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Posted: 1/21/2002 5:09:08 PM EDT
For all the martial artists who have an instructor that incorporates actual sparring into the class, what percentage of time is devoted to sparring? How often do you spar, and for how long? Do your higher ranks spar more? Here's the deal. I became involved in a new TKD school that near me. The instructor, a 2nd dan black belt WTF TKD and Level 5 Jun Fan kickboxer, only allows sparring once every two weeks. Allowing time for supervision of lower ranks, you get in only about [i]5 minutes[/i] total sparring per session. He is constantly telling us what we need to work on but not giving us a chance to work on it. He is pushing interested students to attend a regional tournament in April, constantly telling us horror stories about tournament competition (point sparring, not Olympic style), but not giving us the workouts we need. This usually doesn't bother me too much, but tonite he irked me a little with the "you guys need to work on this - in two weeks, maybe" stuff. Somebody help me get my head on straight, please.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 5:21:18 PM EDT
join another school. tell him what you want, you are paying for it.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 5:25:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/21/2002 5:37:15 PM EDT by big_guy]
find another school. I used to spar every Wednesday night 1 hour and 45 min. all of that time was spent sparring. It was a seperate class though. We also did sparring during regular class. And yes, this sparring class was only open to those with "experience", who showed up to class regularly. how many nights a week do you go to class?
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 5:25:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/21/2002 5:27:00 PM EDT by shooterX308]
Originally Posted By shooter65: join another school. tell him what you want, you are paying for it.
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I don't give a rat's ass about the tournaments, and taking my ball and going home is too easy. Tournament sparring looks fun, but its a way sight short of actual fighting. I just want to know where I stand before I approach him about it; I'm more irritated at the attitude he has about pushing us to spar better or smarter, but then practically allowing no time for it.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 5:30:09 PM EDT
point sparring is for pussies. martial arts was not invented to be commercialized. it is for self defense.
Originally Posted By shooterX308:
Originally Posted By shooter65: join another school. tell him what you want, you are paying for it.
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I don't give a rat's ass about the tournaments, and taking my ball and going home is too easy. Tournament sparring looks fun, but its a way sight short of actual fighting. I just want to know where I stand before I approach him about it; I'm more irritated at the attitude he has about pushing us to spar better or smarter, but then practically allowing no time for it.
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Link Posted: 1/21/2002 5:31:30 PM EDT
talk him about it in private. Most of the instructors are very reasonable, as long as your not a smart ass to them. If he wont budge find another school that meets your needs.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 5:32:29 PM EDT
I stopped taking Aikido about 2 months ago (due to expense) but we praticed 2 sessions every class each a half hour. The first was using specific technics, the 2nd was ffa. Basically, the ffa was do whatever needed to block, or strike, or apply technic. This was a very good format. By running down the line every class the technics become 2nd nature. Every belt would participate, and each defender stayed for the entire line so nothing was pre-set. In Aikido we were also taught always attack full speed and full strength or else the defender will never be prepared in the event of a real attack. Very good method to prepare for street fights where anything can and will happen. Many class instruction was also given how to easily take down a martial artist of many differant backgrounds. Kicks were very easy to defend, and attack against. Some nights were also given on knifes and multiple attackers. Anyway, I would say sparring every 2 weeks and for only 5 minutes is pitiful. What are you studying TKD for defense or sport? Either way without alot of mat time you will be leveled by lower ranks with more mat time. Fighting the unpredictable over and over helps you refine techniques and learn to read attacks in advance.... Find a new school imo.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 5:43:21 PM EDT
When I took Kenpo years ago, I had my fair share of sparring. The sparring class was held 3 times per week, about an hour long. The first 10-15 mins was spent warming up and stretching. The next 10-15 mins involved sparring drills. The next half hour varied. Usually it was free sparring, changing partners every 5 mins or so. As a tournament approached, about 2 weeks out, the last half hour was spent in a simulated tournament format( the class was set up in brackets and sparred in a single elimination tournament until a winner was determined).
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 5:46:27 PM EDT
My last instructor used to have a 1 hour hard sparring session on Fridays. It was an extra session for all levels. If we were fighting somebody with lesser skill, he would make us concentrate on control and fundamentals. Sometimes we would have a mini round robin tournament for fun. We also used to close out most sessions with 10 min of light sparring. We trained pretty hard, so I got a lot of bruises. If you like the instructor otherwise, you should talk to him about it. He may allow a group of you to get together and spar.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 5:52:53 PM EDT
We have a "Fiesty Fridays" basically it's sparring. who ever shows up, shows up. We round robin people every other round. It's supervised. We are a JKD/Kickboxing place.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 6:01:09 PM EDT
Talk to the instructor about your concerns and see how he responds. Unfortunately, too many instructors got their black belts prematurely and cannot teach you how to apply the techniques in a real fight. Point fighting or techniques demonstrations help to win belts, but not necessarily fights! Shop around for a class that is focused on combative techniques, whereby you spend a large portion of your time applying what you've learned on a mat or in a ring. Anything else will get you killed, if you're not careful. I only say this because I trained in martial arts for 13 years, with a large portion of it being bare knuckles and little of the typical "gentlemen's rules"!
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 6:09:08 PM EDT
Our classes are 4 nights per week for a total of 5 hours. The final 20-30 minutes of each class, or about 1 1/2 hours a week of medium to heavy sparring. Progressivly more contact as you progress thru the ranks. After just over 2 years of training, the sparring is extremely fast as most blocks and counters are little more than programed / controlled reflexes that are second nature. Great exercise, flexabilty and conditioning are big benefits.
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 2:11:49 AM EDT
Thanks to everyone. This information pretty much confirms my suspicions. In my area good schools are practically nonexistent. The largest local studio does not allow any sparring whatsoever - what a joke. I feel sorry for the kids in the class who are being told all their training will keep them from fighting. I joined this class because it was close, convenient, and sparring was allowed. However, after almost a year of sitting with my mouth shut and ears open, a season of discontent is starting to settle upon me over the instructor's criticism of our meager sparring techniques vs. an apparent unwillingness to give us the time to develop the skills. Time for an adjustment. shooter
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 2:17:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By shooter65: point sparring is for pussies. martial arts was not invented to be commercialized. it is for self defense.
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Hmmm. Careful that the words you speak are sweet, as one day some point sparring pussy might cram them back down your throat. You are making a fundamental mistake of attitude, and that will get you in bigger trouble than anything. Attitude and conditioning, friend, attitude and conditioning.
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 4:22:05 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 4:28:36 AM EDT
In Wing Chun, "free sparring" does not occur until after the student has been studying for AT LEAST two years. It's disrespectful to the art, to allow novices to sloppily spar in one's class. They must attain an appropriate level of formal precision, FIRST.
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 7:06:38 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 7:24:53 AM EDT
First I am not in martial arts but am considering it. That disclaimer made....
He could just be waiting until a few more people learn control
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In Wing Chun, "free sparring" does not occur until after the student has been studying for AT LEAST two years. It's disrespectful to the art, to allow novices to sloppily spar in one's class. They must attain an appropriate level of formal precision, FIRST.
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While I can understand both of these posts, if such is the case the instructor should not be telling them they need to spar better.
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 7:42:18 AM EDT
I would be suspicious of an American TKD instructor who opens his own dojo with only a 2nd Dan black belt. That's way too little time to call yourself worthy of teaching others on your own. American TKD has a bit of a rep for assembly line belting... and what you mentioned about tournament emphasis is another stereotypical problem with many suburban TKD schools. My first run-in was with a local TKD instructor when I was in high school. He was actually a skilled martial artist, but his school was a bit like the "Cobra Kai" from Karate Kid, and cranked out more than it's share of bullies and hotheads. He emphasized tournament fighting, so his students were aggressive, annoying, and fortunately predictable. There was nothing ever discussed about ethics or self-control. After a year of trying to bully my mean little Sicilian buddy, one of the local TKD idiots went for a high spin-kick against him. TKD Idiot got power-punched in the nuts, and that was the last time anyone bothered the Sicilian kid. My second experience with the 2nd Dan Master of Death was in 1989. I went down to a new dojo that had opened up in town, and asked if I could sit in, so I could see if I wanted to study there. I'd had a few years of non TKD martial arts, but told him I'd had very little, so that I wouldn't be shoved into anything I didn't want to do... just wanted to see what the normal daily routine was. Well, after twenty minutes of doing one-step and two step drills with another student, we started doing these real short sparring things where we fight for a minute, then rotate. To make a long story short, I wound up in front of Sensei, he kicked me in the face and cut my lip open. It was a good inside crescent kick, I suppose, but I would expect the instructor to have sense enough not to bloody up someone off the street. He had poor control, and then followed it up by laughing at me. His students seemed horrified. Others I have talked to find a disproportionate number of hotdog TKD instructors with low belts rushing out to open their own suburban dojos, moreso than other martial arts styles. TKD itself is a very effective martial art, but I have real issues with the teaching practices here in the US. It sounds like you might do better elsewhere.
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 7:59:44 AM EDT
I have been training for 20 years. I initially begain training in Kyokyushinkai, in which I received my first dan in 1985, so I feel I am reasonably versed in this subject. First of all, let me start by saying that any instructor who begins an introduction by laying out some line about being an "expert" is not a person you want to train with. I consider myself experienced, and most of my training partners (many of whom have far more experience than me) still consider themselves students. In my experience, anyone who refers to him or herself as "Master" is usually full of shit. In a two-hour class, half an hour is sometimes devoted to sparring. This is how I was first taught. We would also occassionally have sparring clinics, where we would meet on a Saturday and fight "round robin" for four or five hours. This was a nice opportunity for all of the beginning and intermediate students to fight the instructors. As I progressed, I started to fight with other martial artists whenever I had the opportunity, increasing my sparring time to about eight hours per week. I learned by leaps and bounds (no pun intended) fighting strageties which really worked during this time. Now, I am by no means an old timer ( just turned 32) but both knees and one ankle, as well as a shoulder, are all shot due to the punishment I used to regularly administer to my body. I'm not saying that I agree with your current instructor. I believe that once a student is familiar with basic kihon and the safety rules regarding light contact for sparring, 25% of his training time is sufficient when dedicated to kumite. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me. Unfortunately I don't get to check the board as often as I'd like.
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 12:47:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dano523: shooterX308, I don't know much about your Sinsai, but the lack of sparing could be due to a great deal of lower belts. Put two white belts together and someone is going to have knots on there shins. He could just be waiting until a few more people learn control.
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I've considered this, and I respect that line of thought. However, as another poster has stated, it doesn't explain his annoying habit of telling us we need to accomplish better control and develop our technique, then not give us a realistic forum and guidance to develop in those areas.
Spearweasel- I would be suspicious of an American TKD instructor who opens his own dojo with only a 2nd Dan black belt. That's way too little time to call yourself worthy of teaching others on your own. American TKD has a bit of a rep for assembly line belting... and what you mentioned about tournament emphasis is another stereotypical problem with many suburban TKD schools.
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Yeah, this guy is not a hot dog. He is capable and has made it eminently clear to all that he is to be addressed as 'sir' or 'mister' and not 'master' or 'sensai' because of his rank. He is continuing his education and the operation of this school under another master; he's not running it totally on his own. My impression is that he is encouraging tournament attendance to round out the martial art experience and see things we normally wouldn't see.
Biggun1- I'm not saying that I agree with your current instructor. I believe that once a student is familiar with basic kihon and the safety rules regarding light contact for sparring, 25% of his training time is sufficient when dedicated to kumite.
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That was my impression. I have no other option but to approach him outside of class, away from other students, and tell him my concerns. Shit. Wish me luck. shooter
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 1:10:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By shooterX308: For all the martial artists who have an instructor that incorporates actual sparring into the class, what percentage of time is devoted to sparring? How often do you spar, and for how long? Do your higher ranks spar more?
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When I taught Shaolin Kempo this was the schedule for adults: Spar 3times a week including a specific sparring class on wedsnesday nites. Other wise we ended each class with sparring. Forms were taught at every class as well. In a 1.5hr class we covered warm up(15min), self defense technics(30mins), forms and sparring(30min), cool down incl stretching and meditation(15min). Although I have adopted the Kung Fu way of sparring rather than the point sparring in Karate. This means that intermediate levels can go as hard as their opponent but light contact to the face. Brown and Black belt levels were allowed full contact at all times. However, full contact only to the head with headgear and mouth piece. The only gear I absolutely required was a cup and gloves. Sweeps, and take downs and joint locks were allowed at intermediate level (blue, green belts) on up. My students always got DQ'd at point sparring matches [:D] One of my brown belts knocked out a guy with a front kick at a tournament once in Palm Springs and was DQ'd for the entire tournament. I was so proud [:D] better than a trophy in my book. At least I know that he will be able to do just that in the streets. Remember train as you fight.
Link Posted: 1/23/2002 6:58:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By lordtrader: When I taught Shaolin Kempo this was the schedule for adults: Spar 3times a week including a specific sparring class on wedsnesday nites. Other wise we ended each class with sparring. Forms were taught at every class as well. In a 1.5hr class we covered warm up(15min), self defense technics(30mins), forms and sparring(30min), cool down incl stretching and meditation(15min). Although I have adopted the Kung Fu way of sparring rather than the point sparring in Karate. This means that intermediate levels can go as hard as their opponent but light contact to the face. Brown and Black belt levels were allowed full contact at all times. However, full contact only to the head with headgear and mouth piece. The only gear I absolutely required was a cup and gloves. Sweeps, and take downs and joint locks were allowed at intermediate level (blue, green belts) on up. My students always got DQ'd at point sparring matches [:D] One of my brown belts knocked out a guy with a front kick at a tournament once in Palm Springs and was DQ'd for the entire tournament. I was so proud [:D] better than a trophy in my book. At least I know that he will be able to do just that in the streets. Remember train as you fight.
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Hey, Trader, I wondered when you'd weigh in. So, if I flew in to TX on the weekends, how much would you charge for instruction?[;D] I've decided to scrap the tournament but for the moment stick to this class; it is better than nothing at all, and the physical benefits alone are worth it. I'd rather focus on the assets I have at hand than expend my energy running around and looking for a new school; besides, being a low rank guppy I'm not likely to carry a lot of weight with my mouth anyway. My intent is to step up my training to the next level; when I've got the instructor's attention, [i]then[/i] I'll broach the subject.[devil] shooter
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