Sparring in Chinese martial arts

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Furious George

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Hi everyone - I'm Furious George, and I've just signed up on this forum. I look forward to discussing kungfu with you all :cool:
I get the impression from reading various message boards that in many kungfu schools there is little or no sparring...is this true?

do you spar in class regularly?

what types of sparring do you do?

will partner drills make up for a lack of sparring?

Personally I think it is necessary to spar in a variety of ways and with real contact in order to become a proficient fighter - however I also know that being a 'fighter' is not always the goal of a kungfu person.
We spar every class, and the contact-level varies from light to near-full contact amongst the older students...

What about you guys?

:asian:
 
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yilisifu

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Many "traditional" kung-fu schools don't spar. They may practice 2-person forms and claim that these make up for it, but the truth is that it doesn't. If you want to learn to swim, you've got to get into the water and get wet.

In Yilichuan, we DO spar, although we do much more freestyle one-step which can actually be much more difficult than sparring. And we do it a lot.
 
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Furious George

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In Yilichuan, we DO spar, although we do much more freestyle one-step which can actually be much more difficult than sparring. And we do it a lot.

We also do one-step sparring, and yes, it can be much more difficult. Not much room for error!

I find being coached when sparring is needed to make any real progress, as well as to learn to use your art's principles and strategies when fighting - otherwise it's difficult to know what you're doing during the sparring session.

One thing that's really fun is padded-weapons sparring - I haven't done much but it's a rush.

BTW can you tell me a little about Yilichuan? I'm not familiar with the style...:asian:
 
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Blackdragon

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Welcome to martial talk Furious George. I study Wing Chun under Grandmaster Henry Cook's studen Dan Shipp. We DO spar, though we prefer to call it "flowing". We sometimes go hard or soft but are always careful. Flowing with the sifu's is awesome. They are so good! I've had bruises and busted lips and bloody noses before. We're not rough-housing, it just gets a little rough sometimes. Especially when flowing with the sifu's.
What styles do you do Furious George?
 
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Furious George

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Hi Blackdragon -

I train 7*praying mantis (Hong Kong linneage).
It is a pretty aggressive style, and we spar quite a lot. We do a type of sparring called 'flow sparring' as well - essentially continuous sparring without too much heavy contact. The heavy contact often leads to clashing, relying too much on tried-n-true techniques, etc. (but is SO much fun) so we try to mix it up between the two. We also do open-hand 'slap' sparring as well as sticky hands/legs and push-hands. We do plenty of two-man drills for sensitivity, timing, etc. - but not instead of sparring. Practical fighting skills are pretty big focus in our school - at least as important as forms.
Our forms are played the same way they're applied - the practical fighting applications are quite clear. There are also two-man versions to most forms.

I've had bruises and busted lips and bloody noses before. We're not rough-housing, it just gets a little rough sometimes.
I know the feeling - I was sparring one of the black-sash students (with gloves) when he dissolved my punch and I ran smack into his elbow - just above my right eye (on my birthday no less!). I felt/heard the crack of bone-on-bone and saw the look of horror on his face and knew it wasn't good...and off to the emergency room we went. About a half-hour and 6 stiches later I was back at home getting ready to go out for a drink...or two.;)

It does get a bit rough with us at times too, but always with consenting students of course...:cool:
 
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yilisifu

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In freestyle one-step, one person is designated as the attacker, and one the defender.
The attack may or may not be specified, but is intended to land on target.
The defensive maneuver may or may not specified, but must be properly controlled.
Both participants are free to move about (as in sparring), but the defender cannot attempt to apply any technique until the attack is made. Only the one single attack is permitted, but the defender never knows when it will occur or with which hand/foot.
This develops very sharp reflexes and instantaneous response to attack.
The exercise can be performed in numerous ways to help in developing specialized skills.
 
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Furious George

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...nice description of one-step -

Anyone have any other cool/interesting drills they want to share...?
 

CrushingFist

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after reading this thread, im really interested in internal arts as i was before, but yea i knew i wasnt 100% sure of the style i wanna train in, because of this same matter, i want a style which we sparr (that will get us use to using our skills)

are there any specific styles that do not spar or any specific styles that do sparr a lot or a little?

i use to train in hung-ga & i never spar, but we use to do 2 man drills n do techniques to each other but it wasnt the same as sparrin, 1 yr later i trained again in hung-ga wit 1 sifu only n he was my favorite, we did spar there every once in a while cuz the classes werent that big, i owe everything to him, i kno little but is all from him. i use to belong to the Yee's hung-ga, i dont inted to hijack the thread,
 

7starmantis

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Furious George, Its cool to see another 7* brother on here. How long have you been training in 7*?
I study in Texas, part of the Kung Fu Exchange.
We spar, but we do Chi Sau ALOT more than sparring. We try to get the feeling from Chi Sau and the softness from Chi Sau, then apply it in our sparring. We spar regularly but its not part of our normal class, we have a seperate sparring class. Some do not wish to spar, so thats cool.
We believe strongly in the basics, so we do alot of iron training and sensitivity drills before we even allow sparring. We don't start sparring until red level which is about a year into our program.

7sm
 
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