Did a little training with Tony Dismukes

Gerry Seymour

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Which way is better?

1. Low your skill level in order to help your opponent.
2. Force your opponent up to your skill level.
I cannot force a beginner up to my level. Sure, what you're suggesting is good with someone just under your level, but are you seriously suggesting that completley shutting down a beginner is the best way for them to learn from sparring?
The concern that I have on method 1 is your opponent may develop a false confidence.
Sure, unless you teach well. I already covered this in a previous post. It's not that difficult to prevent.
For example, If my opponent's head lock is not strong enough, I will not pretend that his head lock can crash my structure and make me to go down to the ground. If I do that, he may think that his head lock is strong enough and stop further developing. To me, that's not helping. That's hurting.
I can't speak to what you're saying here, becuase I don't know what this headlock takedown is (and since I am not versed in it, I can't make much commentary on how to work on it with a lower-skilled partner. So I'll talk about the basic hip throw (which you brought up earlier). Simply pretending they are able to break your structure isn't the only method for "leveling down". I can work slower (at 80% speed, perhaps). I can take away some of my own defenses (especially those unlikely to be presented by someone of my partner's level). I can purposely present openings to see if he can spot them. There are others, but the important part is that in all of these scenarios, I still require their technique actually break my structure, or they won't get the throw. I wouldn't expect them to attempt that throw in sparring before they've learned to properly break structure in a few different entries, so when I'm sparring with them, I'll expect them to be able to perform the technique properly once they attempt it.
In the following clip, the BB girl uses "憓(Zhui) - Sticking drop" to counter white belt girl's hip throw. Should the BB girl pretend that she doesn't know how to counter hip throw and allow her white belt opponent to throw her?

It depends on the situation, but in most situations, I'd say probably not, since I'd assume that's something another white belt might do. It might be a good idea to do it at a fractional effectiveness/efficiency, if that forces her to do better.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Here is another example.

If I try to spar with you and test my "rhino guard", During the sparring, you just throw random punches, and you are not serious enough to hit me, that kind of sparring will not help me. You may help me to build up a false confidence. That's not what I want.

My goal is trying to obtain a clinch on you (such as arm wrap) before your punch can land on me. The only way that you can help me is trying to hit me seriously (not lower your level for me).

In other words, during

- training, I have used my "rhino guard" to deal with plenty of "fake" punches.
- sparring, I want to use it to deal with "real" punches. The true testing record is important for me. I don't want to collect fake testing record.
Again, you're presenting specific situations that don't fit the argument. Nobody has said that you should never bring everything (or your best of something) to sparring. But if you're trying to work on your rhino guard, what good am I doing you if I am an expert at low kicks from beyond arm's reach, and do nothing else? That would be my best counter to that (in that situation), but not very useful for you to test your rhino guard (unless you're looking to see where it fails entirely, in which case, this would be entirely appropriate).

But notice that you actually put limitations on me, in what you need. You need me to punch (by your own stated objective). If I don't give you punching to work with (I pull guard, use long-range low kicks, do a flying tackle, etc.), I'm not helping you learn.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I wouldn't go so far as to say someone who spars every round to win is necessarily being selfish. I would say that they are perhaps being counterproductive towards their own development.

For one thing, always trying to win every round means that you have to bring your "A" game every time - the techniques and tactics you are best at. This means that you don't risk trying out the techniques and tactics that you are mediocre or downright bad at. Which means that you never get the chance to develop those other approaches to broaden your skill set. There's a lot of value in forcing yourself to try techniques that you aren't confident with during sparring, so that you can discover the failure points and how to fix them. This is what I was doing when I sparred with my boxing friend using only Jow Ga punching methods.

This same concept also applies to putting yourself in bad positions so that you can practice surviving and escaping them. Perhaps you are the best wrestler in your gym and no one there can put you on your back. If you use this as an excuse to never fight from your back, then you are likely to be in trouble the first time you encounter someone who is better at wrestling and is able to put you there. (BTW, this is one of the approaches I use with new students - allowing them to start in an advantageous position such as mounted on me.)

The other consideration is that if you are so much better than your sparring partners that you are able to just shut them down completely, then you run the risk of stunting their progression, which in the long term will slow your own progress, because you need sparring partners who can challenge you and force you to grow.

My first BJJ instructor subscribed to the philosophy of going all out to win every round. The problem was that he was much bigger, stronger, and more experienced. When I rolled with him, he just shut me down to the point where I couldn't move or try anything. I was just locked in place waiting to be submitted. The result was that probably neither of us got any real benefit from those rounds. These days when I roll with new students who I can dominate easily, I give them openings to move and try techniques. That way I get practice countering the techniques that I have given them the opportunity for and they get to try things and discover the mistakes they make along the way*. Every so often I'll underestimate a student and give them too much of an opening and they actually catch me. When that happens, I congratulate them on a job well done and determine that I need to give them less of an opening the next time. (I also review my own performance to figure out why I failed to counter a technique that I knew was coming.) The result is that my students progress more quickly than I did and they are able to reach the point where they can legitimately challenge me and force me to improve my own skills.

*(Sometimes my students almost manage to catch me, but fail because of some minor technical error. In those cases after the round I try to take a moment to show them how they could have finished me with just a small adjustment. This way I have to do even better with my counters the next time.)
Excellent points. I will note that I didn't say the person being selfish was actually doing what's best for themselves - I expect they believe working their A game is their best path. Of course, I'm assuming that, so we know what that means.

As I think about it, though, "selfish" is close, but not quite what I meant. Perhaps "unthinking" or "inconsiderate" is better - they're not thinking well about what helps their partner develop. There are, of course, definitely times when bringing your best and hardest is of benefit to your partner (especially if they are near your level, or better).

I love your description of working with students of lower skill levels. That's more or less what I was getting at. Unless it's for fun (some students just love every now and then seeing just how different the skill level is) or to demonstrate a point (for example, if a student seems to think I'm bringing my best, and is gettting overconfident), I try not to dominate completely. I Give them time and room (technically speaking) to work with, to see what they'll do, what they'll pass up, and what choices they'll make. And, of course, find out what they come up with that actually makes me work or catches me out.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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But notice that you actually put limitations on me, in what you need. You need me to punch (by your own stated objective). If I don't give you punching to work with (I pull guard, use long-range low kicks, do a flying tackle, etc.), I'm not helping you learn.
This is why I'll test my rhino guard against boxer and not against a TKD guy or BJJ guy. I want to test whether I can obtain a clinch during a fist flying situation. If there will be no fist flying, I won't get the testing environment that I want.

I won't call that sparring. Because I won't throw any punch back. I restrict myself to use only 1 technique (arm wrap head lock). But my opponent can punch me anyway he wants to.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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but are you seriously suggesting that completley shutting down a beginner is the best way for them to learn from sparring?
You use the term "learn from sparring". I prefer to use the term "test from sparring". You may treat sparring as "homework". I prefer to treat sparring as "midterm exam", or "final exam". Not saying who is right and who is wrong, it's just different.

In jacket wrestling (this won't work in no jacket environment), in order for my opponent to be able to attack me, he has to break my grips first. If my opponent cannot break my grips, he will know that he needs to develop better "tearing" skill. I help him to find out his own weakness. To me, that's helping him.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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they're not thinking well about what helps their partner develop.
Many years ago, onetime my SC teacher wrestled with one of his students. His student just running around and refuse to close the distance. Later on, that student told others that he could move so fast that even the Chinese national SC champion could not get him. Since that day, my SC teacher never wrestled with any of his students. A teacher may try to help a student. But a student may also try to take advantage on his teacher's reputation. It's very sad indeed.

If you want me to help you to develop your foot sweep, I can always move into bow-arrow stance with most of my weight on my leading foot. You can sweep me down 100 times that way. But I won't call that "sparring" (I help you to do develop a certain skill).

We are talking about the difference between "homework" and "midterm or final exam".
 
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Gerry Seymour

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This is why I'll test my rhino guard against boxer and not against a TKD guy or BJJ guy. I want to test whether I can obtain a clinch during a fist flying situation. If there will be no fist flying, I won't get the testing environment that I want.

I won't call that sparring. Because I won't throw any punch back. I restrict myself to use only 1 technique (arm wrap head lock). But my opponent can punch me anyway he wants to.
You could also test it against a karateka or kickboxer who agrees to not overuse his kicks. Or even agrees to not use them at all.
 

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You use the term "learn from sparring". I prefer to use the term "test from sparring". You may treat sparring as "homework". I prefer to treat sparring as "midterm exam", or "final exam". Not saying who is right and who is wrong, it's just different.

In jacket wrestling (this won't work in no jacket environment), in order for my opponent to be able to attack me, he has to break my grips first. If my opponent cannot break my grips, he will know that he needs to develop better "tearing" skill. I help him to find out his own weakness. To me, that's helping him.
What term you prefer is irrelevant to my point. Testing and learning at neither the same thing, nor mutually exclusive. I can learn from the result of testing.

Unless your point was that theres no learning when you test?
 

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Many years ago, onetime my SC teacher wrestled with one of his students. His student just running around and refuse to close the distance. Later on, that student told others that he could move so fast that even the Chinese national SC champion could not get him. Since that day, my SC teacher never wrestled with any of his students. A teacher may try to help a student. But a student may also try to take advantage on his teacher's reputation. It's very sad indeed.

If you want me to help you to develop your foot sweep, I can always move into bow-arrow stance with most of my weight on my leading foot. You can sweep me down 100 times that way. But I won't call that "sparring" (I help you to do develop a certain skill).

We are talking about the difference between "homework" and "midterm or final exam".
Its this point, I believe you are willfully ignoring the point, in order to make your own point.
 

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I can learn from the result of testing.

Unless your point was that theres no learning when you test?
Here is another example.

- You lift weight at home to develop strength (you do your homework).
- I lift weight at home to develop strength (I do my homework).

Every Sunday, we meet, we do arm wrestling to test our strength. If you are stronger than me, you will win. If I'm stronger than you, I'll win.

Assume you are stronger than me, you pretend that I'm stronger than you, and you lose to me intentionally so you can help me to develop my confidence. Is that the right thing for you to do since I don't deserve that confidence?

Why is it so difficult for you to understand my point?

If you can beat me up in sparring, you just help me to realize that I still need more training. To me, that's great help there.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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Its this point, I believe you are willfully ignoring the point, in order to make your own point.
I don't understand what you are trying to say here. Please provide more detail.

I didn't ignore your examples. I understand that you try to help your students in sparring. I prefer to help my students in training. I will let my students to throw me in training. I just won't let my students to throw me in testing. Because I believe testing should be real (students should not cheat in final exam).

You should also not ignore those examples that I have presented. If a teacher lets his students to take him down, that student may think he is better than his teacher and stop training. How do you prevent that from happening? Do you want your student to know that they still have a long way to go, or do you want your students to think they are better than the teacher and further learning won't be necessary?
 
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Gerry Seymour

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Here is another example.

- You lift weight at home to develop strength (you do your homework).
- I lift weight at home to develop strength (I do my homework).

Every Sunday, we meet, we do arm wrestling to test our strength. If you are stronger than me, you will win. If I'm stronger than you, I'll win.

Assume you are stronger than me, you pretend that I'm stronger than you, and you lose to me intentionally so you can help me to develop my confidence. Is that the right thing for you to do since I don't deserve that confidence?

Why is it so difficult for you to understand my point?

If you can beat me up in sparring, you just help me to realize that I still need more training. To me, that's great help there.
Thats not quite analogous. For the arm wrestling, theres technique involved, too. I can learn to feel for openings and weak spots I. Your technique, but only during our weekly session together.

If I am much stronger than you and better at arm wrestling, theres not much use (to either of us) in me slamming your hand down in a split second every time we meet up.
 

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I don't understand what you are trying to say here. Please provide more detail.

I didn't ignore your examples. I understand that you try to help your students in sparring. I prefer to help my students in training. I will let my students to throw me in training. I just won't let my students to throw me in testing. Because I believe testing should be real (students should not cheat in final exam).

You should also not ignore those examples that I have presented. If a teacher lets his students to take him down, that student may think he is better than his teacher and stop training. How do you prevent that from happening? Do you want your student to know that they still have a long way to go, or do you want your students to think they are better than the teacher and further learning won't be necessary?
Youve ignored all of my comments about how that is mitigated. Its not that hard.
 

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Here is another example.

- You lift weight at home to develop strength (you do your homework).
- I lift weight at home to develop strength (I do my homework).

Every Sunday, we meet, we do arm wrestling to test our strength. If you are stronger than me, you will win. If I'm stronger than you, I'll win.

Assume you are stronger than me, you pretend that I'm stronger than you, and you lose to me intentionally so you can help me to develop my confidence. Is that the right thing for you to do since I don't deserve that confidence?

Why is it so difficult for you to understand my point?

If you can beat me up in sparring, you just help me to realize that I still need more training. To me, that's great help there.
If you are unable to employ your techniques because your training partner is too awesome.

What exactly are you developing?

And what is your training partner developing if he is sparring someone who can't do anything?

And nobody should care if the instructor looses every now and then.
 
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JowGaWolf

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I prefer to help my students in training. I will let my students to throw me in training. I just won't let my students to throw me in testing. Because I believe testing should be real
This is what we have been saying about sparring to learn. It not the same as sparring for testing. If I had to test a students ability to use the techniques, then I want to test them on what they know and not what they are learning. If they are learning then I know there performance will be below my final expectations of where the students should be after learning a technique.

If I'm starting yo learn then there's no need to test that skill until that skill becomes like basics.
 

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This doesn't work so well in a boxing environment where one of the primary methods of defense is to pull the head back just far enough so that the opponent's punch comes up just short. In that context, my swing which whiffs a few inches in front of his face is a legitimate miss...
Your swing missed, because your opponent was not double weighted. If you punch when your opponent can't change (pull their head back), then your punch should land.

Dominick Cruz is one of the reasons that I had an interest in learning the long fist style swings in the first place. He doesn't use them exactly like Jow Ga or other long fist CMA systems, but the underlying concept is there, mixed in with all the other elements of his arsenal.
Some of the fighting concepts (e.g., Cruz's Setting Traps With Movement, tai chi) are not there, as JGW's discusses and demonstrates in his clearing hand video and in KFW's switch hands video. There is a difference in control and timing from the aforementioned fighting principles:

In JGW's clearing hand video, JGW...

1. shows an "opening in his defense," drawing the opponent to jab to his face.
2. JGW clears the opponent's jab with a backfist. The opponent (not double weighted) starts shifting his weight back, then shuffles back avoiding the Luk Choi (I believe). Then, the opponent throws a straight right.

In Diakiese vs Packalen, Diakiese...

1. Diakiese controls the lead hand and shuffles back, drawing the opponent to feint with the lead hand, shuffle and attempt to strike.
2. As Packalen feints and before his front foot lands (double weighted), Diakese changes his backward shuffle (pull) to an overhead right (push) intercepting Packalen's forward movement and KOs him.

 
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JowGaWolf

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Your swing missed, because your opponent was not double weighted. If you punch when your opponent can't change (pull their head back), then your punch should land.
@Tony Dismukes My suggestion of intentionally missing was for the purpose of Tony being able to give a nice, relaxed swing instead of always worrying if the punch is coming in too hard. Having the punch intentionally miss by inches still trains accuracy without sacrificing technique.

For example: During the session. I'm taking real time observations and adjustments. Punch slips through guard = good timing Punch too far out = equal close gap.
1696084395068.png



Strike goes over guard = good timing. Strike is inches away = desired result (placing my strikes where I want them.) One of the biggest benefits of long fist is that the punches are fast enough to be effective, but slow enough to where you have enough time to analyze what's happening and what needs to adjust. As I'm throwing my strikes, I'm watching my sparring partner and how he is reacting. This will tell me what to go for nex.
1696084506268.png


Her you can see me set up for a kick based on what I saw available in the picture above.
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Kick makes it in. Even if he leaned back. Kicking him would still be an option. The other benefit of intentionally missing is that you begin to use the missed punch as range finders and "false confident builders." Meaning that your sparring partner will feel that they are doing good against avoiding your punches but fail to realize, you are range finding and adjusting. The Boxer's lean back isn't a show stopper as a vertical long fist can still strike the body and the guard.
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Missed punches can also be used to intentionally herd your opponent. In the Jow Ga long wheel punch drills, you can see that some of the striking is downward but not striking the head. If I see a boxer lean back like this then I want a downward strike to his body. I intentionally want to target the body the arms. If you look at the picture below. If this was a diagonal swing, then your punch would land solid. If the boxer wants to sacrifice his shoulder, then let him feel the weight of that downward punch. If you do it enough, then he'll stop leaning back. If you can't get the shoulder, then target the guard. Because of the knuckles that are used to strike with, that exposed arm becomes a target.

defence-1431773387.jpg


Even if the lean back looks like this. Target the arms and advance ( hence the drill of the students walking with the wheel punch). Striking the hands and arm interferes or delays any punch that may come out. This will give you the time that you need to set up a strike that will land. If you only throw one wheel punch, then there's a good chance that you'll eat a punch. There is a reason why we throw 2 punches. A lead and a follow up.
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