Sparring in CMA
I was just wondering, all of you who do CMA, how do you spar?
In my old kwoon, Mondays and Wednesdays were for forms and conditioning, days on which the actual Eagle Claw curriculum was taught.
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays were for actual fight training. On these days, we did intense cardio and conditioning, bagwork, and sparred full-contact. On Saturdays, we used Muay Thai rules, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sanshou rules, complete with clinch work. I used to spar with them, and they were really good with their technique, as well as having their punches and kicks hard and fast.
I'm really fond of my sifu. He used to basically tell everyone to "keep their bloody guard up if they don't want to get their jaw broken in a fight", and "you need to move around and be more alive" when sparring. He also used to tell us not to be afraid of the clinch if we were getting destroyed by a torrent of punches. We should get in and try to take the opponent down in the clinch.
He didn't mind anyone crosstraining either, and I remember him enjoying MMA fights in his room, at the back of the kwoon. But he would also really appreciate it when a student showed him clips of demos.
Sounds like you found the ever elusive progressive Kung Fu school.
What Eagle Claw lineage?
I spar, but I suck.....
It's Ying Jow Pai Eagle Claw. And on the first time I sparred, I got punched in the face so many times it was sad. And that was against someone my age, not the older guys.
As for being a progressive Kung Fu school, the guys in the fight team do very well in full-contact Sanshou and Muay Thai competitions and they look very tough, there are no fat blokes trying to do 360 Chi kicks. Cardio and conditioning is ridiculously intensive, even on the regular Eagle Claw classes. On those, we do 50 minutes of hard conditioning work before we even do a single form. On fighting classes, we do ab work until we nearly vomit, jump rope until our legs are about to fall off, then either do bagwork or spar.
There are no fees for grading, and he's very strict with that. Some guy was stuck on the yellow sash (first after white in the system) because he made slight mistakes during the grading exam. There are no contracts either, it's pay to train. And no kids train at his place, none at all.
I really want to return next year, as it seems he has the real Kung Fu. Granted, the uninformed may be a tad disappointed we don't do t3h d34d1y when it's time to fight, but there has to be a "martial" part to the "art".
Last edited by CX1329; 7/27/2007 9:40pm at .
I did Eagle Claw for 8 years or so. As a system I don't look highly upon it but I did most of my sparring from that system. The sparring helped me develope later and it was pretty intense. Yes, I was being sarcastic about that I suck at sparring comment. A lot of my basic kicks came from the Eagle Claw system. I'm familiar with the Ying Jow Pai, some of my friends practiced it and they seemed decent although it was mired down with politics in the late 80's early 90's. My system of Kung-fu is a more free flowing to adapt to any style. I have my guys do kickboxing, muay thai, mma, hell I'll have them do sumo, jujitsu and wing chun if I thought it would help.
Originally Posted by CX1329
My sifu doesn't mind us crosstraining, he even talks about other martial arts sometimes. But with age and a couple of health problems, he can't study and bring other martial arts to his students himself. His Kung Fu is completely honest and devoid of politics, he doesn't need to fight for any power, he's settled down and is content with his life. The most he does today is refereeing forms and fighting competitions.
We learn the Eagle Claw system so we have a strong foundation for the actual fighting, because then we have a much easier time learning all aspects of fighting, including the clutch. However, we do both at the same time, so it doesn't turn into bullshido. What we learn on Monday, we try to obtain something from that on Tuesday. Even if it's some kind of lock that may seem like t3h d34d1y, maybe it could contribute to something during the clutch, even if it ends up looking nothing like what was originally taught. It's the aliveness and resistance that counts.
We put things like gloves on and wear cups and mouthguards. Then we fight. Sometimes less equipment, sometimes more. Sometimes all out, sometimes less depending on the goal of the session. Sometimes with jackets to facillitate grappling, sometimes not. Sometimes just our group, sometimes with others from different styles. You know, we just spar :icon_wink
Originally Posted by CX1329
Sometimes we wear full gear and go hard contact to the body and legs, sometimes sanshou rules with boxing gloves and headgear, also moving step push hands (throws and ringouts) and ssubmission grappling either from standing or from the knees.
Sparring is new in my Wing Chun school, the lack of it was the reason why I left for a while. Glad it has now been introduced because a martial arts class without sparring tends to lead to the longer term students behaving like assholes IMO, because they are never actually pressure testing so it becomes more like a clique/social club. Not sure if all them like it :D two of the senior students have some good skillz and frequently beat me up, but a couple of the other senior students (who are also the ones with the biggest heads) turn out to be not that good when it comes to some hard contact level sparring, which is quite satisfying really.
Contact level is full for the body, light for the head (I think head gear should be introduced as this is a concern for most of the people in the class), kicks are light.. though over time I think kicks and strikes to head will become more contacted, at the moment the instructer seems to be getting the class used to the idea of hard sparring as he probably thinks some of them have fragile ego's or something.
In the good ol days (early 80's) we would go as hard as we wanted, no
Originally Posted by CX1329
pads or other protection, and most of us were already established street
fighters. We often would go for coffee afterwards with the sifu, and the
restaurant people would wonder about all the bruises, black eyes, and
bloody noses. . .which we wore with pride.
At least you know your friends had your back in a fight!
Lately at my old class, they do a lot of tippy-tap & pat crap that doesn't
look like it will translate into anything but disappointment, 'in the street.'
Yet, they look like they think they are soooo fast & d34d1y. . .sheesh!
(yeah, I go back every few months or so and keep em in line - it makes the sifu laugh, and I feel better for him!)