Sparring tips if you dont mind

KempoGuy06

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Ok. Ive been having trouble with my sparring. My problem is my speed. I cant seem to move fast enough. Even some of the lower ranks (we start sparring at white belt) can get around me a lot quicker than i can around them. The only thing i have been able to do is move in when some one throws a kick (squash them up and attack) but this becomes less and less effective as i continue and i dont want to rely on this. When i face higher ranks (brown & black) i just get man handled, i know they obviously have more skill and experience but at a set pace i feel that i should be able to at make land a couple hits but this is not the case. Im having some problems with my knee right now but this should not affect my movement that much in my opnion. Plus it is not a problem of the speed of my strikes it is my speed when moving. At 6'4" 260lbs i now that im not going to be the fastest person in the world but I should see improvements and im not.

My question: Is there anything i can do to improve my speed? Any tips from any one who had the same problem?

B
 

LawDog

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Kempoguy6,
When you use footwork you must remember that it is no different than when you strike or kick. Before you can execute a kick properly you must chamber it correctly. By chambering I am referring to the stretching out of the particular muscle groups that are going to be applied into the release protion of your kick. Your footwork works on this same principle, you must make sure that the muscle groups that are going to be applied into the particular footwork action are properly chambered. To move very fast, referred to being light, you should bend your knees over the toe portion of your foot. I'll explane to you what this will do. If you are standing with your legs in a straight position your weight will transfer down straight to your heels. This will make you heavy and slow. when you bend your knees forward, over your toes, your weight will be transfered down into your hips, to your knees and, with your knees forward, towards the front part of your foot. With the weight off of your heels your calfs will be slightly chambered. Your calf muscles can then can be used in your footwork for increased speed, known as being light).
Try standing straight, feel the weight shift toward your heels? now bend your knees forward, the more you bend them the more you will feel the weight shift forward to the front portion of your foot.
This type of footwork does not show a telegraph to your opponent.
Hope this helps.
 
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KempoGuy06

KempoGuy06

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Kempoguy6,
When you use footwork you must remember that it is no different than when you strike or kick. Before you can execute a kick properly you must chamber it correctly. By chambering I am referring to the stretching out of the particular muscle groups that are going to be applied into the release protion of your kick. Your footwork works on this same principle, you must make sure that the muscle groups that are going to be applied into the particular footwork action are properly chambered. To move very fast, referred to being light, you should bend your knees over the toe portion of your foot. I'll explane to you what this will do. If you are standing with your legs in a straight position your weight will transfer down straight to your heels. This will make you heavy and slow. when you bend your knees forward, over your toes, your weight will be transfered down into your hips, to your knees and, with your knees forward, towards the front part of your foot. With the weight off of your heels your calfs will be slightly chambered. Your calf muscles can then can be used in your footwork for increased speed, known as being light).
Try standing straight, feel the weight shift toward your heels? now bend your knees forward, the more you bend them the more you will feel the weight shift forward to the front portion of your foot.
This type of footwork does not show a telegraph to your opponent.
Hope this helps.

I have been told somerthing like this before. For me to get in an effective stance like that i have to drop pretty low and spread my legs wide and this feels awkward. It also seems like it takes me a lot longer to throw my kicks. Maybe i need to try it out more and get used to it. Thanks

B
 

LawDog

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To do this one does not need a very wide stance. A stance that is slightly wider than your shoulders is ok. A superior fighter always watches his opponents moves, especially his pre-moves,(telegraph). Improperly chambered moves lead to a very proper telegraph.
Have a good day.
 

stickarts

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Hello,
While I think you should always keep working on improving speed, You can also compensate by having superior timing (jamming or counterfighting).
I noticed one of my instructors started to slow down a bit as he aged, but his timing and experience compensated for this.
 
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KempoGuy06

KempoGuy06

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Hello,
While I think you should always keep working on improving speed, You can also compensate by having superior timing (jamming or counterfighting).
I noticed one of my instructors started to slow down a bit as he aged, but his timing and experience compensated for this.

Do you have any suggestions on how to improve my speed? I have been effective with jambing, but this also takes an amount of speed to pull it off effectively.

B
 

Blindside

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I find that most beginners problem isn't their speed, it is usually telegraphing or timing. Timing is a matter of experience, I don't know of any good drill that can teach it, you need to just spar, spar, spar. On the other hand telegraphing can be trained out with a good partner.

At 6'4 you should be eating people up at range. Use a lead leg thrust kick to stop them from closing and then follow up with your hands or punish them with a rear leg roundhouse. Mix this up with blitzing and you should be fine.
 

Blindside

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Hello,
While I think you should always keep working on improving speed, You can also compensate by having superior timing (jamming or counterfighting).
I noticed one of my instructors started to slow down a bit as he aged, but his timing and experience compensated for this.

Oy, tell me about it. The most aggravating thing is I can see the hits coming, I just can't do anything about it because I'm off balance or hes hitting me from the perfect angle. :D

Lamont
 
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KempoGuy06

KempoGuy06

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I find that most beginners problem isn't their speed, it is usually telegraphing or timing. Timing is a matter of experience, I don't know of any good drill that can teach it, you need to just spar, spar, spar. On the other hand telegraphing can be trained out with a good partner.

At 6'4 you should be eating people up at range. Use a lead leg thrust kick to stop them from closing and then follow up with your hands or punish them with a rear leg roundhouse. Mix this up with blitzing and you should be fine.

Yes Blindside my height has been an advantage. I can usually keep people at bay with my legs or stike out of their range because of my long limbs. Im also trying to learn how to improve my speed so i can match my heght and limb length with some speed.

I guess its time to start doing soccer drills again. If those cant help me get faster i dont know what will. :)

B
 

Danjo

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Yes Blindside my height has been an advantage. I can usually keep people at bay with my legs or stike out of their range because of my long limbs. Im also trying to learn how to improve my speed so i can match my heght and limb length with some speed.

I guess its time to start doing soccer drills again. If those cant help me get faster i dont know what will. :)

B

If you have access to a swimming pool, start kicking and punching underwater. Also, learn to relax your muscles a bit as this will help your speed too. It's not as easy as it sounds, but what worth learning is?
 

bushidomartialarts

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relaxation is key. tense muscles fire later and move slower.

the more relaxed you are while sparring the faster you'll be.

of course the only was to become relaxed is to log a lot of sparring hours.
 

bill007

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Ok. Ive been having trouble with my sparring. My problem is my speed. I cant seem to move fast enough. Even some of the lower ranks (we start sparring at white belt) can get around me a lot quicker than i can around them. The only thing i have been able to do is move in when some one throws a kick (squash them up and attack) but this becomes less and less effective as i continue and i dont want to rely on this. When i face higher ranks (brown & black) i just get man handled, i know they obviously have more skill and experience but at a set pace i feel that i should be able to at make land a couple hits but this is not the case. Im having some problems with my knee right now but this should not affect my movement that much in my opnion. Plus it is not a problem of the speed of my strikes it is my speed when moving. At 6'4" 260lbs i now that im not going to be the fastest person in the world but I should see improvements and im not.

My question: Is there anything i can do to improve my speed? Any tips from any one who had the same problem?

B

One of my first teacher said to me don't block the kicks if you don't need to, just escape and strike back with a punch because the hand is faster than the legs, good strategies can improve your speed, i suggest you talk about that with your teacher.
 

stickarts

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Make sure to cover a wide range of speed drills that address different kinds of speed.
Work on initial exposion, work on speed from point A to point B, work on having the ability to change up your technique in mid stream.
This comes from doing reactionary drills, hitting moving targets, and sparring.
Find a good teacher and training partner that can help you with the training!
Working with someone faster than yourself can be frustrating but it is also a plus since it will keep you working hard and improving!
 
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KempoGuy06

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Make sure to cover a wide range of speed drills that address different kinds of speed.
Work on initial exposion, work on speed from point A to point B, work on having the ability to change up your technique in mid stream.
This comes from doing reactionary drills, hitting moving targets, and sparring.
Find a good teacher and training partner that can help you with the training!
Working with someone faster than yourself can be frustrating but it is also a plus since it will keep you working hard and improving!

I like that advise.

I used to play soccer all the time and I remember the drills we used to run and how effective they were. Since doing these will help condition my legs, do you think they will also help with improving my speed?

Also as for working with someone faster than me thats not a problem since im pretty sure most of the people i train with are :) .

B
 

stickarts

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Running will help with your general conditioning but I think the best way to get better at sparring is to spar! :)
There are some great training tapes out there such as Joe Lewis's series.
They go step by step.
Then work the drills over and over.
Some of the drills that appear simple can take years to master!
 

Iron Leopard

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I'm just repeating some earlier advice in a different way but, ..If you are constantly moving but not being jumpy you will not allow your opponent to set for his attack as easily. Learn to change your guard and fight from different positions. Also learn to read your opponents shoulders and you will see his attacks before it's too late. That's one of the main keys -reading your oponents body-The other key point I'll make is your guard. I've seen masters avoid getting hit by much faster although lower in rank opponents and it almost seems like they are super human ..but if you ask them they will tell you they block without thinking..there hands are always in the best guard for the situation and their bodies and feet are in the best positions.
 

exile

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Can I just ask one thing here?

How aggressive are you in your sparring?

Speed is an important part of fighting, but in a sense attitude and speed are connected: if you are in a passive frame of mind, waiting for techs to come in to you and react to them, you are going to get nailed even if you have lighting speed, because you're behind the other fighter's game. Do you attack from the get-go, and force the oppo the defend? Do you follow up an attacking move with another attacking move immediatesly, so that the oppo's defense is out of date almost as soon as s/he launches it? That sort of thing...

Training reaction time and speed is important, but getting yourself mentally wired to be the predator and the opponent the prey is also an important part of fighting.
 

Danjo

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Can I just ask one thing here?

How aggressive are you in your sparring?

Speed is an important part of fighting, but in a sense attitude and speed are connected: if you are in a passive frame of mind, waiting for techs to come in to you and react to them, you are going to get nailed even if you have lighting speed, because you're behind the other fighter's game. Do you attack from the get-go, and force the oppo the defend? Do you follow up an attacking move with another attacking move immediatesly, so that the oppo's defense is out of date almost as soon as s/he launches it? That sort of thing...

Training reaction time and speed is important, but getting yourself mentally wired to be the predator and the opponent the prey is also an important part of fighting.

I agree. Even if you are countering in your style, you can still be agressive.
 
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KempoGuy06

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Can I just ask one thing here?

How aggressive are you in your sparring?

Speed is an important part of fighting, but in a sense attitude and speed are connected: if you are in a passive frame of mind, waiting for techs to come in to you and react to them, you are going to get nailed even if you have lighting speed, because you're behind the other fighter's game. Do you attack from the get-go, and force the oppo the defend? Do you follow up an attacking move with another attacking move immediatesly, so that the oppo's defense is out of date almost as soon as s/he launches it? That sort of thing...

Training reaction time and speed is important, but getting yourself mentally wired to be the predator and the opponent the prey is also an important part of fighting.

I do both the waiting game and the aggressor. I like to play the waiting game in the beginning, let them think that im wanting them to attack before i will make a move. Then i will pounce, i come in hard either with a flurry of hand strikes or a kick then some strikes. This usually shakes them up gets them off gaurd. That only works for the same or lower ranks. For the higher ranks i wait to see how they react, but im still agressive when i come in.

B
 

exile

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I do both the waiting game and the aggressor. I like to play the waiting game in the beginning, let them think that im wanting them to attack before i will make a move. Then i will pounce, i come in hard either with a flurry of hand strikes or a kick then some strikes. This usually shakes them up gets them off gaurd. That only works for the same or lower ranks. For the higher ranks i wait to see how they react, but im still agressive when i come in.

B

That sounds like the right mental strategy. As far as pure speed is concerned... I know I've read some stuff about speed training somewhere... one very important source of guidance: if you haven't already, take a look at some of the speed-training exercises in Loren Christensen's Solo Training. This might well be the single best compendium of technical drills you can do on your own ever written. I like LC's overall `there are no problems, only solutions' approachwhatever you want to improve, you can improve with the right training drills. Check it out; a lot of libraries have it, and if not, it's not very expensive (Turtle Press puts it out). Christensen is Mr. Practicality, so his stuff is very result-driven and doesn't need any fancy equipment, or even very much training space.
 

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