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#183055 - 09/01/05 04:23 PM correct attitude for senior grades
ai-uchi Offline

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 200
Loc: harlow essex
this is the first post in ages, as not really seen much that i had an opinion on or could help the discussion. However i seen something on a website that made me think.

under a dan grades profile it stated that lower grades were wary of sparring with him due to his unsubtle way of fighting and powerful kicks. good for him!.

problem is that if lower grades are wary of sparring with you in a lub environment does that not say something about your lack of skill, as a dan grade is it not your job to educate others whilst ensuring them and you stay safe (CALLED A DUTY OF CARE) as when i started in 1980 i was told if a black belt cannot spar with you without huting you then he is should not really be that grade.
streakers - your end is in sight

#183056 - 09/01/05 04:34 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: ai-uchi]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
depends. you didn't give enough info. I've sparred much higher ranks than me and I wasn't exactly thinking "there's nothing to be afraid of, he knows what he's doing and I won't get hurt." ...nope, I was thinking if I would be able to remove the stain I was about to leave in my pants.
someone being afraid to spar their instructor doesn't mean that instructor has lack of control...the person might just be afraid of what the instructor is capable of....I think thats normal.

#183057 - 09/01/05 04:36 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Kintama]
ai-uchi Offline

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 200
Loc: harlow essex
is there a difference between respect for what a senior grade can do, and stress caused by the knowing this person's skill level is not appropriate to their grade or worse still they enjoy inflictin harm
streakers - your end is in sight

#183058 - 09/01/05 06:00 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: ai-uchi]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
depends on the contact level that the club trains for I suppose.

I think the actual act of kumite is designed to raise fear (wrong word really) and the battle is to try and overcome that fear and deal with the situation, if you are training for a degree of reality anyhow.

Obviously within the realms of reason and applicable to your partner.

I can remember when I was a green belt being absolutly terrified of my Sempai in kumite, it improved my performance and toughened me up until one day he wasnt so scary, then I started dishing things back out a little. all done in the best possible taste with no hard feelings of course.

That situation was proberly the biggest driving force in my younger days karate and certainly raised standard of my kumite, im told other students didnt like sparring with me as well.

interesting point though.
Jim Neeter

#183059 - 09/01/05 06:44 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: ai-uchi]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
I understand not harming your student from a modern standpoint, but pain is a part of karate. I have never heard a story of an okinawan master sparring with someone for truly advanced training and going "easy" on them. My most recent teacher said he had respect for the current head of our system because he injured him severely and knows what he can do. I have some students who's ribs I break. I don't do it on purpose, but to fight them and not actually strike them I am not doing my job. I won't break their leg but I will bruise it. I will not break their face but I will black their eye. If there is no fear in a student how will they ever prepare for a real fight in total comfort with no risk or fear of injury?

#183060 - 09/01/05 06:49 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: shoshinkan]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Funny that wording is exactly the same wording I used to describe on of the Black belts on my website....And in fact I used this under the profiles section on my website. Uncanny. Anyone of intelligence would probably agree that our profiles page is a bit tounge in cheek, and probably not bring into question someone's skill who they hadn't met. Especially when said person, making said comments only is down the road from us.

Paul's skill is unquestionable...those who have bothered to train with him would testify to this.

Lower grades should be scared as hell to spar with their senior grades. This kicks in the adrenaline and develops ability under pressure. I assure you though that no senior grade takes any liberties with our lower grades!

Edited by Gavin (09/01/05 07:13 PM)
Gavin King
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#183061 - 09/01/05 10:34 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
Mark Hill Offline

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1068
Loc: Australia
Except for exceptional people who could probably fight as pros,, I have no need to fight lower grades or inexperienced fighters at full power or speed. I got a good rolling forearm/bicep bump combo rolling two nights ago, I changed into knees and elbows after that. It was on a blue belt - I WAS GENTLE!

We fight lower grades full contact all of the time. By the time YOU are a BB, you know what people can give and take.

For gradings, we always fight only marginally harder, faster or on a higher level than our junior partners. We want the best out of them, and we do this by giving them a fair challenge.

#183062 - 09/02/05 01:00 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Mark Hill]
Bushi_no_ki Offline

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1669
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
I pretty much agree with the general sentiment. If you aren't invoking some sort of anxiety in a freesparring session, then you aren't doing it right. I used to be absolutely terrified of facing my instructor or his son, not because I thought I might get hurt, but because I knew that it was going to be a one sided fight more or less. But that's where anyone will learn the best.

#183063 - 09/02/05 04:04 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
I really agree 100%. In this liberal feel good world we live in now, people seem to think its wrong to be pushed out of their comfort zones. It breeds a sense that its OK not to push your limitations, and become more than what they are. To me this is the reason why so many lack self confidence, suffer from obseity (sp???) and fail to fulfil their true pontential.

In my club, I'm the number 3. I know that most in the club are concerned about sparring with me. I have not seriously injured anyone, nor to I go in at 100% power. Sometimes I'll up the pace and dig a little harder, but also stick targets that won't cause any serious injury, knocking the wind out of them. However most of what I do to them is to mess with them mentally, the mind can precieve the threat to be alot worse than it actually is. On the street, should they come to be attacked I very much doubt whether they will have be attacked as hard. They will be prepared. And then my job as an instructor and a caring friend has been done.

When I spar with my Sempai James (who's just started posting up here), I get exactly the same thing. Admitedly he's not able mess with me quite as much as he would with the lower grades, but I'm still intimidated as hell by him. His presence and power are awe inspiring. Then I sparr against my Instructor (and Daddy, again just started posting) and I feel like a white belt again. These two still have the ability to almost paralyze me merely through their presence alone.

In November, as most know by now, I'm going out for a training course with Russell Stutey. There are going to be some big hitters out there, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I'm bricking it!

I always doubt that I'm training hard enough, worried that the person down the road is training harder. I've been teaching RBSD class now for a little while and have been doing alot of Adrenaline based training. Yet I still feel woefully unprepared to go and move round with the calibre of Martial Artist I'm going to meet in Cyprus.

To be completely honest I still feel unprepared to deal with the guys on the street, yet in every altercation I've had either personally or through work, has been nothing compared to what I've experienced in the Dojo. This, to me, is a living testiment to my seniors methods!

Sorry to rant on a bit, but I think that the correct attitude of a senior grade is to prepare their less experienced counterparts for the harsh realities of real life combat, not to wrap them in cotton wool and send them out like a lamb to the slaughter.

For me it also gives me a way of understanding my own limitations. A senior grade should recognize the weaknesses and draw attention to them, be they mental or physical. It's my limitations that keep me training, not my success's. It's the desire to break those limitations and become more than who I am. To me, that is true Budo, amd the reason why I train!

Edited by Gavin (09/02/05 04:57 AM)

#183064 - 09/02/05 10:49 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: ai-uchi]
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Hi Ai-Uchi

I've missed your posts. Welcome back!

When I spar with lower graded students at the club, I adjust my own performance level to just above theirs. This gives them the opportunity to practice what they know, try out new things and do all this in an atmosphere where they are not afraid to do so and can have some success.

Gavin, I'm afraid I disagree with your comments. If your senior grades are fostering a feeling of fear in lower grade students, that does neither them nor you any credit. It will prevent the students from learning and inhibit their progress. This does not help the students in any way and if it gives your senior guys an ego trip then they, and you, are in the wrong business.

Further, I don't believe it matters whether you are doing point sparring, semi contact, or full. The attitude should be the same. When I work with students of my level, we agree on the training that we are going to do. When I work with junior students, I set the tone and maintain it.

On Friday's we have a sparring night that consists of 1 hour of, 3 minute rounds with 1 minute breaks, swapping partners every break.

We had a senior TKD guy visit. He was solid both technically and physically. He adjusted his sparring level to everyone he sparred with so that his opponents gained something from sparring with him. He had nothing to prove and showed himself in a completely positive light.

Instilling fear in students does no-one any credit.
John L

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