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  1. selfcritical is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/07/2009 1:40pm


     Style: Pekiti, ARMA, other stuff

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Hand Targets only sparring: Threat or Menace?

    So this drill I've seen very widely practiced, in pretty much every sparring group i've been to. A lot of people seem to think that having it as the introduction to sparring is a good foundation, because it reinforces an essential skill (defanging the snake), is relatively safe, and lets the student focus on a single, well-defined goal.

    My problems

    1) People hand sparring increasingly look like playing tag, and abbreviate their movements in a way that tends to undermine body mechanics.
    2) It makes you a hand-hunter. Much like head-hunters in boxing, I find them ridiculously easy to counter. If I always know what your target is, it's very difficult for you to out-think me.
    3) You're praticing the hand-shots against a different energy than you would in a fight, where I would usually expect the hand shot to come most readily when countering a headshot. I'm not convinced you'll actually be all that great at hitting the hands come full sparring.
    4) It seems silly to work full resistance on a counter-hit before working resistance on the initial attack.
  2. cyrijl is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/07/2009 3:19pm

    supporting member
     Style: BJJ, MT, Yoga

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Is there a vid for a clearer example of what you are talking about? I have an idea.
    There is no cheating, there is only jiu-jitsu.
  3. Ryno is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/07/2009 3:54pm


     Style: FMA, Jujutsu/Judo/SAMBO

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It's OK to do now and then. But as you note, it can end up as a silly game of hand tag. I find it more interesting to allow one player head-only attacks, the other, hands-only. This tends to be much more interesting, as the headhunter has to aggressively close, while the hand-hitting counterer really needs to work on being evasive so as not to get bowled over, while targeting hands on legitimate attacks.

    Defanging the snake is fine and dandy for what it is. But people are not snakes. They have more than teeth for weapons. If the opportunity presents itself, it is always better to just knock or cut the "snake"'s head off.
  4. selfcritical is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/07/2009 3:55pm


     Style: Pekiti, ARMA, other stuff

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'll take a look- essentially it's an intro sparring drill where the only valid target is the opponents weapon hand.
  5. selfcritical is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/07/2009 4:08pm


     Style: Pekiti, ARMA, other stuff

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryno View Post
    It's OK to do now and then. But as you note, it can end up as a silly game of hand tag. I find it more interesting to allow one player head-only attacks, the other, hands-only. This tends to be much more interesting, as the headhunter has to aggressively close, while the hand-hitting counterer really needs to work on being evasive so as not to get bowled over, while targeting hands on legitimate attacks.

    Defanging the snake is fine and dandy for what it is. But people are not snakes. They have more than teeth for weapons. If the opportunity presents itself, it is always better to just knock or cut the "snake"'s head off.
    Yeah, that sounds more constructive. I've been playing around with setting up randomly pulled pairs of targets, so that the participants can work more effectively on faking from one target to the other, etc( Head and hands, hands and legs, head and legs, etc).
  6. escrimador6 is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/07/2009 5:28pm


     Style: FMA / BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I have never sparred with hands being only the target, but I have sparred against a few people who were hand hunters. Like you said, once you figure out that's what they are doing, it's easy to counter. Seems like a bad idea to get people in the habit of focusing solely on the hands without having to worry about the rest of your body being hit.

    Ryno's idea of limiting different targets for each player seems like an interesting idea.
  7. Ryno is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/07/2009 7:09pm


     Style: FMA, Jujutsu/Judo/SAMBO

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Yah, doing different targets for different players can be quite helpful. We've got some guys who are very mobile and evasive, so forcing them to hit head only makes them have to commit more decisively. On the flip side, we've got some bigger guys who aren't to mobile, and just want to bully people around. Playing hands-only forces them to focus on targeting and mobility.

    Limiting the targets also lets you throw newer folks in and not have them feel totally overwhelmed. It lets them focus there defense against a certain type of attack, and learn to be crafty with their own attacking shot. It can be a more gentle jumping off point before full sparring.
  8. Permalost is offline
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    5/08/2009 1:22am

    supporting member
     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Ryno's idea sounds really interesting. Hand strikes are a legit tactic, but I think the limits of their usefulness is made more obvious by doing more general sparring. I think the handhunting drills are very, very useful if you plan on competing in any weapon point sparring tournaments, but training to dominate weapon point sparring venues definitely isn't a main focus for most of us.
  9. Epa is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/16/2009 11:48am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: FMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    selfcritical makes some good points on the drawbacks from too much hand sparring, but it can be a useful to develop the specific skills people have already mentioned. I learned the hand sparring game after I had already started regular stick sparring. Doing a lot of hand sparring helped improve my precision with the stick and made me much more conscious of range and faking.

    Like any kind of isolation sparring, it's only a piece of the game so it won't make you a complete fighter. I think the real problem comes from when people don't take a comprehensive approach. If you spend a lot of time hand sparring and no time practicing clinching with the stick, grappling, or putting it all together in open sparring, then you will produce a highly specialized fighter that is not adaptable.

    I like to use different types of isolation sparring mixed with open ended sparring to work different skills. The scenarios I use are:

    1) Clinch sparring with a stick in the hand for position and control of the other person's balance.

    2) Clinch sparring with added strikes (punyos, knees, light punching)

    3) Hand sparring

    4) Hand sparring with thrusts and leg shots

    5) Hitting anything with the tip of the stick

    6) All striking tools and clinch

    7) Add take downs and ground game

    8) One person targeting the head, the other targeting the hands (after reading Ryno's post, I want to try that)
  10. selfcritical is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/16/2009 12:23pm


     Style: Pekiti, ARMA, other stuff

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Some drills I tried last time.

    Newbs to sparring, so I wanted to isolate tools. I went over the basic deflections they already knew, and we were working with the inside/outside tip up deflections(or four walls) with the sidestep, as opposed to the crash(we're working the crash next time). We reviewed the jab, and worked on the jab as the primary offensive weapon for the session, with the sidestepping deflection as a counter to the jab that doesn't draw you out.

    So first round, we review both movements.

    Second round- One aggressor, one defender, free movment. Aggressor uses jabs on any high or mid line, tries to flank, tries to hit his target, and uses double-timing, quick switches, and feints to add resistance. Defender tries to not give up position, not get hit, and control range with footwork.

    Third round- Switch roles

    Fourth, groups of three- Similar to second and third round, but this time an observer will call out "go" on a deflection when she sees and opening. Defender is to blitz with horizontal fluid shots on this signal, then break distance and defend. Aggressor tries to not get hit by blitz.

    5- reverse roles

    6- Isolation sparring. Everyone just uses jabs and the sidestepping deflection, sparring within these tools

    7- work on drawing with jab to open up the leg shot

    8- worked two leg defenses (deflection and cross-step) against resistance with that setup.

    9- Open, light sparring.
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