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Sparring (freestyle) vs. techniques

December 6 2010 at 4:35 PM
Score 5.0 (1 person)

Michael Miller  (Login millhouse23)
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Something Clark said below sparked my interest. Thank you, Clark.

I would like to know how you Kenpoists view sparring. I've noticed that many tend to try the self-defense tech. during sparring. It seems that Clark is on that line of thinking, but I'm not sure. Nothing against Clark, of course, but that is not the way I think.

Sparring and techniques, in my view, are totally different animals. Also, totally different mindsets. Techniques were created in our system as case studies of motion. Yes, you are learning some ways to protect yourself on the street, but to think that you are going to pull them off in sparring (especially against a good fighter) is crazy.

I come from a boxing background. I love boxing. When I spar, I favor my hands and I keep my hands up, elbows in, chin tucked (not too much, of course)and shoulders relaxed. I use a lot of head movement, body movement and foot movement - as well as feints. I also alter the essence of my movement and use a lot of set ups.

I'm not into the Kenpo sparring. Sorry guys. Since I come from a full contact background, I've found that a lot of the ways Kenpo people are taught sparring (B1a and so on) won't work very well against a skilled full-contact fighter. It will work well in regular martial arts tournaments, but in full-contact (like MMA) it wouldn't do well, in my opinion.

Since Kenpo was designed for street, it's quite logical that it would have some glitches for sport. Wouldn't you agree?

I still feel, however, that if you have strong basics (from constant practice), and great conditioning (along with humility and strong will) you will do well in sport and street.

Michael Miller

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