Sparring is a necessary part of any legitimate fighting art.
I have written before that martial arts must be understood by the body, not just the mind. The reactions we have in a fight are based on what we have programmed in muscle memory. Like any muscle, it needs to be flexed and worked out to stay strong and develop.
The key benefits are:
- great cardio workout
- improving focus and concentration
- learning to deal with stress and overcome fear
- lessening the "panic reaction"
- conditioning the body to take a hit
- developing instintive responses to threat
- widening peripheral vision
- practicing control of the distance between yourself and opponent
- expirimenting and trying out different ideas to see if they actually work
This is the closest we can get to a real fight, and I think it should be emphasized in every school the way we do it in Kali Majapahit.
See you on the mat!