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#282381 - 08/31/06 06:14 AM In defense of point sparring
ShaolinNinja Offline
hates silicone bubishi

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 301
Loc: Ireland
I've heard many fighters criticise sparring that stops every time a point is scored. Continuous sparring seems to be far more in favour among those seeking 'realistic' training. I disagree with this attitude.
I think point sparring more closely resembles the reality of a streetfight. In continuous sparring, you've got on your gloves and pads, you move in, throw a few, block a few, move out, circle, go back in, back out again... This is how fights unfold in a boxing or mixed martial arts contest, but not in an actual fight. When you're fighting full-contact without pads, the blows you land should end the fight; with pads or light contact, they kinda hurt. In a real fight, if you land a good blow, the fight is over. Therefore point sparring is more realistic: when you land a good blow the fight stops.
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#282382 - 08/31/06 06:47 AM Re: In defense of point sparring [Re: ShaolinNinja]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Point sparring is in no way realistic in anyway whatsoever IMHO. It drills people to pull their blows and generally promotes poor and weak intention behind everything. IMHO it is about as useful for preparing realistic combat as playing tag in the playground. Real life combat is not aback and forth affair it is an all out mess. Hard heavy contact sparring is far more useful to you on the street as it conditions you for taking blows, dealing with adrenaline and throwing/landing decent shots continously without a nice man shouting "Ippon... stop and start again!".
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#282383 - 08/31/06 07:11 AM Re: In defense of point sparring [Re: ShaolinNinja]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Quote:

I think point sparring more closely resembles the reality of a streetfight.





So, you think that minimal contact to the body, no shots to the head with a ref stepping in every time a fake blow has been scored is tantamount to a street fight?

Brother, you must not get in very many fights.



Quote:


In continuous sparring, you've got on your gloves and pads, you move in, throw a few, block a few, move out, circle, go back in, back out again...





Gloves allow people to fight without injuring their hands too severely. They allow a person to be hit hard which is something that will happen in a real fight. Therefore with the exception of the gloves, the action is very similar to real fighting. Which is exactly what you want. You don’t want the street to be the first place you experience what it is like to be hit hard, or, to feel the real pressure that is existent in a street fight (instead of NO pressure and the fake striking found within point sparring)



Quote:


This is how fights unfold in a boxing or mixed martial arts contest, but not in an actual fight.





Got news for you --- boxing matches and MMA events ARE “real”, point sparring isn’t.


Quote:


When you're fighting full-contact without pads, the blows you land should end the fight;





“Should” is the operative word. But you’re not really fighting full contact when you’re doing point fighting. You’re not really fighting at ALL. So I’m not really sure how you’re even making this comparison and, believing at all in what you’re writing.


Quote:


with pads or light contact, they kinda hurt.





At least you are making contact. Of course you don’t HAVE to use pads. You can spar full contact without gloves and continuous action if you like, but that leads to injuries. Which is the whole reason behind wearing gloves, headgear, mouthpiece, etc., in the first place.

When you are doing point sparring, you’re not wearing any of this stuff in most cases because you’re not even landing SHOTS effectively (in most cases). Even if you were, the stopping of action is in now way realistic of real fighting.




Quote:


In a real fight, if you land a good blow, the fight is over. Therefore point sparring is more realistic: when you land a good blow the fight stops.






No, you only HOPE that when you land a blow, the fight stops. And of course, that isn’t realistic at all. One strike does not stop a fight in most cases. Even if you are Chuck Liddell, have to be prepared for a lengthy fight, which is the whole point of sparring to begin with.

What would happen if you landed one of your “deadly blows” (which “should” have stopped the fight) and the guy just stands there smiling at you?

One answer would be that, a lack of continuous action sparring would now come back to haunt you because you aren’t technically prepared, or physically prepared to continue.



-John

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#282384 - 08/31/06 07:25 AM Re: In defense of point sparring [Re: JKogas]
TimBlack Offline
Exalted

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 1403
Loc: UK, Brighton
Point sparring is only more realistic if the level of contact in continuous sparring is ridiculously low - and of course this happens. The reason is that, without an acceptable level of contact, shorter fighters are at an enormous disadvantage because they simply cannot use their leverage on the inside to power shot and bring down an opponent.

Point sparring encourages a 'touch the other guy without getting touched' attitude to fighting, and that's just not what it's about. As Gav says, it lacks real intention, real commitment, to strikes. I'm not going to pretend that you can really go 'all out' every time you continuous spar, but you can have a decent level of contact, and therefore learn not to cower from multiple blows, and to take hits and continue to fight. In 'real life' one hit doesn't end fights very often - lots of punches in a short space of time do. Hard punches, but a reasonable number. Continuous sparring teaches you that when you attack, you have to keep pressing that attack until the other guy drops. Point sparring tells you to get your killer 'touch' in and then get out. I know which one I find more realistic
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#282385 - 08/31/06 07:45 AM Re: In defense of point sparring [Re: Gavin]
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 381
To start with, let me say that the title of this thread is ironic, in that point fighting, along with ANY other aspect of the martial arts, doesn’t need to be ‘defended’. If you, or I, or anyone for that matter, feels it has validity, it is valid.

No one should be feel the need to defend their style or manner of training to anyone but themselves.

Having said that, on with the show!!

Hiya Gavin!

Quote:

Point sparring is in no way realistic in anyway whatsoever IMHO.




COMPLETELY agree. Anyone who has done point sparring and any kind of realistic training or been in an actual scrap could not reasonably argue otherwise.

Quote:

It drills people to pull their blows and generally promotes poor and weak intention behind everything.




This is a matter of perspective. I know point fighters who have more ‘intention’ in their technique than the best ‘scrappers’ I have ever seen. They do control their techniques, yes, but I believe that control is every bit as important as commitment to the technique. As a matter of fact, one of the main facets of my training is exactly that” commitment. Intention. 1000 percent, on every technique. Point sparring is a wonderful way to practice this as long as your head is in the right place.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that someone who point spars will, by definition, have ‘poor and weak intention’. They will only weak intention if they choose to have weak intention.

Quote:

IMHO it is about as useful for preparing realistic combat as playing tag in the playground.




Well, maybe not THAT useless, but I agree, it isn’t much of a primer for a realistic confrontation, but that does not for one moment take away the credibility. If you train for realistic confrontations, then I agree. If your training is not centered around realistic confrontations (and this is a PERFECTLY legitimate manner of training) then point sparring can be every bit as invaluable as any other manner of training.

Quote:

Hard heavy contact sparring is far more useful to you on the street as it conditions you for taking blows, dealing with adrenaline and throwing/landing decent shots continuously without a nice man shouting "Ippon... stop and start again!".




The tenure of your post seems to (and please correct me if I am wrong) invalidate any form of training that does not center around ‘realistic confrontations’. Personally, I see the value in both. To be frank, I don’t live a lifestyle that involves me in day to day confrontations, and in the 25 years I have been training, I have never had a ‘real’ physical confrontation that amounted to anything. I am not sure (and I reiterate that this is my own experience and perspective) that I see the value in spending my time training hour after hour, day in and day out, on the off chance that one day I maybe might get into a physical confrontation.

I would prefer a higher purpose, and more consistent return, for my training time spent.

Back on point (no pun intended), Gavin is completely correct in saying that point sparring isn’t much use in terms of training for realistic confrontations. However, don’t let that dissuade you from doing it, if it serves your purposes. Point sparring is VERY useful for teaching such things as distance, timing and control.

G
_________________________
Nothing imperfect is the measure of anything!

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#282386 - 08/31/06 07:50 AM Re: In defense of point sparring [Re: ShaolinNinja]
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 381
In response to the original poster…


Quote:

I think point sparring more closely resembles the reality of a streetfight.




Please be kidding.

This is not only wrong, it is dangerous. Anyone who trains exclusively in point sparring and believes they are training for street fighting is going to get their ass handed to them.

Hard.

Quote:

Therefore point sparring is more realistic: when you land a good blow the fight stops.




I see your line of reasoning, and for someone who has never experienced a real street fight, or realistic training scenarios, I suppose it makes sense, but it is so far out in left field that it actually scares me that you might believe this.

Please get some more experience, and re-evaluate this perspective. I could go on for an hour about why this is wrong, but only experience will sway you, I think. I just hope that such experience doesn’t land you in the hospital.

G
_________________________
Nothing imperfect is the measure of anything!

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#282387 - 08/31/06 07:55 AM Re: In defense of point sparring [Re: Galen]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Hey Galen! Hows tricks dude!

I've know some great MA's who love competition under point sparring rules. Fair play to them, makes them happy and they are good and fit because of it. Having known a few international players too... again cool with me. My comments were directed at the use of point sparring as mentioned in the original context of this thread which was using it as a tool to prepare for reality, which we both agree its not. In terms of invalidating it as a training method, like you said that goes down to what you want. If your training is centred around street combat then its utterly useless, as a fun recreational pastime for keeping fit and healthy then its cool.... whatever ever floats your boat (I only play tag with my kid and not in the dojo! ).

Good to hear from your again though matey!

Gav
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Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#282388 - 08/31/06 08:28 AM Re: In defense of point sparring [Re: Gavin]
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 381
Things are great here, my friend! Hope all is well with you!!

I was with you RIGHT up to the end of your post…so close!!

Quote:

…as a fun recreational pastime for keeping fit and healthy then its cool.... whatever ever floats your boat (I only play tag with my kid and not in the dojo!




I would venture to say that non-realistic training offers MUCH more than just a tool for keeping fit and healthy. I also do a fairly strict routine of weight training, and I keep fit and healthy from that alone.

Training in the martial arts does not have to center around realistic scenarios for it to offer more than fitness. There are some very central themes in the arts that are captured through point sparring, and non-realistic training. I have already mentioned three of them. Distance, timing and control. There are as many benefits to it as the practitioner wishes to find. The only danger, as it relates to this thread, is when the practitioner starts to see benefits that are not really there, such as thinking that point sparring will prepare you for a realistic confrontation.

What I find odd is that most places, and certainly the dojo I came up through the ranks within, think that point sparring does prepare you for real life. I am sure there are a lot of people reading this thread who like to think that the original poster is correct, when in fact they could not be more wrong.

Herein, however, is the dichotomy. While our infamous original poster seems to be laboring under the delusion that point sparring and its ilk will absolutely prepare him for a real life encounter (eep!!) you seem to be (and again, correct me if I am wrong) equating it with play time, and offering it no redeeming value in terms of what the martial arts has to offer.

I see a whole new thread here, and I don’t want to hijack this one, so lets just say that we both agree that point sparring does not really offer much in help in terms of preparation for a real life encounter.

Fair enough?

G
_________________________
Nothing imperfect is the measure of anything!

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#282389 - 08/31/06 08:36 AM Re: In defense of point sparring [Re: Galen]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Quote:

I see a whole new thread here, and I don’t want to hijack this one, so lets just say that we both agree that point sparring does not really offer much in help in terms of preparation for a real life encounter.

Fair enough?




Sounds cool to me buddy!
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#282390 - 08/31/06 09:26 AM Re: In defense of point sparring [Re: Gavin]
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Point sparring has very little need of defending.

It's a good traing tool for developing any number of skills that are usefull to a Martial Artist.

Is it self defence? No.

Providing you understand that, there's nothing wrong with it.
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John L

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