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#293627 - 10/14/06 10:01 PM Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring...
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
after watching "goju" sparring videos on youtube and various sites, all of the tournament point-sparring which is claimed to be 'goju' is virtually indistinguishable from point-sparring in shotokan, TKD, american kenpo, etc.

In dojos which center their training around such sparring in order to win tournaments, the focus moves far away goju principles of fighting methods as contained in it's kata. These tournament based dojos only maintain the style name 'goju' since they happen to include the superficial movements of goju kata curriculum...again, the movements are optimized for appeal to judges - not for utility. tournament goju kata also looks virtually indistiguishable from other mainstream economies of kata movement. robotic, steril and artificial.

I personally don't have a problem with people engaging in tournament...it can be quite fun as long as egos and politics keep in check. but don't pretend it's something that it's not.

The first very large mismatch of goju and training for tournament sparring, is the fighting range. goju kata principles and hence goju as a style is mostly very close-in, grappling-range response. It's main strategies are very far from the tag-sparring goals, no matter how much contact is allowed in sparring.

point-sparring strategy is: score and get out. long-range parry and long-range counter. 'set-up' techniques to out-smart opponent like a game of fast reactive chess. fun stuff, for sure, but there is no correlation to goju principles as a style.

with good instruction, 2-person goju kata principles trains: reflexive response to a close-range threat and elimination of that threat as quickly as possible. adaptive tactile response in stand-up grappling-range. clinch, elbows, knees, neck-cranks, locks, off-balancing, thows, takedowns and all that fun non-point-sparring fighting stuff which would get you disqualified.

If you aren't training fighting principles from goju kata, you aren't training goju. what you are training is the trivialized version of the Art. something that has 'look and feel' from having the curriculum...but nothing in common to goju in practice. eg 'karroty'.

dojos that train both sport and utility...which is the real focus and which is the claim just for marketability sake?

anytime I see a dojo with the words 'self-defense' advertised with tons of trophies in the window...it makes me wonder...well? which is it? sport or utility?

(btw: If someone wishes for me to define 'utility' - forget it. this isn't intended to be a 'kata vs. no-kata' thread...we've already got enough of those floating around.)

also, this thread would apply to any style which point-spars yet claims to be of a style which has dissimilar principles and strategy of utility. in general, training for point-sparring moves Karate further away from Karate, IMO.

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#293628 - 10/14/06 10:16 PM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: Ed_Morris]
Chen Zen Offline
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Perhaps a Point sparring sucks thread? JK. Actually, this is the case in most arts Ed. The tournament sparring in general isnt designed towards funtion in any other area other than the tournament. Sounds like the sparring matches that I had when i was a kid. Fun, but not functional. No one fights in this manner. Affectively anyways.
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#293629 - 10/14/06 11:01 PM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: Chen Zen]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Quote:

also, this thread would apply to any style which point-spars yet claims to be of a style which has dissimilar principles and strategy of utility.



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#293630 - 10/14/06 11:04 PM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: Ed_Morris]
Chen Zen Offline
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Had to reiterate since you repeatedly use the word KARATE. LOL. Actually, I posted before I read the last line. My fault.
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#293631 - 10/15/06 01:12 AM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
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Hmm, sounds like someone's been studying REAL karate. Ed, please enlighten the unenlightened.

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#293632 - 10/15/06 01:37 AM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: medulanet]
Ed_Morris Offline
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it's not like that, M.

I like point-sparring, it's fun. but the rules imposed on that type of sparring do not reflect the Art of Goju...no matter how you try and twist it.

sparring for training thats close-in with takedowns, locks and wrap-ups? sure!

but I just can't extract any connection between point-sparring and Goju.

If you disagree, then it's you who should enlighten me.

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#293633 - 10/15/06 03:03 AM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
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Well, here is my take. Point sparring can be a good training tool if done right. The rules (minus the contact thing) can be used to train basic aspects of karate both goju and shorin. Point fighting can be used to train distance control, basic striking, sweeps, quick footwork, tai sabaki, evasion, and other things. However, it is just a training GAME, that is all. Some people compete in it competitively. There is nothing wrong with this because it is a game. However, it is only training for very basic skills and only a small fraction of what karate really is. The problem is when people develop their karate to win this game and believe it is what karate is really all about.

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#293634 - 10/15/06 09:41 AM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: medulanet]
student_of_life Offline
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Registered: 10/12/05
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ed
good point, point sparing is far removed from the traditional aspects of traditional karate training. funakoshi even disaproved free sparing, i have not read why, and he's never told me so i've come to my own conclusions as to why point sparing has become a popluar event in the last 50 years.

i do spar tho, and i agree that there are lots of leasons that can be learned from the pratice. things like spacial awarness and how to deal with a resisting person. my old shotokan dojo even went so far sometimes as to have 2 and 3 on one fights, just for training purposes mind you, and i think i understand a bit more because of it.

i think you made a real good point too, you don't feel that point sparing captures the essence of the arts idea's, maby thats why the old masters didn't use it much, they tought it for self defence, and self defence is not stalking and bouncing around the other guy, like the bunkai from kata would tell ( unless you do ashihara kata, another thread?)

i guess, if you point spar, then you have to make your own rules, and when you use rules people will use them for them selves and against the other guy. the old masters may have thought "self defence is real life, why make up rules?, just use real life"

wow, thats some serious rambeling......i'll shut up after i say: point sparing can be an ok tool for even us traditional guys, but it's here to stay now, for good or bad, use at own descretion.
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#293635 - 10/15/06 09:50 AM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: Chen Zen]
ANDY44 Offline
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Quote:

Perhaps a Point sparring sucks thread? JK. Actually, this is the case in most arts Ed. The tournament sparring in general isnt designed towards funtion in any other area other than the tournament. Sounds like the sparring matches that I had when i was a kid. Fun, but not functional. No one fights in this manner. Affectively anyways.





I think karate point sparring has its place. So does pure grappling on the ground. They are methods to train certain aspects.

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#293636 - 10/15/06 09:52 AM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: Ed_Morris]
ANDY44 Offline
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Quote:

it's not like that, M.

I like point-sparring, it's fun. but the rules imposed on that type of sparring do not reflect the Art of Goju...no matter how you try and twist it.

sparring for training thats close-in with takedowns, locks and wrap-ups? sure!

but I just can't extract any connection between point-sparring and Goju.






HI Ed. How do you sparr using the methods found in goju?

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#293637 - 10/15/06 01:36 PM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: student_of_life]
medulanet Offline
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Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Funakoshi disapproved of sparring as an acutal sport or competition, but I don't think he totally disapproved of sparring. I'll have to do some research.

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#293638 - 10/15/06 05:58 PM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: student_of_life]
ANDY44 Offline
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Registered: 07/01/06
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Quote:

ed
good point, point sparing is far removed from the traditional aspects of traditional karate training. funakoshi even disaproved free sparing,




Interesting point that he didint approve of sparring.

The David Mitchell book, which I quoted in the last posted message, also
mentions that Funakoshi disapproved of the sort of free sparring that
eventually became the basis of comptetitve point karate,


http://groups.google.com/group/rec.martial-arts/msg/ea9104ea3fd7dcad


Funakoshi also strongly believed in the practice of kata as being the heart of karate. His distaste for rough sparring and competition was strong

http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=805638

These statements mention rough sparring,competition sparring or free sparring. of . Given that I think sparring done to improve training might have been approved.But I am guessing.



We know that Funakoshi disapproved of tournaments and grudgingly tolerated competitive sparring. He wrote clearly in his auto-biography that he did not approve of competitions of any kind, and that he did not think that sport was conducive to learning humility and other Japanese qualities that he held sacred. Having said that, it is pretty clear that Funakoshi’s beliefs could be extrapolated easily to include all sports, since his primary concern in his later years was the development of a proper Japanese citizen, and since any sport would lead to the bad effects he feared, he must have believed that Japanese should not play competitive sports - ever.

http://www.24fightingchickens.com/2006/01/29/funakoshi-man-vs-myth/

And I wonder that even if he didnt approve of sparring what were his reasons?





Edited by ANDY44 (10/15/06 06:36 PM)

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#293639 - 10/15/06 08:49 PM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: ANDY44]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
Quote:

And I wonder that even if he didnt approve of sparring what were his reasons?



thats a valid question. I have no idea, not have I read specifics behind his reasoning. I have read that Miyagi trained sparring - not sure what type of sparring. and Mabuni pioneered protective gear in the 30's using available materials or cross-sport borrowing from kendo and what looks like american football pads.

It's my understanding some were trying to make karate work as sport without comprimizing the Art. many abondoned that pursuit. one can speculate that it was discarded since it comprimized too much.

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#293640 - 10/15/06 08:55 PM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: Ed_Morris]
ANDY44 Offline
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Posts: 814
Quote:

it's not like that, M.

I like point-sparring, it's fun. but the rules imposed on that type of sparring do not reflect the Art of Goju...no matter how you try and twist it.

sparring for training thats close-in with takedowns, locks and wrap-ups? sure!

but I just can't extract any connection between point-sparring and Goju.

If you disagree, then it's you who should enlighten me.





HI Ed. How do you sparr using the methods found in goju?

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#293641 - 10/15/06 09:10 PM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: ANDY44]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
point-spar? no, I use methods from kimura shukokai plus the mish-mash vanilla stuff found in generic long range sparring.

if it's allowed to continue close-in (what most point-sparring places break up as a 'clash')...then more of the goju is better suited.

I think the main reason why point-sparring breaks up clashes is since the judges can't see the scores landing. some tips/strategy from the shukokai group for competitions was to try and land 'clean'. meaning makin in easy for the judge to see and score. it has the effect of over-dramitizing technique for visibility.

those kinds of notions don't translate well to classical subjects.

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#293642 - 10/15/06 09:10 PM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: ANDY44]
MattJ Offline
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Interesting thread, Ed. I do get what you mean, as sparring is by nature going to be compromised. I think I have an idea of the type of sparring matches you are describing, but you are assuming that you can shut someone down very quickly - which may not be the case.

You are giving me ideas to try for the next video set with RazorFoot, though.
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#293643 - 10/15/06 09:26 PM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: Ed_Morris]
ANDY44 Offline
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Registered: 07/01/06
Posts: 814
Quote:

point-spar? no, I use methods from kimura shukokai plus the mish-mash vanilla stuff found in generic long range sparring.

if it's allowed to continue close-in (what most point-sparring places break up as a 'clash')...then more of the goju is better suited.

I think the main reason why point-sparring breaks up clashes is since the judges can't see the scores landing. some tips/strategy from the shukokai group for competitions was to try and land 'clean'. meaning makin in easy for the judge to see and score. it has the effect of over-dramitizing technique for visibility.

those kinds of notions don't translate well to classical subjects.





Just my thoughts,
Ok. To me kata is self defence although I think one or two techniques I have come across would fit nicely in to MMA'S.

True Goju seems to have a lot of techniques taken from kata(although my study of gojo is limited) therefore Self defence.

Competition sparring is not self defence.If Funokoshi based his teaching on kata and kata as I said is meant to be self defence.Then that might be the reason why he didnt like restricted(self defence wise no groin grabs etc) free sparring.


Problem is with out sparring there is elements of training missing. Thus the poss use of restrictive(self defence wise) point sparring to cover these elements?

Isnt that one of the reasons why judo came about?



Edited by ANDY44 (10/15/06 09:44 PM)

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#293644 - 10/15/06 09:44 PM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: MattJ]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Posts: 6768
thats true...and thats why the clash doesn't last long. I'll never forget when morio higaonna visited our dojo in the 70's. he spared against Ken Ogawa (his top student at the time). it wasn't the type of sparring in the recent youtube clips of higaonna in competition. they pretty much eye-locked each other and stalked. then suddenly, a brief clash and Ogawa was on the ground. thats all I remember. 2 minutes of 'stalking', 2 seconds of clash and it was over. nothing superfluous or 'set-up strategy' driven. just raw effective response to whatever threat at the moment. It was like two lions fighting. that was my impression....of course, I was young but I'm trying to recall without exaggurating.

but ask me to recall the hundreds of point-spar matches I've watched, and I couldn't tell you one from the next.

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#293645 - 10/15/06 11:11 PM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
But Ed, I think you're answering your own question. What you mentioned sounds like what a point sparring match should be like. If you look at WKF or WKC/AAU sparing clashes are allowed for 3 - 5 seconds many times. If nothing is done it is broken up. In point sparring as soon as the distance is closed then you should be looking to put your opponent down, immediately. Due to the sport mentality of wanting to win most people want it broken up to restart instead of working to develop their karate clinch work. Karate is not meant for prolonged struggling in a clinch. However, there are many techniques in kata to address this. As skill increases time in the clinch is reduced. But I believe that is the purpose of most MA clinch work. Hell, Rich Franklin didn't last very long in Anderson Silva's clinch.

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#293646 - 10/15/06 11:52 PM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: medulanet]
Ed_Morris Offline
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well then there must be different versions of point sparring, because the ones I've done are mind-games with trying to out smart the opponent by causing them to put themselves in a disadvantage position. these are long-range tactics with long-range setups. no point-sparring match I've ever seen allows standup grappling or scoring after takedown.

we used to practice sweeping while holding on to the person and hitting them on the way down....then they disallowed that too. now it seems like you can't even grab onto someone in point-sparring. plus the strick rules of 'excessive contact' for just brushing the face. etc...it's a different game.

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#293647 - 10/16/06 12:07 AM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
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Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Yeah, WKF and WKC/AAU point sparring is a lot better. There are a few fighters who are legit and the rules aren't too bad for training certain aspects of karate. Of course there are many fighters who are only in it to win it and a lot of guys use unsound fighting principles to get the point. If it was officiated better and rules enforced better it wouldn't be half bad.

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#293648 - 10/16/06 03:59 AM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: medulanet]
ANDY44 Offline
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Registered: 07/01/06
Posts: 814
Quote:

Yeah, WKF and WKC/AAU point sparring is a lot better. There are a few fighters who are legit and the rules aren't too bad for training certain aspects of karate. Of course there are many fighters who are only in it to win it and a lot of guys use unsound fighting principles to get the point. If it was officiated better and rules enforced better it wouldn't be half bad.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07LP8lHVe5c

Just thought I would post this for any female karate ka reading the thread Hi Im Andy
Some throws near the end

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIZn3m9J-Us&mode=related&search=






Edited by ANDY44 (10/16/06 04:05 AM)

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#293649 - 10/16/06 06:17 AM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: Ed_Morris]
shoshinkan Offline
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Loc: UK
just from my expierience, I don't recall many goju people being at semi contact points events when I was younger.

I did work out with goju people alot in my first 10 years and when sparring was called - you knew it was going to be hard going. I would nearly always 'score' with a good shot and then the goju peoople would tear me up on the inside............

We wore gum shields and boxes only and no points were called, contact was hard but not excessive to cause significant injury and targets were sensible.

grappling allowed, encouraged! and off you went...........ouch.

You always had a 'buddy' to seperate the 2 fighters if it got a little out of hand, but generally people worked within reason and no knee stomping or eye gouging happened.

It just wasn't that big a deal who one or not, everyone got hit - just training.

Good format to work to.

Goju was obviously a superior training method at the time, for 'scrapping' (conditioning and range worked being the main advantages IMO) unless that first blow was a finisher/disabler (which sometimes it would have been) I nearly always got owned.
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#293650 - 10/16/06 06:43 AM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: shoshinkan]
dandangojuman Offline
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Registered: 10/16/06
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hey just thought i'd throw my thoughts in. i train okinawan goju ryu and whilst we do a little tournament stuff coming up to the gasshuku training is devoted to conditioning, bunkai and generally knocking lumps off each other. we're lucky most sparring is deliberately toe to toe, with a little westernboxing thrown in for variety. cheers

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#293651 - 10/16/06 06:59 AM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: shoshinkan]
Ed_Morris Offline
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that was the other rule I forgot about: resetting after each scored point. this leads to using tactics that score without reprecussions. as long as you score first, you can leave yourself open.

another aspect that doesn't translate well is the strategy of 'clean blocking/evasion'. thats in order to not confuse the judges into awarding a score on you.

but some of the parry we practice have the concept of 'receiving'...it's sort of a partial parry to deflect most of the force, but absorb the negligible residual in order to be in a good place for near-simultaneous counter.

...but yet this isn't seen in point-sparring since it's only the first hit which scores.

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#293652 - 10/21/06 02:07 PM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: Ed_Morris]
CVV Offline
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Quote:

that was the other rule I forgot about: resetting after each scored point. this leads to using tactics that score without reprecussions. as long as you score first, you can leave yourself open.




This is not exactly true in WKF point fighting. Zanshin must be maintained after scoring until referee stops the match. If a contestant scores and immediatly drops his guard, score is not recognised and he can be penelised for it. However when a score is recognised, the referee will halt the match.

Quote:


another aspect that doesn't translate well is the strategy of 'clean blocking/evasion'. thats in order to not confuse the judges into awarding a score on you.




In WKF point fighting there are no scores for blocking, only uchi, zuki or geri can score. When a technique is blocked or partley blocked/deflecting, the score is not recognised.



Quote:


but some of the parry we practice have the concept of 'receiving'...it's sort of a partial parry to deflect most of the force, but absorb the negligible residual in order to be in a good place for near-simultaneous counter.

...but yet this isn't seen in point-sparring since it's only the first hit which scores.



When a technique is blocked or partley blocked/deflecting, the score is not recognised.

First hit first score is not correct in WKF point fighting.
The technique has to fullfill some basic criteria's like correct distance, correct technique, adequate power, zanshin, on the approved scoring area's of the body.

For instance, trying to score when the opponent is moving backwards will never lead to a point even if you hit first because the power is neglectable. The opponent could then stand still and score on the incoming attacker.


Point fighting is fighting test and anything that works within the boundaries of the rules should be used wether it's goju or shorin or shotokan .... There are principles known in goju that are used in point fighting like moving out of the line of attack/deflecting and than takedown and score like e.g. in sepai. However straight attack techniques like from jihon are also good for scoring. So a good, allround pointfighter cannot be pinned down to one style imo. He'll use what works for him to score and this is best learned from training sessions directed to point fighting. Not technical style training.

Most techniques/tactics used in point fighting can be tracked back to some interpretation of a piece in a goju kata. But not for the kicks. Goju only knows front kick and side kick never above the waist.

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#293653 - 10/21/06 04:53 PM Re: Thoughts on Goju and point-sparring... [Re: Ed_Morris]
BrianS Offline
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The goju sparring i've always done consists of every range(clinch,throws,etc) and no points or stopping after contact. It's like going hard while trying to take care of eachother,sort of. Almost always ended with one or both on the ground and you knew for sure who had won.
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Ryukyu Art
Artifacts from the Ryukyu Kingdom missing since WWII. Visit www.ShisaLion.Org to view pictures

Best Stun Guns
Self Defense Products-stun guns, pepper spray, tasers and more

Surveillance 4U
Complete surveillance systems for covert operations or secure installation security

Asylum Images
Book presents photo tour of the Trans-Allegany Lunatic Asylum. A must if you're going to take a ghost tour!

 



Unbreakable Unbrella

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