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Posted: 5/17/2005 5:12:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/17/2005 5:23:00 PM EDT by Blackjack272]
For the past year or two I've been teaching as an assistant instructor at my studio. Many of our students participated in and won the school trophy at our recent regional tournament, many of which I helped teach, so I know I'm doing something right. In my divisions, bragging aside, I dominated.

However, I'm having some problems with sparring that I'd rather get corrected now instead of later. The problem stems ( with opponents my height ) from not squaring up to my target - if I do, my guard drops. If I correct one thing, something else goes wrong, and it is all in the fundamentals ( this does NOT occur in my forms ( Pinans/Katas/Shaolin Forms ), or defensive manuvers. I've used some things from those on the street and feel confident with them.

My two other major problems stem from the fact that the head guard I use obstructs my vision BIG time - this can easily be solved by getting a different helmet of the old style I used to use ( open face ).

The other, is the common problem of dealing with someone with long limbs. I find myself lunging in for an attack to dip inside his guard and strike before he can, but all he has to do is extend his arm, and I'll take hits to the face. My kicks and speed still overwhelm him, but getting around his monster guard is proving to be extremely difficult, but when I do, it is a sight to see.

This is exlusive to sparring. I am 100% confident that I can dominate someone his size on the street ( 6'4", vulnerable to my kicks, which I plow thru my target ) if I am allowed contact, but such conduct in the dojo is prohibited, and unwarranted.

Does anyone have any suggestions, comments, experiences or reminders to do certain things? I am under direct instruction from a 3rd Dan, so the technical advice is not really needed, but I could use some help on how to remember the fundamentals in close.

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Link Posted: 5/18/2005 4:53:15 PM EDT
Bumpity-bump!
Link Posted: 5/18/2005 5:06:51 PM EDT
Since you have the basics down, now you need the nuances. These are the sublties that make a good fighter, a great fighter. What you are looking to do is make an opening that makes your oponent drop his/her guard. You must make your opponent think you are doing one thing, let them devote their attention to that then move in with something all together different. You must learn to fake. To acomplish this, you need ring time. I sugest going half speed/half power with one of your students. If you can score strike at this speed then it'll be easier at full speed. Also you can "play" for a longer time, letting you develope your "rythme" for the fight.
Link Posted: 5/18/2005 5:37:42 PM EDT
How good is your balance?
I find, when sparring someone who has a reach advantage on me, that I can keep my kicking leg cocked up at about hip level and hop in, then when he tries to kick I can jam his kicking leg at the ankle with a side kick and transition into a round kick with the other leg or simply double the kick and strike at his body after blocking his kick. This would probably be completely impractical in a real fight, of course, but it works in the dojang.
Link Posted: 5/18/2005 6:40:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Blackjack272:

This is exlusive to sparring. I am 100% confident that I can dominate someone his size on the street ( 6'4", vulnerable to my kicks, which I plow thru my target ) if I am allowed contact, but such conduct in the dojo is prohibited, and unwarranted.




Save your (over)confidence and kicks for the dojo, both will put a serious hurt on you in a real street-fight with an experienced fighter.
Link Posted: 5/18/2005 7:16:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SF1058:

Originally Posted By Blackjack272:

This is exlusive to sparring. I am 100% confident that I can dominate someone his size on the street ( 6'4", vulnerable to my kicks, which I plow thru my target ) if I am allowed contact, but such conduct in the dojo is prohibited, and unwarranted.




Save your (over)confidence and kicks for the dojo, both will put a serious hurt on you in a real street-fight with an experienced fighter.



You don't know shit about this guy, so maybe you should save your assumptions and not talk down to him.
Link Posted: 5/18/2005 7:47:08 PM EDT
If you are a Tae Kwon Do guy, good luck in a street fight against a determined-to-hurt-you opponent. TKD is outstanding for physical control and flexibility, but about fuck-all for real fighting. Every time you lift that leg, 50% of your balance is broken. Your feet in combat serve a much more effecient purpose of getting you to punching or trapping range, with perhaps a few atemi strikes to the opponets legs or groin thrown in for flavor.

When I spar a guy with all that leg and arm reach, I just get inside his range. Don't lead with your face, Rocky style, but throw your head diagonally forward and drop step past his jab, and you are at an angle to his center line, ready to do all kinds of fun stuff to his exposed head or ribs.

My school (aiki jujustsu) pays lip service to TKD/Western boxing style sparring, mostly for the fitness aspect and the getting used to taking hits. We focus on what really works in combat. Different strokes. My goal isn't to get a point, its to kill or maim my attacker, and thats pretty damn hard to do with hard contact, unless you have a brick handy.

BTW, dancers have studios. Martial scientists train at a dojo.



Link Posted: 5/18/2005 8:43:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By SF1058:

Originally Posted By Blackjack272:

This is exlusive to sparring. I am 100% confident that I can dominate someone his size on the street ( 6'4", vulnerable to my kicks, which I plow thru my target ) if I am allowed contact, but such conduct in the dojo is prohibited, and unwarranted.




Save your (over)confidence and kicks for the dojo, both will put a serious hurt on you in a real street-fight with an experienced fighter.



You don't know shit about this guy, so maybe you should save your assumptions and not talk down to him.



You're right, I don't know shit about this guy.

Blackjack, my apologies to you if my post caused you any offense.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 1:39:15 AM EDT
Nah, no offense at all. Yes, I do have confidence, maybe a little too much, but I know how to keep my ego is check. That is what counts - if you don't honestly believe and think you can win at all costs, then you probably can't. Remember this is a metal game if anything.

And yeah, I'm not a TKD fighter. I study Shaolin Chuan Fa - big difference between the two. I've been in my share of real world fights before, nothing new unfortunately. We use our whole body rather than 90% kicks - I still use my legs as a great weapon because I feel they are an asset - this guy has LONG arms, which I do NOT want to come anywhere close to.

My balance is relatively good. I CAN get kicks up to his face ( side, front and crescent ) and not fall on my ass, but retaining the balance in a fight that moves to the side of your opponent is where I run into a bit a trouble.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 2:23:14 AM EDT
I can offer some advice from a different angle. I'm not a martial artist but I boxed for years, and I found long limbs and squaring up to be a sore spot with myself also....

What I did to correct that situation more times than not was not physical nearly as much as focusing. I found that when squaring up to a larger opponent or one with more reach I had to remind myself throughout the bout to close the distance to take away his reach advantage, and also to keep my eyes trained on his torso and not his extremeties. In other words, let my peripheral vision and instincts do the work of tracking and countering. If you have fundamentals, which you obviously do, it should be relatively easy for you to let your body work for you.

Focusing on the torso works, at least for me, because the arms and legs can move any way they want, and feign movement, but the torso ALWAYS dictates the motion of leverage. A body moving away will not produce hit with energy, and a body moving in lets you know where to begin the counter.

With martial artists (which I have sparred with quite a lot), the body works in more axis than boxing - in other words a body planing down and away can produce a kick whereas a boxer won't. So, you have an added element of motion, but the principle is the same. The torso gives away the attack, and if you're focused on that motion, the attack slows down. That slowing of the attack is a tremendous advantage to fighting a longer or faster opponent.

It's good defense, and I won the majority of my fights by being patient enough to let the opponent beat himself by opening up. Let a guy start probing for attacks, and he will start opening up in patterns, sometimes fatally.

Wax on, wax off.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 9:53:20 AM EDT
Very good advise swingset.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 10:31:18 AM EDT
One way to enforce the muscle memory that helps keep your guard up is to do about a million hours of Sticky Hands, or, "Chi sao". Its a great method for imprinting good defensive posture and position. Although originally a Wing Chun technique, it should fit in nicely with Shaolin.

You can also spend some time doing open hand defense, slapping away hits aimed at your head. Don't do ANY offense. Just try to stop from getting hit in the head.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 10:51:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/19/2005 10:52:20 AM EDT by Ghostchild]

Originally Posted By duckdawg:
One way to enforce the muscle memory that helps keep your guard up is to do about a million hours of Sticky Hands, or, "Chi sao". Its a great method for imprinting good defensive posture and position. Although originally a Wing Chun technique, it should fit in nicely with Shaolin.

You can also spend some time doing open hand defense, slapping away hits aimed at your head. Don't do ANY offense. Just try to stop from getting hit in the head.



This is true, the muscle memory is a great tool that comes from chi sao,

we do 3 stages of it,

1 and 1, square up and trade one blow for one blow, the key is RELAXED! not strong, relaxed.

free, square up and instead of trading back and forth it is free, again you have to relax

and then normal stance free, take your stance, and spar, but slow and technical, this isn't real sparring, but slowly and with technique,

after many many hours of this you will start to see the benefits.

ETA: not to make it sound daunting, but I have probably done 30+ hours of the first one alone, and I am just starting to see the benefits of it (at first I thought it was wack)
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 10:53:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/19/2005 10:54:29 AM EDT by Lester_Burnham]
Sounds like you're talking about trying to get in close and avoid a jab or straight right while moving in? (assuming you're both right handed in orthodox stances.)

There's a lot of things you can do, there's 2 key fundamentals that get drilled into us all the time where I train:

1. Chin down.
2. Hands up.

Make sure you're keeping your hands up as you're moving in, and your chin tucked into your shoulder. Some guys, even at a higher level have a tendency to slightly drop the hand they aren't striking with, or start raising their chin when moving in and trading.

There's a lot of things you can do to get around those straight shots when you're moving in. Think about Mike Tyson's head movement and bobbing and weaving in his prime. He was almost always the shorter guy with a disadvantage in reach. He kept his hands up and slipped those punches, side to side, moving in, making his openings with feints and threw his shots. There's some great drills to improve head movement.

Another technique is to parry that jab down and throw your right hand over the top of it. Also sometimes if I'm against a taller guy, a lot of times I'll double jab moving in, one to the head, one to the body, to get inside or at least back them up and put them on the defense.

Sounds like you definitely know your stuff, so I bet anything you just need a minor adjustment or two. Maybe you can have someone record your next sparring session, re-watch it, you might be surprised at the little things you catch when you watch yourself.

ETA: Definitely get a new headgear if it's obstructing your vision.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 11:02:55 AM EDT
To expound upon swingsets excellent post (I box, am 6'3", and have really long arms) do not ever go in on a straight line. Everytime I can just take a half step to the side and stick a jab (or better yet, plant a rear hand upper cut) on someone's chin, I'm happier than a pig in shit. Same thing with going back: Straight back = easy target.

One really effective thing you can do when going in is to block strong without moving your hands away from your head or body. If you reach out to block a punch from a long limbed opponent - well, let me tell ya - it may not be a punch. It's a probe looking for openings.

I also watch my opponents torso (more shoulders really) but the muay thai fighters at my gym are always telling each other to watch the eyes.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 11:22:24 AM EDT
This is great advice. I will surely experiment with it - experiementation and messing around with new things is the way to learn, at least sa I have found.

We are trained to focus on right below our opponents neck, because it is very difficult to mask your intent with your shoulders. We do rely on periphial vision, but the headgear I have now obstructs a huge portion of it at the top and bottom of my vision.I would much prefer an open faced helmet and to take the hits, which WILL be less.

One problem with keeping your chin low. As we train, the minute you drop your head, your posture ( aka, spine ) goes with it, and your balance goes with that. My issue deals with ( from a 2nd Dans advice ) being grounded. I am usually too well grounded, and I can't move as quickly as I used to.

And whoever said it is right. I am trying to avoid his jabs and open him up, but he retracts his hands to I can't find open spots in close, or he extends them and I can't get inside except using my 2 MOA kick.

Dolomite, what do you really fear with the little guys on offense?

Link Posted: 5/19/2005 11:27:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/19/2005 12:22:00 PM EDT by Dolomite]
In a word: Upper cuts.

Like Lester_Burnham said - watch Tyson.

My general impression when sparring against guys with a TMA (traditional martial arts) background is that they have good legs - as in they stay light on their feet and bounce a lot - which is important no matter who you're sparring.

But if I’m up against someone who’s a martial artist – by far the most prominent fear I have is that they’ll use the Monkey Steals Peach move.



So whenever I hear, “Hey man! Back off - I’m a black belt! Ki-Yai!” – I’m beating feet.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 12:26:47 PM EDT
Monkey Steals Peach.


Link Posted: 5/19/2005 12:27:17 PM EDT
I'm a master of bullshit-fu. I can spar with the best of them.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 12:34:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
I'm a master of bullshit-fu. I can spar with the best of them.



We train in bullshido.

www.bullshido.com
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 12:37:28 PM EDT
Feint more punches (stay on the offense, this is point fighting right?) and then deliver the 'kicks' your are refering. Just my .02
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