.What I use to do, which I’ll probably get flack for (but me no care)…we didn’t spar any no contact to the face, not even with the kids.
So….all my guys that wanted to fight in a tourney fought in the Back Belt division. Yeah, most of them got smoked, but never embarrassed. One of the reason was all my students fought everyone, including the black belts, they were used to doing so on a regular basis. One of them, as an actual white belt, won at least his first fight in every single tourney he fought in (about twenty of them) and placed many times. He was a good athlete who didn’t look like he was. He looked fat and slow and was anything but. When he finally made Black belt in real life, he retired, saying “the thrill is gone”. (By then he didn’t look fat anymore and had won the division a few times)
For my kids, I had any of them interested come to several tournaments and watch all day. Then had them “teach themselves no contact sparring” How? Easy. They all did bag work as part of their karate education and training. We had them split time from actual bag work with “flick contact” to the bag. Then no contact on the bag. (on their own time) Then they did it on the cement poles holding up the I-beams of the ceiling. And, no, nobody ever got hurt. Ever. You heard a few “ows” now and then but no big deal. (that's the best way to teach control in my opinion)
Then we let them practice with each other. They all competed well, were very successful. And there were dozens of them. Best part was…when you had one of those divisions that was 11-13 years old (or whatever) you know how big the size difference with kids can be. If they competed against a monster who was trying to hurt them, they would just blast the kid off his feet with a face punch.
As for actual sandbagging that’s not fair to the student. How are you supposed to improve your skills when competing against people you’re so much better than? That’s just plain dumb.
For tournaments we have 4-6 special sessions a year where we set up regulation size rings (this varies some with non-sanctioned tourneys) have corner judges and a center and go through everything.
It is good for the competitors and for the BB’s working to get referee certification.