Where do you look in sparring?

Drose427

3rd Black Belt
Joined
Aug 13, 2012
Messages
927
Reaction score
251
Location
USA
I got curios after sparring an MMA friend of mine the other day. I noticed he was looking down at my torso area a lot. He ended up falling for a lot of feints, double hits, etc.

I've always been taught to look them in the face, as its hard NOT to give away you're about to do something. Between the look in the eyes, breathing, tenseness, etc.

I've never had problems sparring like that in both a boxing match and Muay Thai Style sparring, but I'm an outfighter with long arms. My distancing has always been enough that even when looking someone in the face i can see their torso with peripheral vision pretty easily.

I know different styles have different schools of thought on this so Im curious as to what the people here do!

Obviously one should look wherever they have the most success, but thats different for different people
 

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
19,611
Reaction score
6,343
Location
Pueblo West, CO
I tend to watch the persons core. That seems to allow me the best view of their entire body. You can't effectively attack without involving your core, so in my experience, this makes me less likely to respond to feints.
 

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
11,692
Reaction score
3,293
Location
Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
I like to use my side vision to watch my opponent's leading leg. If your opponent wants to move in or punch you, he has to shift his weight onto his leading leg. If youI can prevent his forward weight shifting, you can prevent his attack. The moment that your opponent puts weight on his leading leg, the moment that you

- sweep it or
- step on his knee,

you can make the fight very simple.
 
Last edited:

hoshin1600

Senior Master
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
3,018
Reaction score
1,494
I think people's answers will be a good glimpse into whether they are sport or street minded. I look forward to people's answers.
I look at the center of the chest. Unless it's a women. Lol...then I don't know what to do.
 

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
19,611
Reaction score
6,343
Location
Pueblo West, CO
I like to use my side vision to watch my opponent's leading leg. If your opponent wants to move in or punch you, he has to shift his weight onto his leading leg. If youI can prevent his forward weight shifting, you can prevent his attack. The moment that your opponent puts weight on his leading leg, the moment that you

- sweep it or
- step on his knee,

you can make the fight very simple.

This is much what I was trying to say. If I'm looking at their core, I can see their legs, their arms... but no matter what they do with their arms or legs, if they don't commit their core, they're not really doing anything I need to worry about.
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
20,135
Reaction score
5,650
Location
Covington, WA
This is much what I was trying to say. If I'm looking at their core, I can see their legs, their arms... but no matter what they do with their arms or legs, if they don't commit their core, they're not really doing anything I need to worry about.
Do you find that, when you look at the core, you fall for a lot of feints and double hits? I'm presuming core means in the area of the torso. Does it mean something else?
 
OP
D

Drose427

3rd Black Belt
Joined
Aug 13, 2012
Messages
927
Reaction score
251
Location
USA
I think people's answers will be a good glimpse into whether they are sport or street minded. I look forward to people's answers.
I look at the center of the chest. Unless it's a women. Lol...then I don't know what to do.

I thought about this as well. While its common for sport styles to look at the chest/torso, even at the highest levels (ufc, k1,etc.) some guys still seem to focus on the head. Although it could be for the same reasons as myself,


Its also probably important to note that if I do have to go or stay inside, I end up looking at chest torso. Peripherals arent as effective that close, and it lets me tuck my chin deeper and lead with my forehead(probably one of my favorite things to do from wrestling lol)

I just close my eyes and hope for the best.

Hey I've seen some pretty stellar blind wrestlers, so I wouldnt be surprised thats an effective method in Grappling! ;)

This is much what I was trying to say. If I'm looking at their core, I can see their legs, their arms... but no matter what they do with their arms or legs, if they don't commit their core, they're not really doing anything I need to worry about.

This was part of his issue i think, he was committing his defense on the movement in general, not so much on their effectiveness.

Like the boxer who goes full turtle for a jab and falls for the cross.
 

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
11,692
Reaction score
3,293
Location
Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
This is much what I was trying to say. If I'm looking at their core, I can see their legs, their arms... but no matter what they do with their arms or legs, if they don't commit their core, they're not really doing anything I need to worry about.
It's easier to judge the distance by looking at your opponent's leading leg than to look at his core. Since your opponent has to pass your "kicking range" before entering his "punching range". To watch for the leg, you can not only sense his weight distribution, you can also sense the distance between each other. Try not to let your opponent to put any weight on his leading leg can make the fight very simple. The nice thing is, after your "foot sweep", you can enter. This way, your opponent's attack will trigger your attack.

 
Last edited:

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
19,611
Reaction score
6,343
Location
Pueblo West, CO
Do you find that, when you look at the core, you fall for a lot of feints and double hits? I'm presuming core means in the area of the torso. Does it mean something else?

By core, I mean their center. Somewhere around the sternum or solar plexus.
Since they can't throw an effective attack without committing their core, I find myself less prone to responding to feints. They can flail around with their arms all they like. If they don't commit to the move, I don't generally respond. If they do commit, then by definition, it isn't a feint. :)
 

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
19,611
Reaction score
6,343
Location
Pueblo West, CO
It's easier to judge the distance by looking at your opponent's leading leg than to look at his core. Since your opponent has to pass your "kicking range" before entering his "punching range". To watch for the leg, you can not only sense his weight distribution, you can also sense the distance between each other. Try not to let your opponent to put any weight on his leading leg can make the fight very simple. The nice thing is, after your "foot sweep", you can enter. This way, your opponent's attack will trigger your attack.

I don't have any difficulty seeing weight shifts while watching their core. Because, obviously, they can't shift their weight without moving their center.
And, of course, they don't necessarily need to shift their weight forward to use a weapon, and focusing that low can make watching the arms problematic.
 

Buka

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
11,903
Reaction score
8,690
Location
Maui
I teach my students that wherever they look, they look there all the time. It's when you switch your field of vision from one level to another - that you're screwed. Because it takes that one beat to adjust.

I look down, at their feet (YOUR feet). (None of my students do) I look at the feet while kickboxing, boxing, point sparring, grappling from a standing position, any kind of fighting. It's what works for me and has worked for me for forty years, it's how I measure, it's what I am used to and, oh, so comfortable with.

And it throws people off because they think - well, you probably know what they think.
 

hoshin1600

Senior Master
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
3,018
Reaction score
1,494
Can I change the wording on my answer...:)

I look at center mass.
Which for me means the chest but I want to use the term center mass because I am more interested in attacking then worrying about feints or what the opponent might do. I really don't care what he does. I am zoned in on my target and I'm gonna fire. You want to throw a feint so be it I'm gonna clock you first. If you hit me I don't care I'm gonna make you pay a tax for it.
 

Andrew Green

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 1, 2004
Messages
8,627
Reaction score
449
Location
Winnipeg MB
Honestly I think too much is made of this. Don't look anywhere, look everywhere. As soon as you start consciously looking at something you will get tunnel visioned and end up missing everything around it. Relax, tuck your chin, roll your shoulders and go. Don't get concerned with where you are looking, because as soon as you focus on one thing all the other things are going to hit you.

If pushed I'd say watch the body. A person can't hit you with any force without rotation of the torso. But not in a fixated way, just that centre of vision should be the body. But don't focus on anything in particular.

Now that said you can use things like that to some extent. If someone is watching your eyes look at their leg and kick them in the head. If they are watching your body feint from the hips, etc. And the other thing to remember is that people get used to things. If your school does it one way, you get used to that. If you meet someone that does even a simple thing differently then everyone you spar with it's going to mess either you, the other guy, or both of you up a little. Which is another reason I'd vote for nothing in particular. Everyone will find what works for them, and hopefully it will vary within the school and allow you to work against a range of approaches.
 

Jaeimseu

3rd Black Belt
Joined
Jun 19, 2011
Messages
921
Reaction score
268
Location
Austin, Texas, USA
From a TKD perspective, I watch the shoulders and hips. The other guy can't attack without moving the hips and the shoulders tell me which leg he's going to use.
 

Cirdan

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 31, 2006
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
440
Location
Oslo, Norway
In sparing I keep my eyes on the face. Self defense-wise I pay more attention to shoulders and hips, a bit to the hands as well.
 

Mauthos

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
813
Reaction score
11
Location
Bristol - UK
Tend to stick with core/centre as I'm with Dirty Dog as it means any shift in their core I can notice so generally know when they are going to commit to an attack and also my peripheral vision picks up any subtle shifts from their shoulders or hips, again a sign of an attack. Has worked for me for many years.

However, sometimes I will deliberately look directly in their face that shift my vision lower before attacking high, seems to catch out a lot of people who appear to believe that I am going to strike exactly where I am looking.
 

sfs982000

Master Black Belt
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
1,090
Reaction score
40
Location
Woodbury, MN
In Shotokan I was taught to watch the hips/core area, but when I switched to TKD they wanted us to watch both the core and shoulder area.
 
Top