Looking for tips on improving various sparring mechanics
Hey Bullshido, so for quite a while now (at least a year now; I've been sparring longer, but these issues have only been brought up within in the past year or so) , I've been noticing, along with my partners, that I have issues of various sparring mechanics.
I have trouble keeping a good ongaurd stance, keeping my midsection safe, and defending against straight on punches (like straight to the face or body, as appose to a more angled strike).
Are there drills I can do to improve these aspects?
I tend to square off too much, being too forward as appose to sideways, and I seem to really only do good blocking my sides from the likes of hooks and whatnot.
I wish I had some current vids of me sparring, but I don't.
If you need some background info on me, I've been doing Kenpo Karate for a little over 3 years now. I've also been doing MMA training on and off for probably 1.5 years.
Hard to give advice without more info.
At first blush, my inclination is for you to drill on distance management and feinting. Thrusting and piercing attacks are excellent counters to someone just barging into the engagement zone. They are also generally quicker than arc attacks (straight line is shortest distance).
It's very difficult to block a thrusting/piercing attack, but they are susceptible to parrying and dodging (sidestep). Have your trainer feed you straight crosses and punch kicks/back kicks and practice deflecting or sidestepping them.
I think your kempo and your MMA may be at odds with each other here. Kempo will tend to teach you to stand sideways and protect your body, while MMA will tend to focus more on standing square and protecting the head. I'm kinda guessing this is kempo sparring you're talking about since you're implying that you should be more sideways.
Originally Posted by NO ONE
Yeah, I can agree with that. When I'm sparring at karate, it's the body shots that I tend to eat more, while sparring at MMA I receive more head shots. There are obviously conflicts between the styles of sparring.
I'll try not to leave the questions too broad, so I guess what I'm looking for are some tips on improving my karate stance and protecting my midsection better basically.
I have a feeling, though, that I'm going to get answers like "Just stand the right damn way" and " Don't keep your body open duh". I could be wrong though. Surprise me Bullshido.
I'd say you should probably get good at stonewalling- using your elbow area as the blocking surface while keeping the hands in the upright position. This is accomplished with short torso adjustments and possibly footwork adjustments, not swinging the arm like you would for karate-style blocks. With your hands in a boxing guard, with the elbows pointed down, you should be able to defend your body at least as effectively as using down blocks and such. You might say "well, aren't you taking force on force? A down block works as a parry and doesn't take any impact", but that would only be true if they were only straight punches. Another cool thing is to go right from a stonewall block to a high punch with the same arm, immediately after contact. Since they're going for a bodyshot, you may often find an opening in this way since their hand may not be ripped up to a proper guard in time. If you can stop them in their tracks or throw off their momentum, you'll probably take less body shots.
Kempo teaches a style of guard that I really don't like, where the front hand is held high and extended, and the back hand is held horizontally across the torso (in a modified heel/toe horse stance). In theory, you can better protect your torso with your hand like this, but the defensive options you have are actually pretty weak, and I get uncomfortable in a fighting stance if my back hand isn't near my chin.
I guess ask someone to spar with you, emphasis on your blocks, and ask him to mainly strike the blows you are having trouble with. If you strike back either only after you blocked with an albow or whatever a body shot, or if it is a counter to a body shot. Now, you should remember that you asked the guy to throw more body shots so don't make him pay for it because you know what he is going to do. choose one strike that you feel comfortable with after blocking a body shot, and drill the same one, over and over even if he knows it is coming and you hardly hit.
Here the master shows you what Permalost suggested, block low and come with the same hand.
Great tips. I was thinking to work slips n sweeps and parries, and just stonewall the body shots. Then again i keep a boxing guard. I'm a huge advocate of looking for the counter as well. Never thought of stonewall then throw with the same side. Thanks for that Permalost.
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO