1/20/2006 12:03pm, #1
Progressive Sparring for Beginners
Sparring, hitting, boxing, etc... are all pretty instinctual for most guys that were raised with brothers, and few men that begin martial arts have an issue with sparring. If anything, most guys spar with too much power and enthusiasm when they're just starting out, and over time they learn to vary the speed and intensity.
However, what methods do you guys suggest for a new, adult, female student that has issues with face contact?
My fiance came from a rather sheltered family, she is in her first month of martial arts. So far she loves the forms, the work out, and the instructors...but the school spars full-contact and each class she's ready to cry and quit. While the instructors do not full-out blast her and put her on her ass, they continually "spar tease" her and pop off shots to her head and face. She hasn't really had enough training to know what to do, and her sparring sessions end up looking like a flailing match as she falls into "survival mode".
Now, I know that many of you are thinking, "What a baby! Get over it and keep training!"...but how many of us can relate to an academic, small statured and passive woman that has NEVER had to deal with aggressive face contact from bigger, more experienced men?
Anyway, my question is this: What methods have/do you guys use to help beginning, passive, female students cope with full-contact sparring? What experiences do you have with such students, and what methods work? We're talking baby steps here for a woman that barely knows how to throw a proper punch or kick.
She doesn't want to be a professional fighter, so "Throwing her to the flames and forcing her to survive" isn't really fair...but enrolling her in non-contact cardio kickboxing defeats the purpose.
1/20/2006 12:11pm, #2
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
[quote]We're talking baby steps here for a woman that barely knows how to throw a proper punch or kick.[/qoute]
Learn to punch and kick, learning to fight without fighting is stupid...
second, your fiance should be happy that any dojo that does forms has full contact sparing.
1/20/2006 12:16pm, #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
just have her sit out on sparring for a while and spar with her yourself when you get home......just take it easy and slow until she gets better and then turn it up a notch and when she does good there she will be confident andcapable of sparring in class
1/20/2006 12:18pm, #4
You've already hit the salient points:
Try playing dodgeball with her. It's what I do with kids who are face-shy. Use a beachball and wing it at her head. It won't hurt her, but the the speed of the ball will help her work on her flincing, etc.And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".
--Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.
1/20/2006 12:18pm, #5
My two cents:
I'd suggest her instructors to allow her to try to ktfo of them, being striked full contact, eating some solid strikes (if you can call "solid" her strikes) from her while only defending and "point sparring" (increasing power progressively) her.
This way she can notice how striking full contact is not "deadly by default" and start to lose/control her fear of being striked and concentrate more on technique because her fear doesn't drive her in "survival mode".
1/20/2006 12:19pm, #6
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
Maybe get her some training headgear, so she can warm up to taking shots to the head?
1/20/2006 12:22pm, #7
Baby steps. It's going to be a long process and you're going to have to be very patient. If I were you, I'd select a counter-punching sequence and drill the hell out of it for weeks. She obviously doesn't have the context to know what to do in a fight, but if you give her one piece of recognizable territory, that will help a lot.
The reason I suggest counter-punching is so that she can really place her focus on hitting back with power, instead of just not getting hit. If she can't learn to enjoy slugging someone in the ribs/kidney . . . well, there's always cardio-kickboxing.
1/20/2006 12:26pm, #8
1/20/2006 12:49pm, #9
Thanks for the quick replies, folks. ****, its only been an hour or so!
ElbowTKO: Yeah, I personally like the school. To make it even more surprising...ITS KUNG FU! ::GASPSHITSPITCHOKEDIE::
GummyKing: I was thinking of that too...but I don't want her to look stupid in class. It might fall to that..."Allow her to sit out during sparring or I'll enroll her elsewhere"
Scrapper: Thanks for the advice. I'll have to give that one a shot. Any others that you've found useful with girls/women?
Filtersweep: No one in the school uses headgear or chestgear...which has its ups and downs. While its more realistic and comfortable, headgear really gives a feeling of security for beginners. If I practiced with her and had her wear headgear, then during class she'd feel out of place.
Repulsive Monkey: I like that. It might be a bit advanced for her, though. Do you have any suggestions?
DCS: I'm going to talk to her instructors today or tomorrow and explain that she has "Contact/Abuse Issues". I figure that if they blow me off or give me/her a hard time, then she really doesn't belong at such an impatient school. I'll explain that she wants to either sit out until I can work with her more, or they need to really watch the contact with her until she's a little more experienced. As is, she ain't learning **** from sparring...except that her instructors look like they're showing off.
She's in martial arts because I'm pressuring her (Women need self-defense training whether they want it or not. I also take her target shooting, and we're getting her a personal sidearm in a few months), and because she's always wanted to but lacked the opportunity. She's extremely flexible from yoga/dance, and she looks great and learns the stances/strikes/forms very fast...its the sparring/contact angle that is so difficult for her.
Thanks for the advice, and please keep it coming!
1/20/2006 1:06pm, #10
Pillow fight. Give her the half filled feather pillow and you take the one that's spongy foam.
It may not help her in class, but at least it'll be entertaining for the both of you.