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LionsDen
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Joined: 06 May 2022
Posts: 177


PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2022 1:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Point sparring Reply with quote

OneKickWonder wrote:
For a long time, I thought point sparring was erm, pardon the pun, pointless.

My long held view used to be that a real fight doesn't stop the instant a judge raises a flag thingy. Free sparring made more sense. Still unlike a real fight, free sparring does at least emulate the bitter struggle to some extent, and the chaos.

But now I find myself thinking a little different about point sparring. I'd love to hear opinions on this.

Watching free sparring, especially the kids, there is sometimes the tendency to not try too hard to get one through. I'm not talking about full contact.just demonstrating the ability to land at good one if needed.

Or to put it another way. I think some people lack the determination to win. And free sparring does nothing to encourage that determination because unless knockouts or submissions are allowed, there can be no winner.

Point sparring on the other hand has a clear winner, and if it has one thing in common with a real fight, that can happen in a very short time if you make a mistake.

What do others think?
point sparring was originally intended to be a game or drill done inside the dojo, which is why it has such major and obvious flaws.

that being said most of the biggest flaws of today come from the light contact format that dominates, how strictly that light contact is enforced via 'excessive contact' penalties or similarly named penalties.

look back to the 70's and 80's and you'll see strikes resulting in knockdowns, being only in my early 30s i can't say for sure what the actual rules were regarding contact back then but based off of several videos i have seen from the time, it seems that excessive contact penalties were rare, if ever called. It honestly looked much more like what we saw in the original karate kid series back during that time, than it does now.

i do think there was a good reason for point sparring to be created as it helps to promote a good solid defense when not done in a light contact context, and even in a light contact context is possibly the single best method of learning distance, and timing.
even non-karateka MMA fighters have taken seminars/lessons in point fighting to be able to better understand those concepts.

I used to hate point fighting when i was younger but now i just accept it for what it is, a fancy game of tag. if people think point fighting will turn you into a real fighter i just ignore them and move on with my life.
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DarthPenguin
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Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 233
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 9:01 am    Post subject: Re: Point sparring Reply with quote

LionsDen wrote:
...

look back to the 70's and 80's and you'll see strikes resulting in knockdowns, being only in my early 30s i can't say for sure what the actual rules were regarding contact back then but based off of several videos i have seen from the time, it seems that excessive contact penalties were rare, if ever called. It honestly looked much more like what we saw in the original karate kid series back during that time, than it does now.


I think the change over time is totally right. I relatively recently returned to karate after many many years away doing other styles and had trained in the 80s/early 90s. When i mention that to people at my current karate class they almost unanimously comment on it being a lot rougher back then (i have to remind myself about the contact requirements all the time whenever i spar!)

I have always felt that the contact requirements seemed to be more like a safety valve for people when training. If the rules said minimum contact, we usually always went a lot harder than that with regular training partners, but it meant that if someone was uncomfortable with the level of contact there was a clear mechanism to enforce this. The coach/instructor would just say to watch it - though tbh it was usually obvious and never needed said.

Nowadays it seems that the contact rules are taken as gospel and people are less willing to adjust to their (and their partners) preferences.

I would like to note that i am in no way advocating for ignoring an instructor's views on how to teach their class. If they want to enforce minimum contact then they are totally entitled to do so and their wishes should be adhered to. We just always had a list of places we could train that would be a little less rigid in that regard, and you could choose to attend there or not as you saw fit.
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LionsDen
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Joined: 06 May 2022
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 9:19 am    Post subject: Re: Point sparring Reply with quote

DarthPenguin wrote:
LionsDen wrote:
...

look back to the 70's and 80's and you'll see strikes resulting in knockdowns, being only in my early 30s i can't say for sure what the actual rules were regarding contact back then but based off of several videos i have seen from the time, it seems that excessive contact penalties were rare, if ever called. It honestly looked much more like what we saw in the original karate kid series back during that time, than it does now.


I think the change over time is totally right. I relatively recently returned to karate after many many years away doing other styles and had trained in the 80s/early 90s. When i mention that to people at my current karate class they almost unanimously comment on it being a lot rougher back then (i have to remind myself about the contact requirements all the time whenever i spar!)

I have always felt that the contact requirements seemed to be more like a safety valve for people when training. If the rules said minimum contact, we usually always went a lot harder than that with regular training partners, but it meant that if someone was uncomfortable with the level of contact there was a clear mechanism to enforce this. The coach/instructor would just say to watch it - though tbh it was usually obvious and never needed said.

Nowadays it seems that the contact rules are taken as gospel and people are less willing to adjust to their (and their partners) preferences.

I would like to note that i am in no way advocating for ignoring an instructor's views on how to teach their class. If they want to enforce minimum contact then they are totally entitled to do so and their wishes should be adhered to. We just always had a list of places we could train that would be a little less rigid in that regard, and you could choose to attend there or not as you saw fit.

I think itís just a reality of the modern world. 80s/90s the idea of fighting in general wasnít viewed as an inherently bad thing, particularly if itís self defense, so if you came to school or work with a black eye a few friends or something might ask about it but most people would mind their own business. A minor at any age comes to school with a black eye thereís a very real possibility the police are called regardless of what the minor says.
For adults black eyes arenít viewed as professional appearance in most industries these days, so youíre actually putting your professional life at risk, all for a hobby youíre spending money on.
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DarthPenguin
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Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 233
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 4:33 am    Post subject: Re: Point sparring Reply with quote

LionsDen wrote:
DarthPenguin wrote:
LionsDen wrote:
...

look back to the 70's and 80's and you'll see strikes resulting in knockdowns, being only in my early 30s i can't say for sure what the actual rules were regarding contact back then but based off of several videos i have seen from the time, it seems that excessive contact penalties were rare, if ever called. It honestly looked much more like what we saw in the original karate kid series back during that time, than it does now.


I think the change over time is totally right. I relatively recently returned to karate after many many years away doing other styles and had trained in the 80s/early 90s. When i mention that to people at my current karate class they almost unanimously comment on it being a lot rougher back then (i have to remind myself about the contact requirements all the time whenever i spar!)

I have always felt that the contact requirements seemed to be more like a safety valve for people when training. If the rules said minimum contact, we usually always went a lot harder than that with regular training partners, but it meant that if someone was uncomfortable with the level of contact there was a clear mechanism to enforce this. The coach/instructor would just say to watch it - though tbh it was usually obvious and never needed said.

Nowadays it seems that the contact rules are taken as gospel and people are less willing to adjust to their (and their partners) preferences.

I would like to note that i am in no way advocating for ignoring an instructor's views on how to teach their class. If they want to enforce minimum contact then they are totally entitled to do so and their wishes should be adhered to. We just always had a list of places we could train that would be a little less rigid in that regard, and you could choose to attend there or not as you saw fit.

I think itís just a reality of the modern world. 80s/90s the idea of fighting in general wasnít viewed as an inherently bad thing, particularly if itís self defense, so if you came to school or work with a black eye a few friends or something might ask about it but most people would mind their own business. A minor at any age comes to school with a black eye thereís a very real possibility the police are called regardless of what the minor says.
For adults black eyes arenít viewed as professional appearance in most industries these days, so youíre actually putting your professional life at risk, all for a hobby youíre spending money on.


Thats a very fair point. I get reminded all the time of the change in attitudes when i give my son the same advice my dad gave me "if someone tries to pick on you, hit them back. Telling the teacher doesn't work, they just flag you as an easy target" and then get reminded by my partner that that isn't allowed at all nowadays!

The work thing is a fair point too, i'm an actuary and i have had a lot of funny looks when i attend lunchtime training sessions and come back into the office a bit bruised etc. WFH does help with that though!!
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