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JR 137
KF Sempai
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Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2369
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:34 am    Post subject: I tried something new in sparring last night Reply with quote

Half way through my first round of sparring with a usual partner, I asked myself why am I backing up? The only time he truly lands anything substantial is when I back up and disengage/reset. I wondered ďwhat if I donít back up AT ALL?Ē So I didnít take a single step backward, not even angled or circled backwards to block or counter like I usually do. His kicks are his true strength, whereas his punching isnít very good. I wasnít trying to exploit that, but it just worked out that way. I realized how bad his punching and overall hand stuff really is. I hope he did too and works on it.

After that, I though ďIím not going to take a single backwards step the rest of the night, no matter what.Ē I didnít get ďall up in everyoneís faceĒ or or chase anyone down, I simply held my ground and didnít back up. Everyone started backing up to make some room, and all I did was take a step forward with them. It frustrated everyone; I forced them to fight my fight rather than their own, and they all ended up with their back to the wall. I should actually amend the premise - I only backed up to reset when they were too close to the wall or each other.

The only one who was semi-comfortable with it was the guy whoís about 5 inches taller and about 60 lbs heavier than me. Half way through the round he realized he should do the same thing and started making me deal his size advantage. After his adjustment, he was quite ok with not kicking.

None of it turned into an uncontrolled slug-fest. I wasnít actively stalking anyone nor trying to corner them. I wasnít actively trying to take away any techniques from anyone. All I set out to do was not take a single step backward and see what would come of it. Everything above happened on its own.

We didnít have the upper ranks that usually beat up on me (in a good way) last night. It was all people right around my rank. Iím really looking forward to seeing how this will all play out on Tuesday night when that group usually comes to class. Thereís a sandan woman whoís easily the best and most effective kicker Iíve ever sparred with who really gives me a hard time (again, in a good way). I almost always try to get really close to take her kicks away from her, with varying levels of success. She somehow always sneaks a few well timed and targeted kicks in though. Sheís the reason why I bought a custom molded mouthpiece I wonder how this approach will work rather than actively trying to get really close.

Last night proved the best defense is a solid offense. Now to see how well that holds up against a pair of sandans and yondans. I have the feeling there will be a painful learning curve.
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
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Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2421
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Retreating has its uses, but obviously the over-use of any tactic can be problematic. You did definitely get the chance to play with the benefits of forward pressure, which is good. That kind of thing is exactly what sparring in the dojo is for--trying new things!
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Shorin-Ryu | 2010-Present: Nidan | Sensei: Richard Poage, Jeff Allred
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shortyafter
Orange Belt
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool JR! I was recently reading something from Funakoshi, I believe it was related to the 20 precepts but not totally sure. One thing that really jumped out to me was his advice saying that "we are to be masters of the situation at all times". That's kind of what your post/tactic made me think of. Holding your ground like that, you're the one dictating the fight and never your opponent. He or she's going to be fighting on your terms, and not vice versa. That's huge.

Certainly there are other ways to "be the master of the situation" than just holding your ground, but this seems like a good use of that principle and one that has worked for you. Good post, thanks.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2369
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wastelander wrote:
Retreating has its uses, but obviously the over-use of any tactic can be problematic. You did definitely get the chance to play with the benefits of forward pressure, which is good. That kind of thing is exactly what sparring in the dojo is for--trying new things!


I was having a conversation about my fighting stance a few weeks ago with a yondan who likes to let me go hard and pushes me outside my comfort level. He and the two sandans I mentioned earlier are by far my favorite sparring partners. I try new things with them, and they give me just enough to try it while picking apart my mistakes, yet not completely shutting me down like they can if they wanted to. Itís a pretty difficult balance IMO.

Anyway, while talking to that yondan a few weeks ago, I told him how itís difficult for me to stay in an orthodox stance, even though Iím significantly stronger in it. When Iím matched up with someone who doesnít give me any problems and I have to defend minimally, itís not an issue at all; when Iím paired up with someone who clearly outclasses me, I go into my comfortable southpaw stance. I do that because my right hand and foot are quicker, so itís easier to block and counter. I block far more stuff and land far more stuff with my lead hand and foot. Only problem is thereís not nearly as much power behind anything. I work on it on my bag, but itís quite obvious that Iím far stronger in an orthodox stance when Iím hitting the bag and not holding back.

Looking into it further, itís purely a defensive thing the more I analyze it. Now when I go into a southpaw stance, he does too. He used to sometimes do it just to take the angle advantage away, but now he does it every time to force me into my orthodox stance because he knows Iím trying to break that habit.

Maybe not backing up at all will help keep me in my orthodox stance? Maybe itíll force me to use right rear leg kicks instead of relying on right front leg kicks?

Whatever it does, Iím just looking to dictate the right against a clearly superior partner as much as I can rather than playing inadvertently constantly defense and just going for whatever will give me the least trouble when Iíve got my hands full.

Sure, retreating has its advantages. But Iíd rather retreat because itíll be a true advantage and baiting them rather than out of preconceived necessity. When I see those guys, itíll be just hold my ground, regardless of the outcome. My biggest obstacle at this point will be to stick with it rather than abandon it when it gets tough. Iím quite sure theyíll adjust and it wonít have the immediate and long lasting effect it did last night. But the only way to make it truly effective is to stick with it and gain the experience of exactly how and when. Iím certain Iíll ďloseĒ more than ďwin,Ē but eventually thatíll change; thereís no miracle fighting methods here.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14370
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back up only when necessary!! That's a Shindokan staple through and through. Through Space Management I can drastically curb the urge to back up. How? Forward motions far outweigh backwards, albeit, it's easier to watch forward than it is to watch over your shoulder behind you.

As it is in Close Range, so is it in NOT BACKING UP. Ether take guts to executed effectively; the air of uncertainty can be quite stifling at first until much more knowledge and experience is acquired on the floor...wherever that floor might be.

Defeat the fear of not retreating asap because that which one can't overcome, it shall most assuredly conquer you. Once fear's set in, it's quite impossible to overcome it. These aren't maxim to ignore!!

The options before any practitioner in the regards of backing up/retreating are as wide as the skies. Angles are your friend. Slipping is your friend. Ducking is your friend. Receiving is your friend. Intercepting is your friend. So on and so forth.

Whenever I do backup/retreat, and it's extremely rare that I do, it's within my goal and plan to do so, in order to do set-ups and checks, and/or to draw my opponent into my zone purposefully with resolve. Even whenever an attacker's attack is overwhelming, my backing up/retreating isn't for naught; there's a plan already in motion to reengage AND reestablish my forward Short Range attacks/counterattacks and the like.

For me, it's all a Chess game with me. Establishing and reestablishing that center through your opening game. Sending out your scouts here and there. Thinking always 5 moves ahead. Setting up those hidden attacks. Blindsiding the corners. Solidifying ones middle game. Willing to sacrifice. Constant reevaluation of strengths and weaknesses. Trapping opponents pieces; freezing. Weakening their defense by capturing one piece at a time for the end game. Introducing Check Mate from the most unexpected place.

Whomever plays the game better; wins!!



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JR 137
KF Sempai
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Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2369
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Back up only when necessary!! That's a Shindokan staple through and through. Through Space Management I can drastically curb the urge to back up. How? Forward motions far outweigh backwards, albeit, it's easier to watch forward than it is to watch over your shoulder behind you.

As it is in Close Range, so is it in NOT BACKING UP. Ether take guts to executed effectively; the air of uncertainty can be quite stifling at first until much more knowledge and experience is acquired on the floor...wherever that floor might be.

Defeat the fear of not retreating asap because that which one can't overcome, it shall most assuredly conquer you. Once fear's set in, it's quite impossible to overcome it. These aren't maxim to ignore!!

The options before any practitioner in the regards of backing up/retreating are as wide as the skies. Angles are your friend. Slipping is your friend. Ducking is your friend. Receiving is your friend. Intercepting is your friend. So on and so forth.

Whenever I do backup/retreat, and it's extremely rare that I do, it's within my goal and plan to do so, in order to do set-ups and checks, and/or to draw my opponent into my zone purposefully with resolve. Even whenever an attacker's attack is overwhelming, my backing up/retreating isn't for naught; there's a plan already in motion to reengage AND reestablish my forward Short Range attacks/counterattacks and the like.

For me, it's all a Chess game with me. Establishing and reestablishing that center through your opening game. Sending out your scouts here and there. Thinking always 5 moves ahead. Setting up those hidden attacks. Blindsiding the corners. Solidifying ones middle game. Willing to sacrifice. Constant reevaluation of strengths and weaknesses. Trapping opponents pieces; freezing. Weakening their defense by capturing one piece at a time for the end game. Introducing Check Mate from the most unexpected place.

Whomever plays the game better; wins!!




I knew you were going to post something along these lines, as Iíve heard you briefly speak about not backing up before. I really like the detail you put into this post.

I fight at a closer range than most people at my dojo do. Being 5í9 and having short legs (29Ē inseam) has something to do with that. Having horrible flexibility that kicking above rib height has something to do with it. Having the wrestling experience I have and not being afraid of being grabbed or thrown has something to do with it too. Thereís a guy who can easily sweep me at any given moment, but Iíll discuss him a bit later.

I like fighting up close. It takes away peopleís reach advantage, and especially their kicking. I find most taller and thinner people like to keep guys like me in a range where they can hit me but I canít hit them. They also like to catch me on the way in. They typically have the most difficulty when I get up close. People around my size arenít as predictable. The most difficult people to find a comfortable range against is the taller AND big guys. Theyíll happily keep you outside your range, then when you get in and under them, theyíll happily trade punches and make you carry their weight. The guy I referenced earlier in this post whoís a yondan (not the yondan in my previous post). Whenever I get close, he either goes Rock ĎEm Sock ĎEm Robots with me, which ends in my demise, or he just sweeps me and laughs. If heís in a really good mood, heíll do both. We were sparring one day, and he just kept tagging me every time I tried anything from the outside. So I got up really close, and he picked me apart inside and swept me. My CI just shook his head and chuckled. I said ď toying was working from the outside, so I figured I had to change it up.Ē My CI nodded, then I followed up with ďnothing really worked when I got inside either, so Iím out of options.Ē Everyone in the dojo found that one amusing.

But fighting up close and not backing up are two different things. They appear the same on the outside, the way I did it last night was a significantly different experience. All I did differently than usual was not take a single step backward. If my opponent stepped backward, I simply took a step forward. If they stepped forward, they got themselves into an up close range without me initiating it.

Iím really looking forward to seeing the seniors and trying this. The above mentioned yondan who loves to sweep me will most likely have a field day with me. Itís all good though.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14370
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137 wrote:
sensei8 wrote:
Back up only when necessary!! That's a Shindokan staple through and through. Through Space Management I can drastically curb the urge to back up. How? Forward motions far outweigh backwards, albeit, it's easier to watch forward than it is to watch over your shoulder behind you.

As it is in Close Range, so is it in NOT BACKING UP. Ether take guts to executed effectively; the air of uncertainty can be quite stifling at first until much more knowledge and experience is acquired on the floor...wherever that floor might be.

Defeat the fear of not retreating asap because that which one can't overcome, it shall most assuredly conquer you. Once fear's set in, it's quite impossible to overcome it. These aren't maxim to ignore!!

The options before any practitioner in the regards of backing up/retreating are as wide as the skies. Angles are your friend. Slipping is your friend. Ducking is your friend. Receiving is your friend. Intercepting is your friend. So on and so forth.

Whenever I do backup/retreat, and it's extremely rare that I do, it's within my goal and plan to do so, in order to do set-ups and checks, and/or to draw my opponent into my zone purposefully with resolve. Even whenever an attacker's attack is overwhelming, my backing up/retreating isn't for naught; there's a plan already in motion to reengage AND reestablish my forward Short Range attacks/counterattacks and the like.

For me, it's all a Chess game with me. Establishing and reestablishing that center through your opening game. Sending out your scouts here and there. Thinking always 5 moves ahead. Setting up those hidden attacks. Blindsiding the corners. Solidifying ones middle game. Willing to sacrifice. Constant reevaluation of strengths and weaknesses. Trapping opponents pieces; freezing. Weakening their defense by capturing one piece at a time for the end game. Introducing Check Mate from the most unexpected place.

Whomever plays the game better; wins!!




I knew you were going to post something along these lines, as Iíve heard you briefly speak about not backing up before. I really like the detail you put into this post.

I fight at a closer range than most people at my dojo do. Being 5í9 and having short legs (29Ē inseam) has something to do with that. Having horrible flexibility that kicking above rib height has something to do with it. Having the wrestling experience I have and not being afraid of being grabbed or thrown has something to do with it too. Thereís a guy who can easily sweep me at any given moment, but Iíll discuss him a bit later.

I like fighting up close. It takes away peopleís reach advantage, and especially their kicking. I find most taller and thinner people like to keep guys like me in a range where they can hit me but I canít hit them. They also like to catch me on the way in. They typically have the most difficulty when I get up close. People around my size arenít as predictable. The most difficult people to find a comfortable range against is the taller AND big guys. Theyíll happily keep you outside your range, then when you get in and under them, theyíll happily trade punches and make you carry their weight. The guy I referenced earlier in this post whoís a yondan (not the yondan in my previous post). Whenever I get close, he either goes Rock ĎEm Sock ĎEm Robots with me, which ends in my demise, or he just sweeps me and laughs. If heís in a really good mood, heíll do both. We were sparring one day, and he just kept tagging me every time I tried anything from the outside. So I got up really close, and he picked me apart inside and swept me. My CI just shook his head and chuckled. I said ď toying was working from the outside, so I figured I had to change it up.Ē My CI nodded, then I followed up with ďnothing really worked when I got inside either, so Iím out of options.Ē Everyone in the dojo found that one amusing.

But fighting up close and not backing up are two different things. They appear the same on the outside, the way I did it last night was a significantly different experience. All I did differently than usual was not take a single step backward. If my opponent stepped backward, I simply took a step forward. If they stepped forward, they got themselves into an up close range without me initiating it.

Iím really looking forward to seeing the seniors and trying this. The above mentioned yondan who loves to sweep me will most likely have a field day with me. Itís all good though.

To the bold type above...

That's it, right there!!

Backing-up/retreating from an opponent can create temporal space between one another, which might prevent anyone contacting. However, that space created ALSO creates that exact space that your opponent's striving for. Your opponent presses you...you backup...and WHAM...you're tagged-and-bagged unceremoniously.

You stepping forward, and it causing him to step backwards, offers you a plethora of opportunities through calculating angles and the like, while constantly scanning for his hidden attacks. Dai-Soke called that 4X4 Awareness; attentiveness to all 4 immediate sides offensive and offensive.

We don't execute singularly whatsoever; always multiple attacks. This increases our ratio of contacts. Always forward at every possible angle. Attacking deserving targets gets opponents attention, and their attention isn't always that focused where it ought to be; not everyone can watch everything. Especially is I keep them busy here, while I attack over there. That too. is 4X4 Awareness...where he isn't, I will be!!

Now, the world could be turned upside down for me when my opponent tackles me to the ground. However, I don't fear the ground, I welcome the ground. Take me to the ground...I like it there too.



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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
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Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this is an over simplistic analysis, but it's true. And I always tell it to less experienced folks that retreat backwards as soon as their opponents gets the upper hand.

Your opponent can move forward faster than you can move backwards. Therefore, while sometimes it's good to take one step back, sometimes (I personally believe there's rarely a reason to go backwards), it is never good to take multiple steps backward.

By that I mean, I'd rather step back to allow a powerful kick burn out before it hits me, with a view to getting straight back in before my opponent has chance to do something else. But if they've caught me flustered and are seizing the opportunity with a rapid volley, I'm not retreating backwards because if I do that, it's very difficult to take back control. Sometimes that's the ideal time to tighten up your guard and storm in forward.
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JR 137
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Joined: 10 May 2015
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Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OneKickWonder wrote:
I know this is an over simplistic analysis, but it's true. And I always tell it to less experienced folks that retreat backwards as soon as their opponents gets the upper hand.

Your opponent can move forward faster than you can move backwards. Therefore, while sometimes it's good to take one step back, sometimes (I personally believe there's rarely a reason to go backwards), it is never good to take multiple steps backward.

By that I mean, I'd rather step back to allow a powerful kick burn out before it hits me, with a view to getting straight back in before my opponent has chance to do something else. But if they've caught me flustered and are seizing the opportunity with a rapid volley, I'm not retreating backwards because if I do that, it's very difficult to take back control. Sometimes that's the ideal time to tighten up your guard and storm in forward.


I like your analysis. Thatís about what I was doing before, but add in a little backing up on my part to create some space.

I noticed 2 main things by not backing up last night...
1. My opponents couldnít throw much more than one technique at a time. They threw a kick or a punch and tried to step forward during it in attempt to continue the combo. Me just standing there and them running out of room confused them and inadvertently ďjammedĒ them.

2. I didnít do what my CI refers to as ďgoing tit for tatĒ meaning it wasnít one guy throwing a combo with the other guy backing up, and then starting his combo; basically taking turns on offense then defense the entire time.

My scientific inquiry mind tells me I should stick with this for several weeks without changing anything else to determine its true effectiveness.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, of course, if you're quite overwhelmed, then the sane thing to do is retreat to a safe haven. There's no shame in that whatsoever!!



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