How important is full contact for self defense?


Master of Arts
Mar 5, 2009
Reaction score
Sacramento, CA
No offense, but you don't have a boxing or muay thai background, so you have no idea what the training is like. I studied kyokushin for a while (just under one year), and the contact used at that school during "hard" sparring was on the level of the boxing and kickboxing gyms light contact during skill development drills. It was nowhere near the level of power used during pad training. At the muay thai and boxing gyms, you worked the pads the same way you sparred for the most part. I left because I didn't like the styles lack of realism in their training (no head punching, no real evasion or defense tactics, the sparring was essentially stand and trade until one person fell down).

As I said before, my boxing gym would vary the sparring contact from skill development (medium contact), to all out sparring (full power). The average sparring session there you'd get your bell rung and knockdowns were common. My muay thai gym did the same with the same level of contact. On top of that, the Thai gym would have "smokers" every month or two. A smoker is an in-gym fight between people. They'd put knee and elbow pads, full headgear, shin pads and 16oz gloves on us, we'd fight for real, going for the KO, which happened pretty frequently.

These weren't hobby gyms, they were cranking out fighters, who train at another level than the non fighters at karate dojos for the most part. this is about how the sparring in my kyokushin school went, which is significantly lighter than I was used to in MT or boxing,

No offense taken, especially since your incorrect. That Kyokushin sparring video is pretty much a skills development level of sparring. If that was the extent of the sparring at your school, I'm not suprised you left. But I do find it comical that you would consider that experience as undermining the well deserved reputation of Kyokushin fighters. Implying that Kyokushin dojos are hobby gyms that don't crank out fighters is more comedy. And if you'll notice, I'm quite aware of the limitations that do exist in Kyokushin sparring, since I blatantly called someone else on it earlier in this thread. And if you thought the evasion and defense tactics were missing, maybe you should have checked out an Enshin (much closer to my training), or Ashihara, or Seido school, that's why they branched off as well.

What I find strange is the notion that your 'smokers' at a Thai gym fighting for real includes head gear, knee and elbow pads, shin pads and calling that full contact. When do Thai fighters in the ring fight with that kind of protection?

Again, I'm not saying I think pads should never be worn. I'm not saying full contact should be done all the time. What I am saying is, like MJS noted, there are different ideas of full contact sparring, and we should keep that in mind when discussing it. Most of us are not sparring by this standard
1) This could mean nothing other than a mouth piece and groin protection. Full power shots to the face and body.


Black Belt
Aug 18, 2008
Reaction score
I spar with my 6 year old daughter harder than that.


My 2 year old is rediculous becuase she has no concept of full contact... she just puts her all into everything to the point that I have to really watch myself to keep from getting hurt becuase she knows all the right places....

Latest Discussions