Safety: Contact or no?

Andrew Green

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In terms of safety, what's everyones take?

Kick Boxing style gear (16 oz gloves, headgear, shin instep pads) with leg kicks and moderate contact everywhere

or

Point fighting - dipped foam gear and light body / no head contact, only kicks above the belt.

Which is "safer"?
 

Blindside

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Safer? The point rules, but who the hell would want to use those?

No head, no groin, no leg, and no worry about being hurt? Thanks, but I'd rather play with the kickboxing rules.

Lamont
 
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Andrew Green

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See I'm not so sure, I remember more injuries from point fighting then I see in Kickboxing type sparring. The accidental spin kick to the head is not happening, people seem to protect themselves better, so no blindly rushing in for the first hit/point and running nose first into a fist, etc.
 

Phadrus00

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Andrew Green said:
See I'm not so sure, I remember more injuries from point fighting then I see in Kickboxing type sparring. The accidental spin kick to the head is not happening, people seem to protect themselves better, so no blindly rushing in for the first hit/point and running nose first into a fist, etc.

Andrew..

I think you are right. In an effort to reduce the chance for injuries and creating an artificial environment for sparring (narrow target zones) a new avenue for specializtion is opened which is the leap in and tag and run. The problem is that this kind of wild committing move can cause it's own set of injuries.

Regular sparring scares people because they don't like to get hit. I can't blame them, I don't like to get hit either. But I also know that it is an unavoidble aspect of combat and you get used to it. The proper safety gear AND the right supervision and control can make regular sparring a very good, safe experience. And you tend to avoid the crazy diving maneuvers because it tends to compromise your gaurd and you get tagged. Getting hit in the head is a self-governing feature for most people. *grin*

We also spar with sticks which I was a little freaked out about but have come to love deeply! It really crytalizes your understanding of flow and energy when you are trying to wail on someone who is wailing back! *grin* And yes with all the equipment I have yet to have an injury that went deeper than my pride!

Rob
 

Robert Lee

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Though points is most defently much safer It is by far a path for bad habits. And doses not prepare you for live action. Yes to start off to learn the base it may come into play. But starting of with light contact is much better. Then on to heavyer contact. Yes at medium to heavy contact pad up light no reason to use more then gloves mouth piece and shin knee pads. You learn distance better you learn entry better you learn to work the tools beeter. in points.to many throw wild unuseful hits that would not be something for the real deal. Preety sometimes but not effective. And yes even in points mistakes happen and some one gets hit. But if they were training contact they would be more adapt. But others see things different. each there own
 

Gemini

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In a perfect world scenario, I'd say your point fighting. BUT, being that we don't live in a perfect world, you WILL receive kicks below the waste and to the head. The general consensus (even now being acknowledged in TKD) is that a safer environment is one that pads the strike, not the target. Kumdo/Kendo is no different. When that Shanai misses the armor and catches a piece of you that's unprotected, you know it.
 

karatekid1975

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I did both. I did point in TSD (hardly any gear), and we do full contact (with gear) in TKD.

I got hurt more in point sparring (kicked in the bread basket HARD, broke my finger because of someone else, ect). In TKD we do have gear on and we do hit each other (contact depends on rank). In the advanced class we are SUPPOSED to hit relatively hard (but not to the point of knocking out our class mates).

Anyways, I agree with Robert Lee. The harder contact forces you to learn distance, control, ect. And like Phadrus00 said, with the proper gear, and supervision hard contact sparring can be very safe.
 
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Andrew Green

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So how about for kids?

Forgetting appearances of safety, purely based on risk of injury, given the choice would you go foam gear and point fighting, or headgear w/ mask, 16 oz gloves, thick shin pads and let them go at a moderate level of contact?
 

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my reply is going to be limited to the point sparring aspect, as i have never been directly involved with the "kickboxing" style of sparring.

IMHO, point sparring should be looked at like a game of tag. force and power should not come into play. it's about control and technique. this is the way i teach it anyway.

when you are squared off with another, the goal is to get a specific reaction out of your opponent. let's say i'm going face to face with a sparring partner. i always try to move in circles, keeping my opponent from aquiring a solid base. if i feint my rear leg wheel kick, my hope is that this will lead him to drop his hands anticipating the kick, which as a result has him dropping his hands, or moving them away from his center line creating an opening up top or down the middle. my goal as an instructor who frequently spars lower belts is to get them comfortable moving around, all the while looking for targets and defending against strikes successfully.

the injuries i've seen in the point sparring environment have resulted from a student displaying a lack of control. this is most prevalent in the lower belts. beginners have a hard time understanding the meaning behind point sparring. they think it should be "karate kid style" and beating the crap out of each other. this isn't our goal.

to paraphrase the above, the goals i strive to instill in beginners are that sparring is a game of tag, honing your skills of target acquisition, firing strikes from a moving base, and defending on the move. if your students are getting hurt while point sparring, my opinion is that they've never been taught the correct way to spar to begin with.
 

TigerWoman

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Andrew Green said:
In terms of safety, what's everyones take?

Kick Boxing style gear (16 oz gloves, headgear, shin instep pads) with leg kicks and moderate contact everywhere

or

Point fighting - dipped foam gear and light body / no head contact, only kicks above the belt.

Which is "safer"?

It probably isn't as simplistic as that, safety wise. It's at whatever level the fighting is being done. I've seen some intense point matches...and then there's matches with just a lot of boxing and for some, less spinning. Our TKD class sessions and testing are probably where we get hurt more as it is continuous sparring and we kick to the head as well as hand techniques are allowed. Some have better gear than others but its usually those who can strike hard that have gotten better gear. We wear cage headgear. 16 oz. gloves aren't necessary. Some just wear MMA type gloves. Heh, there are kicks below the belt, the guys complain about the newbies doing that. Groin shots and charley horse strikes to the thigh tend to do more harm than good and ends participation in the class prematurely but its usually a blue belt doing that. Not too many of us want our knees kicked out either so above the belt is generally a good target area if you want to continue practicing. I guess neither is "safe", not kickboxing style with no chest gear or TKD style, moderate to hard. Point sparring is all over the map but at matches probably generally the safest because it has a ring referee.

So what do you do in MMA, Mr. Green? Do you kick below the belt? Moderate or light contact? TW
 

MJS

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Andrew Green said:
In terms of safety, what's everyones take?

Kick Boxing style gear (16 oz gloves, headgear, shin instep pads) with leg kicks and moderate contact everywhere

or

Point fighting - dipped foam gear and light body / no head contact, only kicks above the belt.

Which is "safer"?

I'd say both have the potential for injuries. Having the proper gear and setting a pace which is agreed upon by both parties fighting, would be one way to avoid/prevent certain injuries.
 

Kacey

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It's not the gear - it's the participants. Safety gear is great, but can give the participants a false sense of security. We spar with gear sometimes, and without sometimes - it's much harder to hit a target without gear if you never try it. My students start sparring half speed with the adult black belts, and as they get more experience, control, and confidence, move onto more junior ranks - but they are only started with people who can fully protect themselves, as I find the biggest factor in scaring new students off of sparring, and therefore class, is accidentally hurting someone else - not getting hurt themselves.
 
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