Archive for Sparring

Improving Your Muay Thai with Sparring Drills

Posted in Muay Thai, Training with tags , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by Combative Corner
Chris Clodfelter Kick 1One of the best ways to really improve your overall Muay Thai is through proper Sparring and Sparring drills.  Proper Sparring is used to develop timing and distance and should focus not so much on power but on attacking and defending with good Muay Thai technique.  It is NOT a competition were you are trying to ‘beat” your partner to a pulp or show him how good you are.  It should be positive learning experience were both you and your partner are improving together.  Sometimes when your new to sparring you might draw a blank soon as the bell rings and then spend most of the time dancing around occasionally throwing a jab or leg kick.  One way to really help the “newbie” and “experienced professional” alike get the most out of each sparring session is through Sparring Drills, actually putting yourself in different situations where you take the “thinking” out of it and you just “react”.  There are tons of really good drills that a good Instructor can help you with, but today we’re only going to cover a few and hopefully give you some ideas on how to really jump start and improve your sparring sessions.  Enjoy 🙂
Teep vs Boxing:
In this drill each person has a “job”.  One person can only box or use hand techniques and the other can only Teep or Push Kick.  As one guy steps in to Jab or throw a Cross the other guy lands a Push Kick to the leg or body.  This is an EXCELLENT drill to work on timing for the Teep.  It can also be helpful to the other person cause it forces them to learn how to use their boxing effectively with out getting caught with a pushkick on the way in.  Try this drill for a couple 3 min rounds switching “jobs” each round so both guys get to work the Pushkick and the Boxing.Three for One:
This is a really fun drill that helps you really learn how to attack back in combinations opposed to only throwing single techniques the whole time.  One person can ONLY throw ONE technique (a Jab, a Cross, Teep, Round kick, ect), the other person must defend the one technique and fire right back with a 2-3 punch combo followed by a kick.  For instance, one person will throw a jab then immediately the other person defends the jab and fires back with a Jab/Cross/Round Kick.  They continue this for the whole 3 min round then switch every round.  One big rule with this one is that NO MATTER if you get hit or defend the ONE Technique you HAVE to fire right away with your Three Technique Combo so you get used to firing right back in a fight.  This is a great drill that really forces you to attack back with combinations!Round Kick vs Jab/Cross:
In this drill one person throws either a Jab or Cross and the other person counters with a round kick.  If a Left Jab is thrown it is countered immediately with a Right Round Kick to either the leg or the body, if a Right Cross is thrown it is countered with a Left Round Kick to the leg or body.  Kicking can deliver a much more powerful blow in a fight than punching but the key is finding your proper distance and timing and thats exactly what this drill will work.  In the beginning go slow and as you get the timing better you can speed the drill up a bit.

Tit for Tat:
This is by far one of my favorite drills for developing proper Muay Thai technique while also working on getting hit and firing right back.  In this drill one guy throws a 2 to 3 punch combo followed with a leg kick or body kick defends and fires right away with his own 2 to 3 punch combo followed with a leg or body kick.  This drill should feel the most like actual sparring with both guys moving around and throwing techniques like they would in a “live” sparring session.  This takes all the guessing and wondering out of it and allows you to turn your mind off and just react.  This is also a great drill for developing your combos.  When firing your 2-3 punch combos use a variety of different techniques so you don’t get stuck doing the same combos every time in “live” sparring.

With all these drills it is important that you be safe and HAVE FUN and take care of your partner, because without them YOU wouldn’t be able to train.  Every time you step out there to spar you should be learning something so relax, put the ego aside, and really work on getting better and improving.

One-On-One with Freddie Lee : Sparring

Posted in Martial Arts, Training with tags , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2010 by Sifu Freddie Lee

Sparring is necessary in order to become proficient in the combative aspects of martial arts.  But we must be clear on what constitutes as sparring and how far we shall take the sparring in order to increase our ability but at the same time remain healthy and safe.  We learn the physical aspect of martial arts to protect ourselves from harm not to place ourselves into greater physical harm.

If you are to spar to the point of which you receive broken bones, broken teeth, fractured bones, loss of consciousness, and torn ligaments which create long term complications, then I would say that you have forgotten about the initial purpose of practicing martial arts.  You are supposed to practice martial arts to protect your own health, not to cause unhealthy damage to your body.

With that being said, we must be intelligent when we spar.  We must not spar out of competition but rather with the intention of increasing our ability so that we are more likely to survive a deadly confrontation on the streets.  Sparring is not restricted to entail sparring with protective equipment.  Protective equipment can actually hinder a martial artist’s development rather than increasing one’s ability.

Wearing headgear and protective padding hinders ones natural field of vision, restricts movement, and hinders natural flexibility and speed.  It also gives the student the mistaken assumption that they can withstand more damage than they really can so they are more likely to dangerously expose vital parts of their bodies whereas if they were not wearing protective equipment they would be more conscious on protecting their vital organs.

Compare it to a knife fight.  When real knives are used, a martial artist must be intently aware of not exposing any part of the body to be sliced or stabbed, otherwise death is more likely to occur.  In unarmed fighting, the concept is similar.  One well placed timed punch or kick can disable an attacker, so the student must be intently aware of not exposing ones line of defense to allow the opponent to deliver a damaging attack.

Advanced practitioners of martial arts either need no protective equipment or have a very minimal use of protective equipment when sparring.  That is because they have precise control of their attacks, and they can deliver attacks without placing their sparring partners health and safety in jeopardy.  Advanced practitioners know a well timed attack with proper placement, speed, and power when they see it.  They know that if their training partner had delivered the attack at 100% in real life, there would have been significant damage.  Thereby they are able to learn and better their ability by that observance without the unnecessary need of placing their own health and safety in jeopardy.

Beginners do not have this awareness while sparring.  Beginners do not learn to protect their vital areas until those vital areas are attacked with resulting damage.  Because of this, many beginners need to wear protective equipment to minimize the chance of injury.  But a beginner who spars with an advanced practitioner can spar with minimal protective equipment because the advanced practitioner has adequate control of his attacks in which to minimize the chance of causing injury to the beginning practitioner.

An example:  A beginner who is wearing headgear may need a punch delivered at 60% of the instructor’s power in order to receive a feeling of daze to learn that he had mistakenly exposed himself.  A beginner who is not wearing headgear may only need a punch delivered at 20% of the instructor’s power to receive the same feeling of daze in order to have the same learning experience.  An advanced practitioner will be able to control his delivery of attacks in order to help the beginner achieve his learning experience without the need of using protective equipment.

The use of little to no protective equipment is highly preferred because it is the most realistic.  On the streets, in real life, one does not wear protective equipment.  One stands as is, no headgear, no groin protection, no fist protection, no chest protection, no shin protection, etc.  The only advantageous protection one does normally possess is feet protection from ones shoes.  A martial artist will use his feet protection of shoes to his advantage when kicking.  But as far as the other parts of his body, he must be intently aware of protecting himself from harm and utilizing his hands and feet to deliver attacks at their utmost efficiency while causing the least amount of injury to himself.

Sifu Freddie Lee


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