Yes, at coloered belt levels, and with increasing intensities as we advance. When I started, padding was available but discouraged. I used them but frankly it was a crutch.
My last school went into heavy contact. You knew when you were hit. I was lifted off the floor with a strike at least once in every sparring session. The shock of that kind of blow altered my training from the fundamentals on.
What Ive learned and incorporated is to have my combinations aimed with a follow-up using each recoil of a strike. For practice, I use a heavy bag, hung so its center of gravity mimics mine. When I strike, the bag rotates around that center of G, and this recoil dictates where and when my next strike is aimed.
Body armor was what gave me freedom to learn this without broken bones. Waiting and losing three months training while waiting for a rib to knit, and then building back to make up for lost time hindered training. This is also when I overcame my fear of hits and where I learned the proper use of armor. This is a great improvement over the old days.
Edited by skeeterzirra (08/04/06 11:05 PM)