Sparring and Fighting Experience
Learn the theory behind sparring / fight simulation, and how to attain fighting experience...
The military world, like sparring or fight simulation has two main methods of training and preparing for a soldier –
1. First of all we understand and define the skills and qualities we want him to posses – Mental, Physical, Technical…,
After he acquires a certain level, we send him to attain his experience and polish his skills and qualities in battle.
This kind of preparation holds a certain advantage and a certain disadvantage –
The clear advantage is that we know that our final “product” functions - The soldier is prepared, and will likely “function” the next time we need him.
The clear disadvantage is that we don’t know if there will be a next time - The soldier during his training period, (experience being one of the stages) can be injured or killed.
2. Like the previous method – First we must understand which skills and qualities we want our soldier to posses – Mental Physical and Technical.
After he acquires those skills to a certain extent – and he reaches his experience training stage - we don’t send him to battle, but rather we try to simulate, the best we can, the battle he will likely encounter.
This method also holds an advantage and a disadvantage –
The disadvantage is that we don’t know for certain if our soldier will be ready for battle when he will be needed, but the advantage is that we know that if needed he will be healthy and alive.
* Of course like in a fight - same in battle – there is no battle which is the same as the other – So success in one doesn’t guarantee success in another.
The two methods in the fight world
The fighting world is similar to the combat and military world – in it we can also train ourselves in close to real or real situations with the advantages and disadvantages being the same as we discussed above.
Sparring – Fight Simulation
This is an invaluable tool, for any fighter’s creation. It is a fight simulator which provides an improvement method and allows development in all aspects of the martial art – Mental ,Physical, Technical while providing the experience dimension which is so vital to any fighter.
This tool can be used in a number of fashions:
1.The simulation can be used as a means to identify quality and skills which need refining, and a test which provides a list of mistakes which need fixing – Conditioning; Punching power, Turning of the head, Timing, Over Emotion… To go over a check list full of important qualities…
The development doesn’t end at the end of the session – It really only begins - The improvement will be obtained in the training and drills which follow.
We must remember that most of the elements are very hard to fix and eradicate during the session itself.
It is vital that in a sparring session we clear our mind from all thoughts and emotions; As this will be the closest we will be to a fighting situation without actually being in one…
No focusing on hip work; No focusing on kicking correctly; No thinking if he will jab we will do this…
We only focus on winning – within the boundaries of rules and limitation we set before hand.
We check our auto pilot – And we finally see what our hard work in the fighting sense has achieved!
An out side observer is irreplaceable, because he is the one which needs to observe and point out the mistakes after the session.
2. After we understand the elements and skills we want to develop we can use the fight simulation as fertile grounds to improve (a.k.a. – “working against a partner” stage).
To learn about the stages…
If we have a problem with our defense techniques – we practice them in the simulation; If we have a problem of over committing to a strike – we train it in the session; If we have a problem countering we try to always counter in the upcoming sessions.
By conception and definition these sparring sessions are different from the first because here we are supposed to think and concentrate on "what it is we want to improve".
The simulations may have different levels and different purposes, but they do have one mutual concept –
They simulates - What happens when we try to “hurt” another person and he not only doesn’t want to get “hurt” but also tries to “hurt” us!!
A few tips for a good sparring session:
• An out side observer, for gathering mistakes and elements needing correction. He also can calm things down if they heat up.
• It is important to set the rules and limitations before hand, especially in the first kind of sparring we talked about – decide on - Power of striking; with kicking or without; with throws or without…
We must remember that the more rules we put in the further we are from the real situation – For instance professional boxers which train with head gear; mma fighters which train without elbow striking; street fighters practicing with out groin attacks…
On the other hand the sparring session is not the fight it self, therefore it makes little sense to injure ourselves during it.
It is clear that sparring / fight simulation can not simulate the fight exactly, the adrenaline might be different and so might the amount of opponents and so on…
On the other hand this can be the difference between one real fight to the other.
Sparring/fighting simulation, experience, skill and quality improvement, development and perfection, walk hand in hand.
Using sparring as a tool for improvement is irreplaceable in any martial art and for any kind of fighter.
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