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Fat Cobra
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 14 Jul 2018
Posts: 129
Location: Fort Drum, NY
Styles: Ryukyu Kempo

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:55 am    Post subject: Do you Bogu? Reply with quote

In my style, Ryukyu Kempo, we do a form of sparring called Bogu Kumite. Bogu is heavy sparring armor, similar to Kendo armor, consisting of a face shield, with grills; chest protector; and gloves. The winner is the competitor who gets to 3 points first. In order to get a point you have to hit someone hard enough to "visibly rock them" or knock them back.

My question is, do any other styles also do this form of sparring with Bogu gear?
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14254
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not as much as we us to do when Soke and Dai-Soke were alive; it was a constant staple at the Hombu as well as affiliated dojo's within the SKKA network.

Although I still witness Godans and above still engaging in Bogu Kumite, as more of a personal preference and not a rule. Shoot, Greg and I use to try to kill each other without any Bogu equipment...and we'd get chewed out often by Soke an ed Dai-Soke for not donning the gear, but they'd also just shake their heads at us in disapproval, but not stop us either.

I miss those days.

My most Senior students hate sparring against me in Bogu gear because they say I hit like a mule...they'll do it...but they have it....sheesh.

I remember the very first time when I saw Bruce Lee doing a demo where his partner and him were wearing Bogu gear. Until then, I thought that we were the only ones doing that...but of course, I was just a kid.



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aurik
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 39
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Do you Bogu? Reply with quote

Fat Cobra wrote:
In my style, Ryukyu Kempo, we do a form of sparring called Bogu Kumite. Bogu is heavy sparring armor, similar to Kendo armor, consisting of a face shield, with grills; chest protector; and gloves. The winner is the competitor who gets to 3 points first. In order to get a point you have to hit someone hard enough to "visibly rock them" or knock them back.

My question is, do any other styles also do this form of sparring with Bogu gear?


When I practiced Shuri-Ryu, we would do something similar, Koshiki Kumite. You had a hard chest protector and the face shield, but no gloves. Points were scored either ippon or waza-ari.

An ippon is either: A perfectly executed technique with proper power, form, and stance that strikes your opponent in the chest protector or face guard without being touched OR a sequence of 3 techniques that hit your opponent which your opponent does not counter in some way. Scoring an ippon immediately wins the match.

You score one waza-ari with hand strikes to the chest protector or face guard, and two waza-aris with foot (or knee) techniques. In the absence of an ippon, the contender with the most waza-ari scores would win.

It was a lot of fun, but you had to be careful punching to the face. Those face protectors could be cheese graters on your knuckles. Generally after the first time, you learned to stick with hammer-fist strikes to the face...
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2326
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked out with a group affiliated with Taika Oyata for a few months (it was understood it was a temporary thing between the sensei and I). I did Bogu kumite twice. It was great. Honestly, I preferred to to bare knuckle knockdown we did in my Kyokushin offshoot school.

I loved Taikaís system. Iíd have stayed with it if I couldíve. Iíve heard some others do bogu kumite, but Iíve never heard about specific schools or organizations outside Taikaís. I remember bogu kumite wasnít mandatory for rank advancement in that dojo, but it was heavily encouraged.
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We spar without any gear whatsoever, but we have to pull our strikes, locks and holds. Points don't exist at all for us (unless we've chosen to train for a tournament.)
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Wado Heretic
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 387
Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For grading, it is mandatory for Blue Belt (7th/6th Kyu) and up. However, for Gokyu it is traditional Knock-Down Style Sparring, and for Sankyu to Shodan it is Kudo/Irikumi Go like sparring.

Yet, with the above said; we have at least two Kumite session in Bogu a month. I also make use of it for self-defence, and application training, so that we can apply our moves with actual contact and force. I like the use of the Bogu, because it allows us to train with contact safely, compared to having to train with control; which can sometimes lead to the development of bad habits for full-contact fighting, or self-defence.

Admittedly, this was an approach I adopted from Nippon Kenpo, after finding myself at a tournament. I was impressed by the much reduced injury rate from other contact formats, and it just struck me that it makes sense to use it.
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2402
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We do many types of sparring, although I will admit that number of types has been diminishing over time, since my Sensei passed away last December. Even before that, though, we didn't do bogu kumite. My Sensei did a lot of it when he was younger, and competed in it pretty frequently, doing very well. I'm honestly not sure why he didn't have us do it--he seemed to like it well enough.

Like aurik, I used to train Shuri-Ryu in Central Illinois, so I was exposed to bogu kumite, there, initially. Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to try it because, at the time, I wasn't a high enough rank for the chief instructor to allow it. By the time I was a high enough rank, I ended up moving out of the state.

In KishimotoDi, there is occasional bogu kumite, but it is less "freestyle" and more focused on self defense, somewhat like an old-school "Redman" or "Bullet" suit. I haven't participated in that, though, since I'm basically a lone bastion of KishimotoDi here in the US, aside from a guy in Florida, which isn't exactly nearby.

Personally, I'm a little torn on the idea of bogu kumite, myself. The use of headgear has recently been discontinued for boxing by the IOC because it hasn't been shown to reduce concussions, and may actually result in MORE concussions, because it makes the head a larger, easier-to-hit target, and adds mass to the head, making it harder to absorb a strike to the head without rocking the head. The body armor can certainly be beneficial, certainly, but at the potential cost of developing toughness, and the ability to take a hit and keep fighting. I wouldn't want to rely on sparring in armor as the ONLY method of sparring for that reason, although it would certainly have its place. I truly am of the opinion that there is not, and should not be, just ONE method of sparring in the dojo. Every sparring method has limitations, and compromises, but by viewing sparring as a training method, rather than a skill unto itself, it is pretty easy to incorporate a variety of types of sparring to cover a broader set of skills and situations and characteristics.
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Shorin-Ryu | 2010-Present: Nidan | Sensei: Richard Poage, Jeff Allred
Shuri-Ryu | 2006-2010: Sankyu | Sensei: Joey Johnston, Joe Walker
Judo | 2007-2010: Gokyu | Sensei: Joe Walker, Adrian Rivera
My Blog: www.karateobsession.com
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2326
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wastelander wrote:
We do many types of sparring, although I will admit that number of types has been diminishing over time, since my Sensei passed away last December. Even before that, though, we didn't do bogu kumite. My Sensei did a lot of it when he was younger, and competed in it pretty frequently, doing very well. I'm honestly not sure why he didn't have us do it--he seemed to like it well enough.

Like aurik, I used to train Shuri-Ryu in Central Illinois, so I was exposed to bogu kumite, there, initially. Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to try it because, at the time, I wasn't a high enough rank for the chief instructor to allow it. By the time I was a high enough rank, I ended up moving out of the state.

In KishimotoDi, there is occasional bogu kumite, but it is less "freestyle" and more focused on self defense, somewhat like an old-school "Redman" or "Bullet" suit. I haven't participated in that, though, since I'm basically a lone bastion of KishimotoDi here in the US, aside from a guy in Florida, which isn't exactly nearby.

Personally, I'm a little torn on the idea of bogu kumite, myself. The use of headgear has recently been discontinued for boxing by the IOC because it hasn't been shown to reduce concussions, and may actually result in MORE concussions, because it makes the head a larger, easier-to-hit target, and adds mass to the head, making it harder to absorb a strike to the head without rocking the head. The body armor can certainly be beneficial, certainly, but at the potential cost of developing toughness, and the ability to take a hit and keep fighting. I wouldn't want to rely on sparring in armor as the ONLY method of sparring for that reason, although it would certainly have its place. I truly am of the opinion that there is not, and should not be, just ONE method of sparring in the dojo. Every sparring method has limitations, and compromises, but by viewing sparring as a training method, rather than a skill unto itself, it is pretty easy to incorporate a variety of types of sparring to cover a broader set of skills and situations and characteristics.


Not to sidetrack, and itís somewhat relevant to this discussion...

Headgear in boxing was taken away for the issue you stated, but thatís really only about a quarter of why.

The headgear cuts down on concussions from single, direct blows, so to speak. Meaning you can take a harder hit without a problem with it on vs off (but that canít technically be proven either). The issue is CTE, or cumulative smaller concussions that arenít symptomatic. People getting hit repeatedly in the head at lesser forces have theoretically been having more issues than people whoíve been hit harder but far less frequently. So basically, people wearing headgear take a lot more headshots than people who donít. People wearing headgear donít protect their heads as much due to the headgear being looked at as a security blanket. That repeated lesser trauma compounds over the years to more damage than if theyíd have been knocked out cold once or twice but didnít have any other head contact.

Itís obviously more in-depth than that. But this is where the research is at, and it was compelling enough to eliminate it in menís amateur boxing. Somehow womenís boxing kept it, which is a bit perplexing. Iím not sure if womenís boxing dropped it yet or not.

Even though the research on CTE has been solid, itís still in its infancy.
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Fat Cobra
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 14 Jul 2018
Posts: 129
Location: Fort Drum, NY
Styles: Ryukyu Kempo

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wastelander wrote:
We do many types of sparring, although I will admit that number of types has been diminishing over time, since my Sensei passed away last December. Even before that, though, we didn't do bogu kumite. My Sensei did a lot of it when he was younger, and competed in it pretty frequently, doing very well. I'm honestly not sure why he didn't have us do it--he seemed to like it well enough.

Like aurik, I used to train Shuri-Ryu in Central Illinois, so I was exposed to bogu kumite, there, initially. Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to try it because, at the time, I wasn't a high enough rank for the chief instructor to allow it. By the time I was a high enough rank, I ended up moving out of the state.

In KishimotoDi, there is occasional bogu kumite, but it is less "freestyle" and more focused on self defense, somewhat like an old-school "Redman" or "Bullet" suit. I haven't participated in that, though, since I'm basically a lone bastion of KishimotoDi here in the US, aside from a guy in Florida, which isn't exactly nearby.

Personally, I'm a little torn on the idea of bogu kumite, myself. The use of headgear has recently been discontinued for boxing by the IOC because it hasn't been shown to reduce concussions, and may actually result in MORE concussions, because it makes the head a larger, easier-to-hit target, and adds mass to the head, making it harder to absorb a strike to the head without rocking the head. The body armor can certainly be beneficial, certainly, but at the potential cost of developing toughness, and the ability to take a hit and keep fighting. I wouldn't want to rely on sparring in armor as the ONLY method of sparring for that reason, although it would certainly have its place. I truly am of the opinion that there is not, and should not be, just ONE method of sparring in the dojo. Every sparring method has limitations, and compromises, but by viewing sparring as a training method, rather than a skill unto itself, it is pretty easy to incorporate a variety of types of sparring to cover a broader set of skills and situations and characteristics.


I agree with you about using it to focus on self defense. When I was in the military, we used to use the Blauer Suit, which is very nice, to work self defense techniques. I plan on using Bogu Gear in my dojo for the same thing.

Also, I agree that only one method of sparring has limitations. We will Bogu Kumite, but also use other forms of Kumite as well.
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