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View Full Version : Training Problem: Transition from training to free sparring



Footclansoldier
2/14/2004 5:44pm,
My problem is as follows, I train alot of stuff, about 1.5 hours each day. I lift weights, run and do repitition work on the heavy bag i.e. 400 round kicks or 100 jab cross.
I notice that my attributes are getting better when I go to formal training(Kyokushin), I can keep up my good form in Kihon for longer and my endurance is better. I also notice how the power in my techniques gets better with time.

My problem is, that the transition from training to free sparring doesnt work as well, when we do sparring my performance is average, its not bad, but im not at all satisfied because I feel that I dont have the skill in kumite to apply the skills and deploy the attributes which Ive gained in training on my own. This frustrates me because I train to become better at fighting and all my training is basicly meaningless if I cant use what Ive gained.

Has anybody else been in a simular situation? I know that I just need to spar more, Im working on finding people in my area(Germany) but maybe some more experienced people have some ideas or drill I could incorporate into my solo training.

Thanks

alex
2/14/2004 5:51pm,
unfortunately theres only really one way to get better at sparring- and that is to spar more. doing reps on heavy bags and so on is vital for technique, strength, and speed, but you gotta spar another person to develop application, reaction, and timing. shadow boxing can be good if you cant find anyone else.

Footclansoldier
2/14/2004 5:54pm,
I do shadow boxing, but the only gain I can really get from it is better, faster technique.

Hannibal
2/14/2004 6:10pm,
Ikken said it in one. Doing weights at the gym and running are for improving fitness. Working out on the heavy bag is good for fitness too aswell as technique. But it sounds as if you do too much training taking into consideration your martial arts classes aswell. Ask your instructer about your sparring ability.You might want to ask him if he can dedicate more time in class for sparring.

patfromlogan
2/15/2004 10:29pm,
I like your attitude; working out outside of class will make you much stronger. What level are you at? If you are a low kyu rank I wouldn't worry much, if you are brown or black and your kumite skills seems lacking, that could be a real problem. It takes time and patience to learn good techniques and it might just be a matter of time to reach the skill levels you want to get to.

The best would be to find a good trainer/coach/sensei who could take the time to help you get to the higher levels. Often there are black belts around the dojo who are really into the art and perhaps someone would work with you outside of the class time on sparring drills and techniques. It is more helpful for an experienced fighter to give you pointers and drill them with you than just spar hard. An experienced fighter can show you how to use a jab or sweep/punch/takedown combo and work with you rather than just spar hard. Sparring is ofcourse important, in my Kyokushin training I was lucky to have both hard workouts with hard sparring and a couple caring black belts who were real good and took the time to teach me how to apply some techniques. However, life being what it is, you might be stuck working out by yourself.

I'd increase the difficulty of the bag workout. Sometimes I have the tendency to thud away for a couple hundred kicks. I think it's better to do things like front kick closer and closer, keeping the bag back away from you, kicking faster and faster to keep the bag up. Eventually, as you push it, the bag will 'win' and then you'll have to start over.

You can do this with side kicks too. I go from standing side kicks to stepping side to running side. Once the bag is swinging high you can really kick it hard (or it can knock you on your butt). I also like spinning moves, both things like spinning side and back kicks and combos like left jab, spin to your right and throw a right elbow. Then right jab, spin to your left and left elbow - and this doesn't have to be elbows, it also works with spinning back fists - though elbows are more powerful.

A lot of kumite in Kyokushin comes down to timing, using powerful strikes. The bag will teach you proper form for hitting; it just hurts when you hit wrong.

OSU!

weechey
2/16/2004 12:32am,
I spend a lot of time visualizing attacks/defense, combinations, strategies, and so on. A lot of times I'll do this while I'm showering, or driving...sometimes my wife asks me "penny for your thoughts", for which she always regrets my reply. Of course, you should visualize realistic situations, not stuff you see in movies :)

These days I only get a chance to spar once or twice a week...so when I get to sparring, I take all that visualization practice and try to put it to use. It's not as useful as actual experience, but I've found it better than nothing.

Another thing I'll do is when I spar against people not my level, I'll work on specific strategies that I know I'm weak in...it's OK for me to take the hit, cuz I know they aren't going to hurt me anyway.

Lastly, you may want to consider hooking up with people who do styles other than Kyokushin, and just get together and "play". Nearby clubs, and/or universities can be great for this, and you'll get a chance to meet other people who are serious minded like you. Good luck :)

Darting Fingers
2/16/2004 12:35am,
Spar and then spar some more its the only way. Once the you start learning more from your sparring your superior technique and conditioning will complement.

GajusCaesar
2/16/2004 12:51am,
While Patfromlogan gave you an excellent response, I would add a couple minor things. I personally am a junky for watching video of Kyokushin fights (especially world tournament fights) over and over again. I first watch one fighter and how he uses his techniques, then I watch the fight again and watch how the other fighter deals with those techniques. I then get someone to spar with me, starting out slowly, and first work on throwing the technique against another fighter. Then we speed it up a bit and I work on watching for openings and timing the technique.

A big part of sparring ability is experience, but watching highly skilled people fight always helps me refine my technique and improve my fighting. If you want to kick people in the head, get some footage of Francisco Filho. Inside of the thigh low roundhouse, watch Hajime Kazumi.

Ippon sparring (halted sparring with an uke repeating a technique over and over) in the dojo can help you to learn a technique, but to actually use it in a fight, you must practice it on a fully mobile and retaliating opponent. For example, you can spend a lot of time and teach a white belt a nearly perfect looking low roundhouse kick, but they will almost never hit their opponent with it because they don't know how to set it up, use proper timing, and look for openings.

Prone
2/16/2004 12:57am,
It's been said and I can't stress this enough: more sparring, more sparring or you won't become better. Like GajusCaesar said, experience is the thing that all other tools in sparring base on. And you can't be experienced without more and more sparring.

The Wastrel
2/16/2004 1:47am,
http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3042

Choke
2/16/2004 4:15am,
Exactly how long have you bee training for footclansoldier? If you've only been training a few months then don't sweat it. I only started to keep up with my instructors and senior students after a year or so

patfromlogan
2/16/2004 10:50am,
To play the devil's advocate; there is a Kyu Shin Ryu dojo (Shoringi Kempo split off) here that has produced several tournament champions. They spar every three months, usually going one match with top black belt. The sensei teaches that sparring is serious and they go all out, when they do spar.

So how do they spar so well when they hardly do it? Training hard and training embus (two person kata). In Kyokushin white belts sparred sometimes the first night and we did a lot of hard sparring. These guys train to be explosive and powerful and it shows up when they fight. I've joined them for their sparring class and got my clock cleaned (last time 5-0 on points and limped for a week) but it was total fun taking on the 22 year old winner of the Utah Open. I did manage to back him up with side and roundhouse kicks for a while. Fucker was too fast to hit!

I personally feel that one of the benefits of sparring often is getting used to being in contact/combat and that is very important. For instance I was never taught lot of clinching skills but learned them from going one on one thousands of times, and a couple of times when in that position I've dropped guys on their backs (or heads) just because I've been dumped and have dumped others a zillion times and it has becomes second nature.