Sparring, Hitting and Getting Hit

We had some sparring in class this past Sunday.  We do it every few sessions.  I believe in regular sparring, but since I’m not training professional fighters, we don’t have to go paranoid crazy at it.

We took some hits, but I don’t think anybody was willingly giving up some hits to take any.  As an instructor, it’s one of my biases, don’t get hit. I don’t training you to get hit and get hurt.

Stylistically, as a matter of personal martial arts development I’ve always sought to be a “finesse” guy, to work smarter not harder, and to be efficient in use of my strength and energy. Not looking to impress others with how much hurt I can take.  No doubt brute force is a great quality too, and I’ve used that as well, but finesse is my tendency.  And it’s where I bias my coaching.

So we trained sparring and strategies.  Staying “in the pocket.”   Staying “in the pocket”without getting hit, is a skill that takes training, practice and intuitional development, with maybe just a couple of hits along the way.  Floyd Mayweather has that skill set.

I just watched the Mayweather-Guerrero fight.   Mayweather, at 36 years old is consideredold in boxing, but, is quoting his dad as “the less you get hit, the longer your career,” in regard to claims that he doesn’t go “toe to toe” or just stand there and trade punching.  Guess what? As I’ve gotten older, that’s become even more important to me.   Even if fighting isn’t your “career, it’s still true; the less you get hit, the longer your career, the longer you maintain good physical health, mental health, and well being.  I never cared for some martial artists philosophy of “I’m WILLING to take one to give one” when it came to sparring and fighting.   You may have to, but I don’t think willingness is the right predisposition.

English: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Juan Manuel...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yeah, I understand that sometimes it’s about taking a risk, but there’s a difference between a reckless risk and a calculated risk.  Just like there’s a difference between an “opinion,” and an “informed opinion.”

I’d rather my students be the hitter or “feeder” rather than receivers.

Today, I repeated to the class that anything I tell or teach them is only 50% true.

What?  Not that I’ll lie to them, but that life, the universe, fighting, are so fluid and wavelike, that the opposite can be true at any point.  Only they, in the moment, combining experience, intelligence, training, and sensitivity, can know the significant truth at the time.

And that brings us back to “finesse.”  My ideal “fight” is a couple of finishing blows to the opponent, without breaking a sweat or getting hit.  I’ve always wanted to be slick with movement, variety of technique, and fine tuned motor skills.  However, I’ve seen “run’em over” brute force methodologies.  You can finesse a brute, brute a brute, brute a finesse opponent, and finesse a finnesser.  But, who wants to be in a “war” or barely surviving, scarred and damaged, umm, not me. Contrast can be a significant advantage to those who know how to use it.

Finesse and brutishness are two sides of the same coin.  They should be included in that saying about there being a time for every season under heaven.  You should train both, unafraid to discover and acknowledge your preference due to experience, body particulars, or karma.

Knowing both sides will help you ride the fluid wave of a fight or self defense situation.

Contact us for more information about our Kali Silat and Self Defense Training Group in Debary, Fl.

 
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