I just finished watching the MMA vs Kung Fu video in the download section. First off, I really find it hard to believe that this middle-aged pastey-white Kung Fu instructor challenged the young, muscular MMA guy who has 30 or 40 pounds on him and is stacked like an NCAA heavyweight wrestler. It looks like Mark Kerr vs David Carradine or something. If I had no experience with the kind of ego you find in some kwoons (or dojos) then I would think this was some kind of a fake video.
The first few seconds of this video illustrate just what I meant about point sparring building bad habbits that are counter-productive for fighters.
Reviewing:: Point sparring encourages you to rely on the side guard stance which hides the legal target area on the front of your torso. The side guard isn't practical in a real fight because it leaves your back open, makes evading a shoot difficult (your feet are at 90 degree angle to your opponant so its hard to step back quickly or sprawl) and hinders you from using your rear attacks without telegraphing them. Point sparring participants also learn to stand in a high stance since low targets aren't legal. People fight like they train. Point sparring habbits will follow you into a real fight.
* Even though the Kung Fu man approaches in a front guard stance, (if you want to call it that) when he goes to throw his opening kick it is a round kick shot from a side guard position. The Kung Fu man takes a big step in with his base leg (telegraphing the kick nearly a second in advance) and pivots so much during his kick that his hip is facing the opponant before the kick flys. In effect, he used a side guard kick even though he approached facing his opponant.
This big STEP AND PIVOT is exactly what I meant by the side guard making it hard for you to use your rear leg attack effectively. This Kung Fu man had no idea how to throw a round kick from a front guard at all. Even while facing his opponant his footwork was all side guard stuff. The pivot was extended. The big step for a rear leg attack. The hip shooting in ahead of the kick. The high shoulders. It was a kick from the side guard and not a front guard kick at all.
In contrast, look at the MMA grappler's counter-attack round kick. It looks a lot like a Muay Thai kick. When it lands, the grappler is still facing his opponant. His shoulders are low and crouched. His knee on his base leg is bent. His legs are under him - he isn't pushing off of that base leg and extending himself. He uses the pivot for position but the kick is whipped out from the hip and not pivot generated. This is Muay Thai.
The grappler easily steps in and advances after his kick while the Kung Fu man can't retreat in time or sprawl because his foot is planted sideways. The Kung Fu man's weight is high and ahead of his leg so all he can do is fall back instead.
This flaw in his technique wasn't from him necessarily using the side guard to approach in this fight - but from training in throwing kicks from the side guard. As soon as he went to kick he changed from the front guard to the side guard. I doubt he had any idea he even did it.
Small details like this may seem unimportant - those two kicks on the video may look almost exactly the same to most observers - to me they look nearly opposite from eachother. Muay Thai round kicks are completely the opposite of the round kick you use in point sparring from the side guard. The pivot, the stance and the center of gravity as not the same at all.
Watch the "McBeatdown" download and look for Frank Shamrock in the blue shorts. That is how to kick from the front guard. Just like that.
I finally downloaded the thing and from what you can see of the phisical conditioning of both the KF guy's technique would have had to be 50 times better than the MMA guy just to bridge the physical gap!! + his tech was sh!t too, so .... :( If these are the guys rapresenting my beloved chinese MAs I'll either go hide in shame or enter the UFC myself.
you should take your analysis of point sparring and submit them as articles.