sparring is not fighting

Discussion in 'Taekwondo Sparring' started by michael mckenna, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    an article i found while doing some research on sparring and the uses for it in a street defense situation alot of what is said in this article i agree with apart from the person saying is sparring necessary ? maybe not.

    hope you enjoy reading this and express your personal opinions on the use of sparring in a self defense situation
  2. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    in my opinion the use for sparring is learning how to avoid getting hit and to out think your attacker not use your brute force against his or her's
  3. canadiankyosa

    canadiankyosa Active Member

    It has its pluses, but it is better than nothing at all. There are too many rules in any kind of controlled match so that is the biggest downfall.
    michael mckenna likes this.
  4. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    couldnt agree more in black belt competitions and sparring there should be less rules
  5. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I reckon contact sparring is more about learning to take a hit and not crumble. Yeah sparring isn't fighting, but continuous contact sparring is a way to learn to deal with adrenaline and pressure and make sure you can still function without just freezing.

    I don't think limitations via rules actually matter that much. If there is a real and present danger of being knocked out, or at the very least hit painfully hard, then sparring is valid in learning the one most critical aspect of fighting: how to continue to function user pressure. If you can't act, you're done. Any other fancy technique or theory you might have is useless if you haven't got that presence of mind and self possession. Of course, the problem is, everyone thinks they've got it, until they really get hit. That's why full contact sparring is a must over semi contact.
    Oerjan, Bochica and michael mckenna like this.
  6. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    sparring is not fighting, but its as close as you can get. Certainly its a hundred times more applicable that patterns, yet we have no qualms about including them in our self defense syllabus. Like Gnarlie pointed out the pressure of sparring is one of its biggest advantages.

    I disagree about the rules not mattering though for 2 reasons.
    1) if you only engage in sparring against opponents from your own insular art you dont learn alot of things of importance. How often do Akido people get hit in the face? Hell how often to BJJ players?

    2) When shit hits the fan you panic, and you dont make rational decisions and do what is right, you just do something. When I was in a situation a few years ago I got a rear choke hold on the guy and took him down. Brilliant in BJJ / MMA, but if he had had a knife Id be finished. The mental benefits of sparring are more important than the physical, and the tactical side of SD is very important and should be practiced in sparring.

    If you go into a rough MMA gym and spar, the situation is very similar to a brawl. If you decide you want to treat it as a self defense exercise and presume the guy has a knife and, for example, make sure you keep it standing and work from distance that is valuable self defense sparring.
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  7. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    i agree with everything you said except the part about patterns but we are not going to agree on that so no point in making a fuss over your statement on patterns, without patterns taekwondo is just kickboxing with self defense techniques added into it
  8. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Disagree on the patterns issue. As I've said before, sparring IS the application of patterns.
    Are you sure you really believe that? I'd say if so you're wearing blinkers.
    Depends how they spar.
    Only if you've conditioned yourself to do something.
    So you learned something you can apply to your personal sparring mentality.
    Also agree, but not without a framework of rules to ensure the safety of the participants, and SD sparring is very different to and cannot be used for competition. The goal is to stay alive, not to win.
    There are different types of sparring for different purposes and they are not mutually exclusive. I'm not sure why people have to be so 'either or'. I'll take one of each please.
  9. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

  10. Chris J

    Chris J Active Member

    ....anyway back to reality and staying on topic, the blog's author picks an easy subject to distinguish. Sparring is not fighting. The points in his blog are completely relevant imo. This is because he distinguishes between sparring practice against your fellow students, ring-fighting for points where injuries to your opponent can be the key, and street fighting where there aren't rules (only the law) and your life depends on it. However he goes on to outline the advantages of being good at sparring in a fight. Will this information make me a better martial artist? No! Will it prevent me from sparring in class and training others? No! A good instructor will make distinction in class between sparring and fighting and the relevance of both. If you are going to teach your class only to fight, change the name from a Self defense Martial art, renew your insurance and carry a bigger first aid kit. As I said, the author picks the easy fruit to post a blog....... The old saying goes....train hard, fight harder.
    The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.....keep sparring I say and stay out of trouble.
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  11. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    i like the saying train hard, fighter harder, party hardest lol
  12. Raymond

    Raymond Active Member

    The blog author is right, sparring is not a fight. It is practice for a fight.

    When a pilot spends many hours in a flight simulator before getting into a real plane, he isn't flying a plane. However, he is preparing himself for the real thing.

    When a hair stylist practices cutting hair on a mannequin, he or she is not cutting the hair of a human. But they are practicing for when they will.

    So your sparring is practice for whatever your end goal is. If your end goal is to be good at fighting, then your sparring should represent that with as few rules as safely possible (note I didn't say NO rules, we must train hard but train safe).

    If a TKD person's goal is ONLY to go to the Olympics, and they think they will never get in a street fight, then MMA sparring would really serve them no purpose right?

    If a boxer only cares about professional boxing, then there's no point for him to spar with shin guards on is there?

    So yes, sparring is not a fight, but whatever your combative goal is should be as closely simulated as you can through whatever type of sparring you do. That should be your focus. Other types of sparring are useful tools, but they should be used as such: tools. A mechanic spends most of his time using ratches and sockets, but he still has a hammer on hand for when he needs to bang on something really hard. But he's not gonna build a house with it like a carpenter.

    Left out an important word in my fifth paragraph.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
    bowlie likes this.
  13. Finlay

    Finlay Active Member

    Sparring is not fighting, just in case it hasn't been said enough in this thread.

    To say sparring is practice for a real fight is dangerous because it can lead people to believe that what works in the ring works else where. Sparring involves rules etc. but more importantly you are fighting a person who fights the same way as you do, is often a similar skill level (in competition) and you are both prepared for the 'fight' in a well lit room. There is a unspoken agreement that it is a test of skill and that neither will go too far.

    Becasue of all those conditions sparring goes futher and futher away from fighting the better you get at it. I am sure we have all seen the overly eager beginner put pressure on some senior grades becasue he is not playing the same game, I saw one particular guy who as soon as the sparring began would just run at his opponent in a flurry of punches and he gave alot of people at lot of trouble, including national chamions and international competitiors that we had training, He didn't 'win' becasue of lack of points but he did give some people a pasting because he was fighting while others were sparring. He was of course taken to the side an taught how to spar like a TKD person.

    People sometime like to ask silly questions when you try to say sparring is ineffective, the one that most often come up is "would you want to fight (name of world champion) in a bar? my answer firtsly is i don;t want to fight anyone f i don;t have to but that is side stepping the issue with a clever answer.

    In reality it doesn;t matter if they are world champ or not. If i wanted to attack someone i wouldn't be looking for a fair fight, i.e. I wouldn't be sparring in a nightclub. I would wait until they were drunk so they could barely stand let alone fight, maybe even act like a friend and buy them a few drinks to make sure they get there, maybe bring or find a weapon and attack them with that first, or bring some friends along. Yes these are all cowardly acts but it is the way people get attacked.

    I often tell my student, if someone attacks you it is becasue they believe they can beat you. There are alot of reason they might believe this but the last thing they are thinking is that they can beat you in a fair fight.
  14. Raymond

    Raymond Active Member

    That's why I believe that the type of sparring you do should correspond to the type of combat you wish to engage in. I am assuming you are talking about "point" sparring. Then yes, that most definitely is not a fight. It is a game. The people the beginner was sparring with were practicing a game, the beginner was practicing a fight. He didn't have to be taught "how to spar like a TKD person" he had to be pulled aside and taught how to play the game. Since the game has rules, then the sparring has to have rules. ALL sparring, regardless of sport, game or other goal has to have rules. But once again, it should prepare you for your end goal. If your end goal is sport TKD, or boxing, or whatever then those are the rules you must train under. If ones goal is for self defense, then less rules (some are still needed for safety obviously). But things like clinching, throwing, tripping, etc must be included in the sparring. Maybe short of eyes, throat, groin and small joint manipulation.
  15. Mark 42

    Mark 42 Member

    I don't do TKD for self defense - I do it for fitness, and as a sport.
    I'm not saying it would be useless for self defense, just self defense is not my goal.

    A lot of arts use different logic to explain why they don't spar.
    Doing choreographed moves over and over where the "defender" always subdues
    the "attacker" is not going to be better than sparring.

    The best training for self defense would be me chasing you around with
    a weapon and trying to kill you - but that's why sparring has rules.

    Olympic TKD is more like a sport, but you can change up the rules when
    you want to simulate self defense. But claiming that sparring is bad -
    that sounds like an excuse by people who don't want the pain that goes with sparring.

    In a fight, often the one with stamina will have an advantage - sparring is the
    best way I know of to develop stamina for fighting.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  16. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    i dont think anyone here is claiming sparring is bad and i disagree on sparring being better then patterns, also it doesnt matter how much stamina you have in competition you may have alot but on the street your stamina will go quickly because of the adrenaline rush
  17. Rugratzz

    Rugratzz Active Member

    With the greatest respect, o_O Surly its horses for courses, depending what you want out of your martial art! Sure they can compliment each other, teaching the person to move while delivering a combination of techniques. Although not essential for sparring. In my opinion.:) AS you know I am trying to learn a number of Patterns, but befor that, I had only ever done one pattern, and that was when I took my first dan, I have later found out that it actually was 'koryo' That was because one of the examiners was a TKD master.

  18. Foggy

    Foggy Active Member

    I'm sorry but the whole topic seems pointless to me.

    Of course sparring is not fighting. It's sparring.

    Fighting is fighting.

    But by sparring and taking a good punch or two you are better able to deal with it when it happens.

    I don't see why someone would get uppity and start saying "sparring isn't fighting, ergo its useless". The point is moot and smacks of not knowing what they are talking about to me!
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  19. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    its not the thread that is stating that its the article mate
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  20. Foggy

    Foggy Active Member

    And for some reason I read this from the 2nd post on lol. Don't I feel like a dumb ass haha.
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