Overcoming Opponent w/ Quick Legs

spidersam

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What’s your strategy when sparring against a fast kick opponent? There is a student in class whose kicks are fast and unpredictable—usually roundhouse and sidekick. Having trouble avoiding them and also often get heeled in the gut when I’m feinting or attacking.
 

wab25

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Keep moving. Don't let him set his feet. Circle away from his roundhouse kick, not into it. You are on to another good strategy with the feinting, you are getting him to bite on it, but your distance is wrong. You need to feint when you are a little further out... the trick is making him feel like you are close enough, so that he throws the kick when you are out of range.

Also, remember that timing beats speed. You don't have to out quick him, just have to time him. (yeah, I know I said you "just" have to time him...)

To get more specific, we need to know what art you are sparring in. I could tell you to shoot for the double leg and take his back... it would be hard for him to kick you from there. But, TKD and Karate schools usually frown on that tactic.
 
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spidersam

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Keep moving. Don't let him set his feet. Circle away from his roundhouse kick, not into it. You are on to another good strategy with the feinting, you are getting him to bite on it, but your distance is wrong. You need to feint when you are a little further out... the trick is making him feel like you are close enough, so that he throws the kick when you are out of range.

Also, remember that timing beats speed. You don't have to out quick him, just have to time him. (yeah, I know I said you "just" have to time him...)

To get more specific, we need to know what art you are sparring in. I could tell you to shoot for the double leg and take his back... it would be hard for him to kick you from there. But, TKD and Karate schools usually frown on that tactic.

Thanks for the quick advice so far. I practice kung fu (mostly shaolin)
 

JowGaWolf

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What’s your strategy when sparring against a fast kick opponent? There is a student in class whose kicks are fast and unpredictable—usually roundhouse and sidekick. Having trouble avoiding them and also often get heeled in the gut when I’m feinting or attacking.
Do you have a video of you and this other person sparring? The reason I ask is because it's the only way to give you useful advice. You say that he has fast kicks but there is a possibility that he doesn't have fast kicks. He may be reading your movement better. You may have telltale sign which make it easier for him to kick you. The reason I think this is because you say that you get heeled in the gut when you are feinting. This makes me think that he's reading your movements and knows the difference between you being committed and faking commitment.
 
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spidersam

spidersam

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Do you have a video of you and this other person sparring? The reason I ask is because it's the only way to give you useful advice. You say that he has fast kicks but there is a possibility that he doesn't have fast kicks. He may be reading your movement better. You may have telltale sign which make it easier for him to kick you. The reason I think this is because you say that you get heeled in the gut when you are feinting. This makes me think that he's reading your movements and knows the difference between you being committed and faking commitment.

Hmm that would be good actually. I don’t have a video, and I’m not comfortable asking for it to be recorded in class. But I think you make a really good point about me having tell tales. I’ve been working on trying to telegraph my moves less since I struggle with it—I think I’m possibly too slow or have some wind up motions.
 

Headhunter

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What’s your strategy when sparring against a fast kick opponent? There is a student in class whose kicks are fast and unpredictable—usually roundhouse and sidekick. Having trouble avoiding them and also often get heeled in the gut when I’m feinting or attacking.
Get in close. They can't kick if your in to close for them to get the range. Kicks are long range weapons all they can do is raise their knee but even then if your to close they'll lose balance
 

CB Jones

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Agree with Wab25.

My son focuses on making them move their back foot. It puts him just a little ahead of his opponent.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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What’s your strategy when sparring against a fast kick opponent?
Run your opponent down - move in, catch that kick leg in your arm, and hook/sweep his rooting leg.

If you

- punch, I'll run you down.
- kick, I'll run you down.
- do nothing, I'll still run you down.

The day that you understand this strategy, the day that your fighting skill has moved up to the next level.

 
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JowGaWolf

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Hmm that would be good actually. I don’t have a video, and I’m not comfortable asking for it to be recorded in class. But I think you make a really good point about me having tell tales. I’ve been working on trying to telegraph my moves less since I struggle with it—I think I’m possibly too slow or have some wind up motions.
It doesn't hurt to ask if you can record the sparring. The good thing about recording it, is that you can always use the video as reference to help you improve or show the things that you weren't aware during that day of sparring. A video is also more accurate than memory and gives you a chance to see things as they really were. Sometimes when we spar we don't think we were in any real danger, but looking back at a video, you may see that you were lucky not to have been rocked by a solid punch. It helps distinguish between luck and skill.

The other good thing about a video is that your sparring partner can show you how they were able to take advantage of you and explain why your feint didn't work. Here's how you ask

First talk to your teacher to see if it's ok for you to record your sparring. Let him know why you want to record it and ask if he or she can go over the video with you and point out some tips that you can use or work on. After you get those tips, then study your opponent, see if you can identify any patterns or weaknesses. Use the video and study it like a puzzle.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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What are the rules for sparring in your dojo? Is ut continuous, or do you stop after someone gets a strike? Is grappling allowed? Face punching? There are techniques to deal with round/side kicks, but they may be limited depending on the rules
 

JowGaWolf

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Run your opponent down - move in, catch that kick leg in your arm, and hook/sweep his rooting leg.

If you

- punch, I'll run you down.
- kick, I'll run you down.
- do nothing, I'll still run you down.

The day that you understand this strategy, the day that your fighting skill has moved up to the next level.

lol someone should yell at the kicker for not actually trying to kick his opponent. Kicking off to the side like that will mess up the timing and movement that's required to counter a real kick.
 

pdg

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But I think you make a really good point about me having tell tales. I’ve been working on trying to telegraph my moves less since I struggle with it—I think I’m possibly too slow or have some wind up motions.

It's possible your tells are much bigger than that, but not in the same way...

There's a couple of people I regularly spar against that have this.

It's not that they have a particular motion to wind up, and they're not slow, but they have patterns they consistently repeat.

Examples - one guy has a thing for starting a mid level turning kick and switching it to head level, that catches everyone the first few times (and catches some people all the time).

Another used to always start with a downward kick (axe kick) to pull your guard down and follow with a punch combo - I say "used to" because a few rising blocks kinda ruined it for him ;) Still works on some people though.


So, definitely look at the small things - but don't forget the slightly bigger picture.
 

Yokozuna514

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Interesting thread and I agree with many of the comments posted about 'tells'. Recording your performance can help you see the most obvious ones but getting honest feedback from sparring partners is the best way I have found to become 'aware' of the tells while you are in the moment. Hopefully you are in an environment where that sort of thing is encouraged but if it is not, speak to your Sifu. He is the most qualified person to tell you how to 'fix' this problem since he is the person you have decided to learn from.

In terms of overcoming an opponent with faster legs and not knowing all the details about the ruleset and conditions of the match, it is difficult to give advice. In Kyokushin, when we want to slow our opponent down, a few well placed leg kicks have a way of taking the zip out of their movements but that is really generalized advice. If I am over 200 lbs and my opponent is 120 lbs, they can kick me in the legs all day and it may not slow me down at all. If we are close to the same size, then leg kicks will definitely be more effective, all things being equal.
 
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spidersam

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What are the rules for sparring in your dojo? Is ut continuous, or do you stop after someone gets a strike? Is grappling allowed? Face punching? There are techniques to deal with round/side kicks, but they may be limited depending on the rules

The sparring rules are continuous. I cannot sweep or takedown until I am higher ranked. No grappling, 2 inches from face and strike above the waist.
 

Kababayan

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When I was competing I was the person that had the fast kicks. The type of fighters that gave me fits were the ones who could time my kick and rush me. When people spar there is a natural cadence (or timing). If you can break that cadence you will have an advantage over your opponent. If a student rushed me before I could shift back for a kick, it was harder for me to defend. Many people will suggest to wait until a kicker retracts a kick and puts his/her foot down, but that doesn't always work because the weight is still shifted back. That may work if the kick comes forward and the weight is placed on the forward leg. If you rush a kicker, expect a backfist to come your way and make the appropriate block. If your opponent always does the same kick (side or round kick) then expect it and have the block or parry ready. One issue with rushing in is that you haven't broken the timing well enough. If someone says that they rush in but still gets kicked, it's because they are not rushing in at a speed or timing that is faster than the kick. I am presumming if the student is connecting with sidekicks than he/she is standing in a side stance, as sidekicks from a front position can be slower. If this is the case you can try to rush your opponent at the angle towards his back. Be prepared for a slap round kick if you do, but that will leave his head open (but always expect that defensive backfist). Good luck.
 

JR 137

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I spar with a few people who have great kicks. They’re fast, and they can seemingly change the kick at will.

I’ve found one thing consistently works - stay out of kicking range.

If you’re fast, stay outside and dart in, either as the kick is coming or when they’re recovering.

If you’re heavy on your feet and covering ground isn’t your strongpoint, such as myself, stay in close. I’ll cover up, get in punching range or even elbow and knee range. Kickers typically don’t like you there. Many of them get pretty frustrated. The problem with being right there is you’ve got to keep working, which can get pretty tiring. If you’re sparring with a big guy who knows how to make you carry his weight, it’s even more tiring.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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The sparring rules are continuous. I cannot sweep or takedown until I am higher ranked. No grappling, 2 inches from face and strike above the waist.
Many years from today you will understand those rules can hurt you more than can help you.

It makes no sense that you can

- kick me but I can't catch your leg.
- punch me but I can't wrap your arm.
- ...

After you have established a bad habit (not thinking about disable a kicking leg), it' s hard to remove it.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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The sparring rules are continuous. I cannot sweep or takedown until I am higher ranked. No grappling, 2 inches from face and strike above the waist.
Well, kung fu wang and jr basically stated my views already. With grappling kicks are a lot easier to deal with. With no grappling, people can be a lot freer with kicks. But basically learn how to stay away from kicking range, until he gives you an opening to dart in. When going in, turning into a roundhouse kick can minimize the damage, letting you eat one to enter and start using hooks/uppercuts/elbows (if elbows allowed). Even without striking, you can simulate the moves so he can see what it is that youre doing. With sidekick, ive found people who dont have to worry about grappling leave it out a fraction of a second, you can use that, not to 'grapple' but just come underneath and lift the leg up high throwing him off balance as you enter :D. I wouldnt do that normally, since its probably against your rules, but just once or twice to show him that its there
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Also, if your style has crescent kicks, practice throwing those from really close range. It's my opinion that that is there real purpose, but a lot of schools apparently don't use them, and it can really mess with people in sparring :)
 

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