View Full Version : Combat Training and Mindset

11-01-2000, 06:59 AM
I have a friend who has trained for 25 years in a school whose lineage comes from Sigung Kao Tao Shung/Master Ong. While the system has many two man contact drills and two man forms, he feels one does not need to spar, one just needs to work their ass off and get in the mind set that when doing a form you are REALLY fighting a person. That way, when you are fighting you rely on the reflexive flow of movements that have been branded into your system from doing 1000's of correct form practice. I know there's a lot of validity to this concept, what do you think?

11-01-2000, 07:12 AM
If someone tells me how to tackle in football, I'll do it better than someone who hasn't been told. And if I am told and practice on equipment, I'll do it better than someone who was just told. And if I am told and practice against other people who know how, I'll do it better than the guy who practiced on equipment.

An oversimplification to be sure, but my point is this: You can learn to fight without sparring. Not sparring is not going to help, and you may not learn to fight as well as you could have.

Of course the same thing can be said for actual fighting experience, but how far do you want to go for the sake of skill?

11-01-2000, 08:17 AM
mindset is the key to fighting, you can practise 20 forms and still cannot fight, but if your mindset is on taking the opponent out then thats what you will do, even with a basic level form.

forms give you a base for techniques only.


11-01-2000, 08:54 AM
all of our training works together to the desired end,but undoubtedly the way to learn how to fight is to fight.hands on experience counts for a whole lot.. /infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

"stop trying to hit me and HIT ME"

11-01-2000, 10:40 AM
This reminds me of the Tapia/Romero fight from a few years ago. They were cross-town rivals, in Albaquerque I believe, and had a lot of bad blood between each other. Tapia was and is a tough fighter who trains extremely hard, as was Romero. However, Romero's trainer,who is his father, believed that his training techniques were so good that he thought Romero didn't need to spar. When the fight did occur, Tapia won decisively. The moral of this is that sparring shows you what techniques work best for you and show you your weaknesses. It also exposes you to the styles of others which will give you more knowledge.

"I got no dukes" -the goat

11-01-2000, 03:55 PM
I've been busting my butt on learning my systems forms. I mean really learning them, trying to get them perfect. There's a lot of good stuff in the forms but without constant sparring to try them out for real it'd just be dancing.

I used to be daga

11-01-2000, 04:48 PM
Pilgrim...I don't know about that dude...can you play football by doing SOLO drills only??? Or can you actually play football when the time comes??? Can you take the hit??? Can you be accurate with your throws in REAL TIME with REAL PLAYERs??? The same goes to martial arts...can you throw punches at a moving target??? can you absorb hits and retiallate!


Black Jack
11-01-2000, 05:32 PM
I don't care how many times you practice your forms...forms do not make a person a good fighter...to think that by "just" practicing a form you will be given the ability to defeat a determined street attack is foolish.

To learn to fight you need to get out there and do some serious sparring...period.

There are other tools you need to add to this mix of course, two person combat training drills, energy/flow drills, bag work, focus work, forms practice or better yet IMO shadowboxing.


11-01-2000, 07:01 PM
Thanks for the replies. Just to add fuel to the fire: (1) It's been my experience that none of my teachers have ever sparred with me, in fact, I'm not sure if they spar with anyone on a regular basis; (2) how many out there spar with the Sifu or Sigung and since you probably don't how do the Sifu's and Sigung's stay so good? (3) Some of the reasons for not sparing is that the techniques are too powerfull and doing them with full force would prevent them from being done in a "spirit of cooperation" and result in hurting training partners.

Black Jack
11-01-2000, 07:24 PM
The popular..."my systems techniques are to deadly, so we do not spar"...type of comment is a dead on copout.

When someone states something like that, I always think that this must be a pretty weak system in terms of good old fashioned basics.

Does your style not have basic punches, hand strikes and kicks or is it all about eye jabs?

I know that you should be very carefull about any infighting tools that you throw into the drill or sparring session, as tools like elbows, headbutts and knees need control but with good control they can be applied.

Sparring can open up your eyes to a whole new world and teach you things about how you fight under pressure and your inherit weaknesses that no form can ever express.


11-01-2000, 07:32 PM
I spar with my Sifu reguarly. I'm learly of any instructor that won't spar. Sometimes I get a good hit in, and that makes me very happy. But he pretty much mops the floor with me. It is not uncommon for me to have to ask him what technique he used to knock me down. Since I never saw it comming. He spars with other people outside the school as well as his students.


no 1
11-01-2000, 08:06 PM
see the ball danny....be...the ball.


11-01-2000, 09:59 PM
PILGRIM...your sifu doesn't spar??? regarding his uhhhhhhhhh POWER and TECH...you can wear protection and go full contact...I don't understand!


11-01-2000, 11:07 PM
kentucky fried martial arts, 10 different herbs and spices.

11-01-2000, 11:26 PM
Hey there are some systems that have a pretty good reputation that never spar. It all depends what you mean by "spar".

Southern Mantis(as I have been told-anyone know better?) does not have sparring yet they have a reputation for devestating short hand work (hey you Hakka types...do any of the other Hakka systems have sparring?).

Aikido doesn't have sparring per say. There is no competition...only Uke and Tori helping each other.

I could probably find other examples. Do you think that these two man drills equalize things a bit?

I personally think that different people will need different things to be what they want to be. I bet Wong Shun Leung would still have been a star whether he actually sparred or not. Others..(?J Funk?)..all the sparring in the world isn't going to help!

FWIW /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif R /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

[This message was edited by R on 11-02-00 at 03:35 PM.]

11-02-2000, 12:44 AM

Who told you Southern mantis doesn't spar? I trained with southern mantis folk for about 3 years and there was sparring. ****ed painful very effective sparring. We used to use those koshiki "bubble" style helmets and go full contact. The school I was with also used to get together with other clubs in the area and go at it. I remember them going through a local kyokushinkai school like hot knives through butter.

Maybe not in your part of the world, but I can assure you, there are at least some mantis folk who spar.

Stay funky


11-02-2000, 01:52 AM
I spar with my students as often as possible, and I spar with MY Sifu at least once a week. I also am leary of a Sifu who will not spar. If they do not have the control required to not hurt the student, they do not deserve to be instructing!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif Sorry, sore point there. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif


Some are born fools, others achieve idiocy through their own efforts. http://www.dragon-studios.net/smiley/yinyang.gif

11-02-2000, 03:01 AM
Hey..I only report what the Southern Mantis guys web site said.....


"Chow Gar Southern Praying Mantis kung fu training does not include sparring. How can a martial art be valid if the students don't learn how to fight? Students of Chow Gar kung fu do learn how to fight; they just do it without sparring. The Chow Gar system requires a high level of sensitivity in all parts of the body. This heightened awarenes to touch and pressure is effectively an extra perception-sensor (!), allowing the hands and bridges (ie hands, feet, arms and legs) to act and react of their own volition, sticking to, thwarting and overwhelming the attacker's offensive potential. This is not just an instinctive situation-awareness, but something more. To obtain this martial sensitivity, one of the methods used is two-man attacker/defender sets where pre-ordained sequences of attack and counter-attack are practised. Like a post supporting a young tree, these sets allow the students to refine and internalise the techniques and principles. At the right time, the support is removed and the student finds himself (or herself) able to cope with, and act appropriately in, self-defense situations."

What can I say...? Differences in different branches of the style?

Cheers, R

[This message was edited by R on 11-02-00 at 07:14 PM.]

11-02-2000, 09:06 PM
here's my view: sparring is necessary but not sufficient for becoming proficent in fighting arts. It's just my opinion. I agree that sparring is nothing like the real thing, but it can show you some things about fighting. It's not a perfect replica of fighting but as someone said-how far do you want to go for skill? The problem is that people who spar often don't catch on that It's not like the real thing. It becomes an end in itself instead of a tool for growth. Without grappling you can't hope to understand fighting. That means that you have to be able to react to instinctive grabs and tackles to prevail in the real thing. Not always but a lot of the time. And sparring only involves speed and technical skill. There is no sense of raw power. A lot of people attack with raw power and this is why many martial artists go down in the street. An effective martial artist has to be able to counter raw power with technical skill, but controlled sparring can never teach this. I still think sparring is useful though, as long as it's understood as a limited vehicle for training. Someone mentioned "combat sparring" in another thread. there is no such thing. Sparring is not even close to combat for many reasons. No grappling, presence of pads, mental intent of training partner etc. The street is far more more brutal than sparring. In street fights there is no round two. A person goes down and gets beat down. And power counts in the street, where it doesn't in the training hall.

Black Jack
11-02-2000, 10:10 PM
Two man drills are a great tool but they do not give you what sparring can.

Sparring allows you to put yourself agaisnt a moving and thinking person and not a static training set that repeats the same movements into the air with no flesh and blood contact.

I find that most martial artists that do not spar are trying to be artists and not to train themselves to be fighters.

Every time I have sparred or seen a match with a martial artist who did not spar and went agaisnt a guy who was realistic about his training and put sparring into his practice the static based martial artist always got the crap kicked out of him.

They have developed no wind, no flow of range, no good footwork basics as they have never applied them in a fighting situation, horrible defenses, loosy accuracy on a moving aggressive attacker, they have problems dealing with angles from those that are not on a straight line, they panick when they are taken to the ground, they dont understand what it is like to take a few hits and most important they are not working on the psychological aspect of pitting themselves agasint another human being who is not going to be following any one drill or guidline.

You need two-person drills, energy drills and sparring to become a good fighter and beyond that you need to be creative and work your tools in different enviroments.

Its a joke otherwise. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif


11-03-2000, 06:50 AM
The average street fight is not as bad as a hard sparring session, with or without pads & gloves. As long as you're not caught unawares it should be pretty easy to drop some joe long before he inflicts much damage on you. That is if your trainings up to snuff of course.

It's those **** odd ball fights against an experienced street fighter where the trouble really starts.

I used to be daga