Sparring at the tournaments
We are happy to see our students grow and get better in their Self Defense training. A lot of it includes hand strikes, blocks, kicks and take downs, but in order to truly understand Martial Arts, you have to spar with another person. Sparring is the practice of using your maneuvers, and hand strikes/blocks and simulate an attack to another person, the sparring partner. Sparring also teaches you how to defend yourself as it gives you a sample scenario of how a self defense situation may come about.
Our kids learn how to spar with other people at a young age, but we do not start too soon either. As a white belt, you will be shown the positions and the different strikes you can use, however, you will not be sparring yet. As a yellow belt, you will learn about how sparring goes, what it looks like, and how you are supposed to attack and defend.
Later, you will be required to start sparring with an assistant or a high rank in order to get a good feeling for the system. Neither the assistant nor the high ranking students are allowed to hit back, this is done to give you, the student, a feel for sparring, and to build confidence within you. A confident student will want to learn more, than a non-confident student; and believe it or not, courage is a learned skill.
How do you start?
The next step is to actually have you spar with another person your size and rank. This begins with a drill called “3 step sparring”. In this drill you will attack your opponent three times, as they go out of the way and block you, which teaches both people about distances. Then the opponent will spar back towards you, and you can do the same, back out and defend. The repetition of this drill gives you confidence that you will not be injured while sparring.
In many years in the Martial Arts, I have seen very few people that get injured while they are sparring. In fact, I have seen many more cases of injury in other sports and after school activities than we do in class. One of the reasons for that is we practice sparring in a controlled environment, with Professional Instructors, that teach the students step by step how to strike, but most importantly, how to defend themselves against a strike.
Sparring at Tournaments
During our tournaments, we invite the students to spar and perform forms. Sparring is done is a safe way with safety equipment to avoid injuries. Sparring is also done in levels, and with points. As a beginner a light strike or an unblocked strike can get you a point, whereas the higher rank you are the closer your strikes have to be to qualify for points. Tournaments are great ways to develop our training, as we now a a change to battle with another Martial Artist who will not be trying to hurt you, but someone new, not from your studio.
Over the years, you will see many similar people go to the tournaments and advance with you through the ranks. We have seen students find friendship with students of other schools, as well as healthy rivalries and good competition for trophies.
Sparring is ultimately, the way we learn to make our Martial Arts better. As professional Martial Artists, we understand there will be students who are scared to try as they do not know what to expect. We teach in a very simple, clean, controlled environment, giving you the best chance to learn without getting injured. To learn more about sparring, or to maybe take a free class, click here to reserve your spot and try a free session with one of our qualified instructors. Ages 3-93 years are welcome, and your first lesson will be scheduled around you.