Thinking ahead versus going with the flow in sparring

Gyakuto

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I’ve only seen one video of Bruce Lee ‘sparring’ at a Long Beach or somewhere. He constantly uses ‘sen no sen’ or ‘sen sen no sen’. Highly effective if you have that ability read the opponent’s intention to attack and react quickly enough, but goodness it’s dull to watch!😂
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Disclaimer: This is specifically regarding striking, and general clinching/throwing. Ground grappling is different.

I do both, depending on the circumstances. Most of the time, I don't think too much and just let my body react, and fight based on that. Depending on the situation, I will choose moments, between attacks/defenses that I want to focus on a specific technique and do that. I'd say like 75% of the time it doesn't work, because I try to force it rather than waiting for the right opportunity, but I'll keep trying it until I get it, then move on. It does a good job of helping me use what I've been drilling, rather than relying on my reflexes.
 

Dirty Dog

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I’ve only seen one video of Bruce Lee ‘sparring’ at a Long Beach or somewhere. He constantly uses ‘sen no sen’ or ‘sen sen no sen’. Highly effective if you have that ability read the opponent’s intention to attack and react quickly enough, but goodness it’s dull to watch!😂
You will see this a LOT in HEMA combat. A match between two top level competitors is incredibly boring to watch. Unless you're also a top level competitor and can see the miniscule changes and adjustments made to create or feint openings. As an example, two rapier fighters. One rotates their wrist so the quillons are parallel to the ground instead of perpendicular. Or flexes the wrist so the elbow is no longer directly behind the hilt.
 
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