Sparring vs. Self Defense

drop bear

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Normally I would have just gone with this, but I really want to be able to learn how to use the techniques in my system because I think they are valid. I just suck at doing that particular technique so I gotta step up the effort and train my hands as if I really want to learn how to apply these techniques.

Your statement shoulder to wrist is actually how I tray to grab punches now. I do what I refer to as "Shaving a punch" The entry of the punch allows me set up hand placement around the upper forearm near the shoulder. Then I try to grab and lock the wrist when my opponent is trying to chamber that punch. This way I can start form a large grip and make it smaller as the forearm becomes narrow as my opponent pulls his arm back. The goal is to not allow my opponent's fist to slip through my grip. I think of the fist like a big knot on the end of the string, that can't pass through a tube. From here I can better find the joint of the wrist where I need to separate the bone of the wrist from the bone of the forearm.

It'll just take some time probably a year or more of serious training practice to get to that point where that will work.

I would have to see it.
 

JowGaWolf

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what do you have to see? so I can remember to create a video of me using it.
 

Martial D

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I'm not sure it's as black and white as many make it. It's a complex topic. Doing forms only isn't going to help you much. You certainly need to test what you learn whether it be light sparring or any type of resistance. In good Krav, they have people hold pads up, put you in holds with resistance or suit up in an entire padded suit and you fight. Scenario based. It's how you perform under pressure is what Krav instills in you. A very instinctual aggressive manner. When I was at my MMA gym, my instructor was a big proponent of sparring. He felt it was very important, and it is to some degree.

I would conclude that MMA will always produce the best fighters. They train harder than anyone and are using the most effective martial arts that work in a combat sport environment. You learn how to fight by fighting.

I would put things like Krav and other SD systems as a second rate tier, but still good for handling most situations you're likely to encounter. Someone that stays in shape and practices Krav Maga/JKD etc. is going to still have more tools than they would have had they not trained in anything! Therefore it's still a positive.

When I was at the Moy Yat school, we sparred. However, .....let's just say the movements WC has were not condusive or ideal (for me) as I would nauturally would want to fight. That's where you get into style/system/movement differences. For example, a WC guy will have you stand or move in a certain way during a specific siutation compared to say boxing. So styles and systems do matter to me it's not just the training.

You're never going to do better than MMA in terms becoming a top level fighter. MMA will always produce the best fighters.

Israeli KM does a lot of this:



This is pressure testing.
Ehh. Sort of.

In vid one it's guys in gear doing what looks to be some sort of head first battering ram attack with their hands at their sides while the girl wails away on them to 0 effect. Not sure what that is supposed to approximate?

Vid two shows a guy trying to burst through a wall of pads followed by taking a bunch of sticks off guys that aren't trying to hit him with them.

Not sure when you'd ever see anything like this out there in the world. I mean, maybe if a bunch of armless men steal all your sticks and hide them behind pads I could see this as a pressure test for that.
 

pdg

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Not sure when you'd ever see anything like this out there in the world. I mean, maybe if a bunch of armless men steal all your sticks and hide them behind pads I could see this as a pressure test for that.

You've never had a bunch of armless men steal your sticks?
 

Hanzou

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Ehh. Sort of.

In vid one it's guys in gear doing what looks to be some sort of head first battering ram attack with their hands at their sides while the girl wails away on them to 0 effect. Not sure what that is supposed to approximate?

Vid two shows a guy trying to burst through a wall of pads followed by taking a bunch of sticks off guys that aren't trying to hit him with them.

Not sure when you'd ever see anything like this out there in the world. I mean, maybe if a bunch of armless men steal all your sticks and hide them behind pads I could see this as a pressure test for that.

I gotta agree. I don't see the point of holding back like that when everyone is wearing padding. Also in the top vid, there's no way one of those guys wouldn't be trying to take that woman to the ground. What's worse, given her defenses, it wouldn't have been hard to do so. Weird stuff all around, and the scary thing is that woman actually thinks she could stop men of that size from attacking her.

In the second vid, again I'm not understanding the point of doing a multiple-attack scenario if a person standing behind you with a stick is going to wait until you're ready to defend yourself. That's not realistic by any stretch of the imagination, and makes the entire exercise pointless.
 

Martial D

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In the second vid, again I'm not understanding the point of doing a multiple-attack scenario if a person standing behind you with a stick is going to wait until you're ready to defend yourself. That's not realistic by any stretch of the imagination, and makes the entire exercise pointless.

I think you are giving TOO MUCH credit here to be frank. Even after they wait for them to be ready, they still aren't actually swinging. It's all slow motion and exagerated.
 

TMA17

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The only thing I would say is its better than just doing forms. At least there is some pressure. So many schools just do forms, especially in WC.
 

Flying Crane

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The only thing I would say is its better than just doing forms. At least there is some pressure. So many schools just do forms, especially in WC.
I dont think too many (or any, actually) people advocate doing only forms and nothing else. Forms, like anything, including sparring, is one of many tools that can have a home in your toolbox. But you cant build a house with only one tool. It takes several tools to get the job done.

How much have you seen, to say that so many schools [in wing chun] only do forms? Have you watched every training session, from start to finish? Is forms perhaps the only thing they were showing publically? Any chance there were other things going on behind closed doors, while you were not watching? What percentage of all wing chun schools have you explored, to make such a statement?
 

TMA17

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I dont think too many (or any, actually) people advocate doing only forms and nothing else. Forms, like anything, including sparring, is one of many tools that can have a home in your toolbox. But you cant build a house with only one tool. It takes several tools to get the job done.

How much have you seen, to say that so many schools [in wing chun] only do forms? Have you watched every training session, from start to finish? Is forms perhaps the only thing they were showing publically? Any chance there were other things going on behind closed doors, while you were not watching? What percentage of all wing chun schools have you explored, to make such a statement?


Well the TWC near me did zero sparring at all. You paired up with someone and did forms/motions (often times poor quality). Moy Yat we sparred a little. My private instructor we did not spar at all. I can't speak for most WC schools, but overall the pressure testing was non-existant other than chi sao.
 

Martial D

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The only thing I would say is its better than just doing forms. At least there is some pressure. So many schools just do forms, especially in WC.
Which is fine if you want to be really good....at doing forms.

It all depends where your focus is.
 

Flying Crane

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Well the TWC near me did zero sparring at all. You paired up with someone and did forms/motions (often times poor quality). Moy Yat we sparred a little. My private instructor we did not spar at all. I can't speak for most WC schools, but overall the pressure testing was non-existant other than chi sao.
That is a reflection of the schools where you trained. Within that context, that is a fair enough observation.
 

geezer

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Well the TWC near me did zero sparring at all. You paired up with someone and did forms/motions (often times poor quality). Moy Yat we sparred a little. My private instructor we did not spar at all. I can't speak for most WC schools, but overall the pressure testing was non-existant other than chi sao.

This is pretty typical of the WC schools I've experienced. The guys in my group included. :(

I'm working on changing that, but personally, now that I'm in my mid 60's I have more limitations. Moreover, in the past when I pushed in that direction, some students left. Maybe they wanted the form but not the content? Regardless, when you run a really small club, that can mean not making rent. So, that meant getting my own experience with friends outside the WC group.

Anybody else encounter a situation like this?
 

JowGaWolf

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This is pretty typical of the WC schools I've experienced. The guys in my group included. :(

I'm working on changing that, but personally, now that I'm in my mid 60's I have more limitations. Moreover, in the past when I pushed in that direction, some students left. Maybe they wanted the form but not the content? Regardless, when you run a really small club, that can mean not making rent. So, that meant getting my own experience with friends outside the WC group.

Anybody else encounter a situation like this?
yes. but there has been a really big shift lately for what I practice. I personally like it as I believed that the focus was going to much on lion dance and other parts about the martial art were being forgotten. Lion dances help to pay the bills but it was at the cost of neglecting other important areas such as functional. Ironically the same things I used to get in trouble for are the same things that are being pushed to the front of training. Which is good because it will allow the system to grow as long as the focus of remains on functional Jow Ga.
 

yak sao

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This is pretty typical of the WC schools I've experienced. The guys in my group included. :(

I'm working on changing that, but personally, now that I'm in my mid 60's I have more limitations. Moreover, in the past when I pushed in that direction, some students left. Maybe they wanted the form but not the content? Regardless, when you run a really small club, that can mean not making rent. So, that meant getting my own experience with friends outside the WC group.

Anybody else encounter a situation like this?

Unfortunately yes. WC used to be the domain of Fighters.
We seem to be turning into a streamlined version of Tai Chi.
 

Cephalopod

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... Moreover, in the past when I pushed in that direction, some students left. Maybe they wanted the form but not the content?
...

I wonder if that was because they perceived the sparring to be a significant departure from the rest of the skills they were being instructed to develop? Here's what i'm thinking:

For years I studied a different TCMA and the majority of time was spent on forms, pair drills, and equipments training. When we sparred, we would gear up and have at each other. Well, I was a younger man and I enjoyed the heck out of it but so many techniques we were spending so much time learning in the forms and pair drills were, by my perception, unusable in sparring. Instead I would stick with the simple punching and kicking that I had developed with the equipments training. This disconnect between forms and sparring always bothered me, I felt like I was missing the point.

Of course, years later I realized I was right. I was missing the point. I simply had not developed enough as a martial artist to understand the principles of that style and how to apply them.

In the WC club where I am today sparring essentially evolved out of chi-sao. Starting with stationary poon-sao rolling it became more and more freestyle with body movement and footwork, playing with speed and heavy power, breaking contact and reconnecting. Eventually from 'hands down' distance we're coming at each other with whatever we've got.

But always using this a platform of testing and better understanding the basic principles from the forms. And the aim is generally to save the full power strike for when you know it's going to land, when you've dominated center, controlled distance and balance etc. At that point we pattern the body movement and muscle engagement for power delivery but of course we don't release it through the fist into the guy's noggin. Unless we really hate our training partner. ;)

Now I hesitate to call it sparring because we don't glove up and circle each other, tapping at each other's hands and launching overcommited strikes at uncertain targets. (No, I'm not trying to disparage the sparring game at large. It's just that's the way I remember sparring from my younger years). But I do know that this freestyle gor-sao, if you want to call it that, is way more powerful and intense as a testing platform then the sparring that we did back then, and New Me would put Old Me though a wall. And yet, apart from an occasional busted lip we tend to get hurt a lot less and, from a newbie perspective, there aren't all those 'scary' uncontrolled glove shots to the face.

Okay, I guess that was just a defense of my choice of sparring style. But my point was, when a newbie comes into our group I can point out the logical trajectory to get from the basic dan chi-sao that he/she will be working on to the significantly more hard-core clashes that the advanced students will be working on right next to him.

If the beginner were to see the advanced students in a ring trading blows, he/she might have a harder time appreciating the connection to the principles and drills being learned... and might be intimidated by all those loud smacks and bloody noses! :)
 

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