I figured this forum would work... if it's not the right spot, then a mod can find it a better home.

Last night, after receiving a response to this thread: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=56295, I went to a new class. They teach "American Tactical Jujitsu". From what I learned last night, it's basically mixed martial arts; i.e. they cover all aspects of fighting, from stand-up, trapping, throws, locks, grappling, submission.

When I arrived at the school, the 'young adult' class was taking place, and I was glad to see the class was sparring. Watching them for the next 20 minutes or so, I learned that they all were very, very new to sparring. Either that, or they all just sucked.

They were not point sparring, per se, but they level on intensity was very, very low. My hopes started to go down.

When the class finished, I went up and introduced myself to the head instructor, Sheriff/Sensei Nash. He is a great guy and I immediately liked what he began to say about their training.

No katas, went over all ranges of combat, strayed away from sport.

However, he said that it had only been within the past month that they had integrated sparring.

This was a little surprising to me, as I would think that a combat, or tactical oriented focus would have to include sparring.

Anyway, I explained to him that I was a BB, and had a lot of experience at sparring. I was taught point sparring as a young, or new practioner, and the more advanced, or more experienced I got, the less padding and more contact was allowed. The 'point' was taken out of our sparring, and it became what this site refers to as 'real' sparring.

So he was excited to have me. Talking with his more senior student, which was a brown belt, probably in his 40s, and in very good shape, they were still very concerned with how to incorporate sparring while avoiding injury.

So for the next 2 hours or so, I trained with this class. We did the standard warm-ups, then moved into sparring. I started with the brown belt and went through about 4 of the senior students.

I could see that all were very hesitant and very naive with sparring. The student that showed the most intensity was a blue belt that was also taking MT for the past year.

The class ended with some good'ol self-defense, which was very practical.

Afterwards I spoke with the head instructor again and we talked for quite some time. At one time he asked if I would like to teach a class some time, showing some things about my style. He also asked about giving advice/pointers on sparring.

This is where you all come in.

I see the potential in this class, with the focus on tactical defense and with the new incorporation with sparring. However I see problems, or concerns in getting the students, some of which have trained for many years, in overcoming all the fears of sparring, especially at the intensity and power that is needed for good training.

I am asking your suggestions and advice on how I should go about this. Obviously I need to sit down with the head instructor and talk to him about this, and see if he is even willing to 'kick it up a notch' in their sparring, which it sounds like he will.

I already know I need to teach some very basic and fundamental things about sparring. In perusing these forums, I wrote down some things I want to share with them:

Sparring is not about winning; itís about learning how to put your techniques into a semi-real scenario.

No matter the rank, youíre intention should be to learn, and to teach. Even the amateur opponent can see something you canít.


Please advise!