Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fight Club

Yesterday we started to do sparring as part of the Intermediate class at Ni Tien ( Some people like it; some people hate it - here's my view.

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
Like it or not, the benefits far outweigh any potential risks, provided the sparring is focused and controlled. Some examples of targeted sparring sessions can be: all kicking, all hands, high line, medium line, low line, grappling only, target specific (hit chest or abs only), two-on-one, etcetera...the permutations are truly limitless. Above all, try to be safe and controlled, using the sparring to meet specific objectives.

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!

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