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#431976 - 04/07/11 10:24 PM Control
Brusashi Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/12/10
Posts: 23
Loc: Florida
I'm the senior student in my Kenpo Karate class and it seems that everyone who holds a lower rank than I lacks control when we do our spontaneous drills and pretty much when we practice our techniques. My instructor doesn't seem to admonish them when they don't exercise control, but he will be quick to tell me to use good control. What should I do? I've talked to my fellow students but it doesn't seem to get through to them.

Part of me wants to put some force into my technique, but at the same time I want to avoid trouble and I really don't want to hurt them either.
_________________________
"I come to you with only Karate - empty hands, I have no weapons; but should I be forced to defend myself, my principles, or my honor; should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong, then here are my weapons Karate, my empty hands"

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#431987 - 04/08/11 08:46 PM Re: Control [Re: Brusashi]
fileboy2002 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 999
Loc: Chicago, IL
In a way, all striking arts are victims of their own potential dangerousness.

One thing all striking arts have in common is that they seek to stop attacks by doing serious bodily harm to the attacker. That makes it nearly impossible to practice under realistic conditions. The few striking arts that do feature lots of "alive" training--e.g. boxing, Muay Thai--have limited mass appeal.

Muay Thai and boxing are mass SPECTATOR sports, but not mass PARTICIPANT sports. Arts that require people to trade full-force punches and kicks just aren't going just aren't going to hold much appeal to anyone except the young and highly fit.

The problem of teaching "control" grows out of this contradiction. I think you need to discuss this openly with your instructors. Have them set some concrete, specific guidelines on on what controlled technique is all about.

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#432006 - 04/09/11 08:05 PM Re: Control [Re: fileboy2002]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
Control sometimes is over done, some force isn't something to be afraid of. If peopel are trying to take your head off or dropping you or bloodying you up regularly, that's an issue but getting tagged isn't going to kill you. Just saying.
_________________________
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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#432034 - 04/11/11 07:44 AM Re: Control [Re: Stormdragon]
Dobbersky Offline
Peace Works!!!!
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 893
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
I understand it from both sides.
In my style my rule is the lower grade controls the pace then it goes by age etc.
I do state that the higher grade especially blackbelts are NOT living punchbags!
The thing you need to do is add a bit more power but not enough to give your Sensei a reason to speak to you = Control.

You wouldn't strike a 14 year old with the same power as a 25 year old etc
_________________________
A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

Ken

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#432052 - 04/12/11 04:31 PM Re: Control [Re: Dobbersky]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2572
Just to add to a lot of good points that have been made: A lot of skills that are being trained in a full contact sparring session are mainly to do with timing. What people should (IMO) be trying to do is develop a strong sense of timing and distance. That is the real benefit of sparring full on. Want to know how hard you can hit? Ask a punch bag. You can train with a realistic sense of timing and movement while not trying to take someone's head off.

The goal of sparring isn't to see how hard you can hit. I think that needs to be emphasized in sparring, especially to those folks who seem to lack control.

Another point I would make is that a lot of people are afraid of getting hit, especially newbies in martial arts classes. This leads to a lot of tension (heck, even a lot of stress) in a student. This can manifest itself as aggression in sparring or panicky movements that lack control. If this is the case, getting the student to relax and overcome their fear may resolve the issue.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#432053 - 04/12/11 05:19 PM Re: Control [Re: Prizewriter]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
Good points, prizewriter.
I guess getting hit on occasion is a part of training in a contact sport.
As a newbie to martial arts, I kind of expected to get hit on occasion, and I have been. It's no big deal to me if it's accidential.
I've been more concerned with trying to avoid hitting someone else than I have been with getting hit, but I have trained with guys who exercise little control, most often young white belts, and it can be frustrating, but a short explanation has done the trick thus far.
A good instructor should rectify the situation if he is aware of it.
_________________________
Insert profound martial arts quotes or tough guy phrases here.

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#432055 - 04/12/11 07:47 PM Re: Control [Re: choonbee]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
Training to not hit is not a good idea if you have any desire to be able to handle yourself in a real situation, you'll do exactly that. Doesn't mean sparring needs to result in constant knockdowns but some force is important. Doesn't do you any good to have people not really hit you either.
_________________________
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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#432064 - 04/13/11 05:26 AM Re: Control [Re: Stormdragon]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
Being that I'm new to the martial arts, I haven't done any full contact sparring as of yet. They had me participate in sparring where we go for openings using our techniques.
The hitting that I've done thus far has been done using bags and focus mitts.
Our school wants you to have at least 6 months of training under your belt before they consider letting you do full contact sparring.
_________________________
Insert profound martial arts quotes or tough guy phrases here.

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#432076 - 04/13/11 03:01 PM Re: Control [Re: choonbee]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
That sounds about right. Starting out it just turns into a brawl otherwise.
_________________________
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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#432083 - 04/13/11 08:54 PM Re: Control [Re: Stormdragon]
Mark Jordan Offline
Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 138
Loc: Burbank, California
Control is something that improves with experience and time. Of course your control is better than lower ranking students, as it should be. Other students can't help it if they don't have the same level of control as you do. They don't have your level of experience.

Seniority brings with it more responsibility. You must have patience and understanding that each time you workout with a lower ranking student, you are taking a risk. Know that they will make mistakes, and don't let it bother you. Be willing to take a little extra punishment so that the student can learn. This is what it takes to be a leader. Just keep reminding them to work on their control. It will eventually get through.

Apparently, your instructor is looking for that patience in you. He wants to see how you react to these types of situations. A good instructor will always be much harder on the higher ranking students, because much more is expected of them. He wants to see if you have what it takes to be an instructor. Show him you are a leader. Lead by example.

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#432146 - 04/20/11 02:56 PM Re: Control [Re: Mark Jordan]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Good answer, Mark. I'd like to add another POV.

Sometimes, newer students are trying to impress each other & their seniors. So rather than displaying more sophisticated combinations & better footwork or timing (which they are incapable of performing), they resort to more force which equals less control.

In situations where a nooby seeks to build his reputation on your body & and hasn't gotten the message to "dial it down", my solution is to use your skills to deliver substantial (but not carelessly strong) well-timed counters to to areas that will not inflict injury. Upper chest, Upper Back & Thigh (if your style allows) are good targets.

Remember, noobs see an opponent as 1 big target, but the experienced MA-ist sees the same opponent as a collection of several potential targets.
_________________________
Ed Ichihara Smith - Shukokai

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#432153 - 04/20/11 11:32 PM Re: Control [Re: Brusashi]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Use SMALLER words...

S-T-O-P
That HURTS
Too hard
Not the drill we are doing
Not the purpose


You need MORE effective/direct words. The purpose of training is not to hurt YOU, or HIM, or THEM. It can happen but should not be meaningful/genuine

You CAN decline to work with them, politely bow and say Im sorry I am afraid I/you/we will get hurt if we work together tonight.

Would it be ok, if we talked about this some more <wg>??? You have some time after class? Can we connect for lunch someplace perhaps?

Radical approach for some, but we have lips, they should be used if helpful.
Jeff

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#432181 - 04/25/11 10:26 AM Re: Control [Re: Brusashi]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 223
Loc: Missouri
In our class the higher rank does push ups if his or her control is lacking. If the lower rank starts "taking shots" at his or her Upper rank our sensei will stop it and remind the lower rank that we need to have mutual respect in our class. It doesn't take too long for the offending student to come around. This is easy in our class because we have a tight group of people who have been together for awhile. That being said it doesn't take too long for a new student to see the light on the matter.

keep training, Mark

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#432185 - 04/25/11 05:08 PM Re: Control [Re: gojuman59]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
I was sparring with a red belt the other night, (I'm a white belt), and I got popped in the face.
Not hard, but I still felt it pretty good.
He apologized, and everything was cool, but it taught me a good lesson. Keep your hands up, and be ready to defend or evade even when you're throwing a punch.
I was pretty focused after that, and he didn't get me again.
_________________________
Insert profound martial arts quotes or tough guy phrases here.

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#432190 - 04/26/11 10:53 AM Re: Control [Re: choonbee]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 223
Loc: Missouri
I guess I'm lucky that my class is fairly small. When we spar everybody pretty much knows each other. Nobody would hit too hard because we are friends. That's not to say that we don't get after it sometimes.
There are a few people in class who like to push it in sparring, but nothing gets out of hand.
In my former M.A. career this wasn't always the case. There were times when my anger got me in trouble while sparring. Usually this came up when ego got in the way. That being said, it's much better now. Now as a middle aged martial artist I am not burdened by the hot temper that came into play sometimes when sparring as a younger man.
Anger should never enter the picture in the dojo. I found that when I got hit hard and reacted to the hit I usually lost my technique and started getting sloppy. It took me a long time to mine out that golden nugget.
When I matured as a martial artist and tried to remain calm I found that I had better technique.
It really is true that the mental game is more important than the physical one. It's not just fighting. We hold ourselves to a higher standard than that.

keep on training, Mark

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#432193 - 04/26/11 04:52 PM Re: Control [Re: gojuman59]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
I agree.
The guy who hit me accidentally is actually one of two guys in class, besides my instructors, who have helped me the most thus far, and has been a good friend to me. We've sparred against each other before with no problems, and we were paired up again last night to practice some ground work.
I did feel a twinge of anger at first, and had to work past it, but it was a good learning experience for me. My technique was jumbled up for a short bit until I calmed down.
_________________________
Insert profound martial arts quotes or tough guy phrases here.

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#432236 - 04/30/11 11:37 PM Re: Control [Re: Brusashi]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Brusashi

Fileboy202 is quite right. Talk to your teacher, directly... And ASK your partner "...I want to go harder, is that ok with you?..." <wg>

Won't hurt... (until it does)
Jeff

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#432444 - 05/22/11 12:38 AM Re: Control [Re: Ronin1966]
Razma Offline
Member

Registered: 05/19/11
Posts: 36
I think there's a need for some power. We rarely spar at my dojo and when we do it's no contact. I get lazy because of this. I get tagged but nothing is behind it. And the higher belt stops his attack just short of my face. He says it's control but I always feel like it would've never hit me. For them it's control but I always feel like they missed.

I don't show up to class to leave with a broken nose or all bloody and I know no one else does either, but there should be some feeling behind an attack.

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#432445 - 05/22/11 07:40 AM Re: Control [Re: Razma]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
There's this one guy in my school who I seem to get paired up with quite often who has very little control.
Every time I work with him, he always catches me numerous times with some kind of strike or kick.
The problem is that he tries to go too hard, and tenses up when executing a technique. Not a good combination.
I spoke to the owner about it, and he agreed, since he's seen this guy in action. He spoke with him about it, but I don't think it sunk into his brain.
The other night I was paired up with him again, and sure enough, he caught me numerous times. I glanced at the owner, who was teaching the class, and he gave me a half-smile.
Right after that, we worked a technique, and I caught him on the chin with an elbow strike. Accidentally on purpose. Not a crusher, but enough to get his undivided attention. Nothing was said by anyone as he bent over rubbing his chin, then we resumed our training, and I wasn't tagged by this guy for the rest of the class.


Edited by choonbee (05/22/11 07:41 AM)
_________________________
Insert profound martial arts quotes or tough guy phrases here.

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#432446 - 05/22/11 07:48 AM Re: Control [Re: Razma]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 223
Loc: Missouri
I agree. There has to be some power in the techniques. If not you could pull your punch at the worst possible time. Just imagine how bad it would be to need a power strike in a S.D. situation and it comes out as a "Tap..Tap."
It's hard to train for the contact. At least it is for me. At this point in my life I'm not real keen on banging away like I used to in my youth. I don't mind some contact, but I try to keep the welts and bruises down to a minimal.

keep training, Mark

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#432447 - 05/22/11 07:55 AM Re: Control [Re: choonbee]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 223
Loc: Missouri
Exellent!! Sometimes all that is needed is an "attitude adjustment" upside the head. It's amazing how a bonk on the brain bucket can make one see the error in their ways!!

Keep training, Mark

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#432448 - 05/22/11 08:10 AM Re: Control [Re: gojuman59]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
Hopefully it helped.
The thing is, he's aware of it, and earlier in the evening he remarked that I must hate him because of it.
That elbow strike was the first time that I've caught him, and I'm quite sure that he knew why I did it.
We'll see if it worked the next time I train with him.
_________________________
Insert profound martial arts quotes or tough guy phrases here.

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#432534 - 05/29/11 08:17 AM Re: Control [Re: choonbee]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
We have a girl at our school who seems to want to beat people up when she spars. She's a big girl, in her late teens, and pretty strong too.
They had her spar with me a few times the other night, and I practiced defending against her advances. She was frustrated because she couldn't get a strike on me, and I was able to stop her kicks before they started.
She didn't want to spar with me anymore, so they put her with some others, and she was genuinely trying to hit the other students who sparred with her.
Our instructors have talked with her about her agressiveness before, but it didn't sink in. Other students, and parents of the younger students have complained to the school about her. She trained at another school for a year, which is about 8 miles from ours, and says that she came to ours because she moved. I question that because I feel that is a pretty short distance to justify changing schools because of location, and I'm wondering if she changed because she had the same problem at her former school, and if she was asked to leave that school because she hurt someone.
Personally, I would call her former school and ask the owner if they had problems with her, but it's not my decision to make.
I'm curious to see how our school will handle the situation.
_________________________
Insert profound martial arts quotes or tough guy phrases here.

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#432537 - 05/29/11 12:59 PM Re: Control [Re: choonbee]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 223
Loc: Missouri
Can you say bully?!! This sounds like there are some self esteem issues here. It really is a scary thing when one uses sparring as their outlet for pent up aggression. I would be willing to bet that this gal has a low self worth.


keep training, Mark

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#432540 - 05/29/11 04:18 PM Re: Control [Re: gojuman59]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
You're probably right, Mark. That's usually the case.
My concerns are that someone is going to get hurt, or she'll get hurt when she hits on someone more skilled than herself who is having a bad day, and decides to unload on her.
Thankfully, most of the students in our school who are good at sparring are also level-headed, but you can only count on that type of tolerance for so long, you know?
_________________________
Insert profound martial arts quotes or tough guy phrases here.

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#432541 - 05/29/11 05:26 PM Re: Control [Re: gojuman59]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Mark:

Hummmmmngh... what's the difference between this "attidude adjustment" you speak of and it becoming something much worse?

Jeff

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#432557 - 05/30/11 11:12 AM Re: Control [Re: Ronin1966]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 223
Loc: Missouri
I see your point Ronin. I guess it's a fine line between correction and overkill. That said I still feel that there are times when "getting what your giving" is the order of the day. It will usually make a bully see their mistakes. The toughest thing is not letting anger get involved.

keep training, mark

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