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Revario
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 27 Feb 2023
Posts: 5
Location: Ottawa Canada
Styles: Karate-Chito Ryu

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2023 3:31 pm    Post subject: Sparring and protection Reply with quote

In regards to sparring and realism; I am wondering which approach you find most effective (effectivity in regards to teaching and learning while staying as close to realism as possible). In particular in regards to the gear/where it is worn. I am of course speaking of non competition sparring, aimed more towards self defense or simply full contact.

There is the conventional approach where participants wear hand and feet protectors as well as headgear where head contact is allowed.

A different approach is the way of Koshiki where the participants wear a chest protector and headgear. No protection to hands and feet are given with the idea to strengthen these parts while delivering blows.

I can highly appreciate the non wearing of protection on hand and feet as I highly discourage those for heavy bag work for Karate. I do use gloves every odd times on the bag but this is not the regular. I like my open hand strikes and to be able to work with an elastic band and the bag gloves are simply in the way...

In another way, protection on hands and feet help people deliver blows with less restriction or "fear" of hurting themselves.

Perhaps one method is better suited to either full contact or self defense sparring.

Thank you for your comment and sorry if not posted in proper section.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 16054
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2023 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great topic, Revario; thank you for it.

While not a Kyokushin practitioner, I can fully appreciate their methodology and ideology approach to sparring...no protection, for the most part.

Protection certainly has its place no matter how different their sparring is approached. I can't judge any styles sparring approach because they view safety differently. Some have barely any protection while others have every protection gear known under the sun.

Protection can create sloppy and ineffectiveness in their techniques because of the possible false security given by the wearing of protection and the inability of the CI and its instructors of not providing effective correction.

I believe that children practitioners need to wear more protection than adults because they're still physically developing. I might tend to overdo the protection whenever it comes to the kids. Whereas the adults, minimum protection, and of course, experience and knowledge of the adult students might determine.

I believe that sparring is a very important aspect of any MA training, and above and beyond that, effectiveness of techniques and applications are paramount.

As a CI/owner and operator, the safety of my student body is paramount to me...so is effectiveness. If it's too hot in the kitchen, get out. If it's not to hot, then train hard and train well.

Protection to the hands and feet for bag work? Sure, especially for the beginners, but sooner or later the protection of the hands and feet can be tossed away. Of course, getting the proper bag is important especially for ones home training. Eventually makiwara training will come to the student and there's no pads there at all.

Train the entire body responsibly at all times.

Imho!!



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DarthPenguin
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 501
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2023 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always thought this is an interesting topic and tbh there is no right answer.

i can understand the argument that training without hand protection helps condition the hands and develop proper technique when striking, and should hopefully minimise injuries in a self defense situation. By the same token then why do we spar in bare feet? In most self defence scenarios we are likely to be wearing shoes/boots, which change things a little. If we are trying to be 'realistic' then should we wear them too?

Then i start thinking about attire: in a real situation you are likely to be in regular clothes, maybe even a jacket. This is totally different to a martial arts 'suit' which is built (usually) to permit maximum freedom of movement. A collared shirt or suit jacket isn't going to permit the same, let alone suit trousers etc.

My personal take on it is that wearing hand protection when sparring (plus a headguard and or/gumshield if heavy contact allowed to the head) is a good idea as it allows you to practice at a higher intensity and 'throw harder' without the same fear of injury to yourself or your partner. This can build the muscle memory of parrying then countering against a resisting opponent.

The correct alignment / technique issue can then be addressed specifically with things like a makiwara; a heavy bag; even with some breaking techniques (but without a 10 minute long prep time - when i did in the past you were literally expected to walk up and hit it: if they were nice you might get to measure distance once for first technique).

As an example look at pro boxers : when they spar they wear gloves and headguards. Granted it is for a sport and they wear gloves but they can usually punch hard and they find the headguard enables harder training which carries over to the fight.

It is an interesting topic though - don't think there is an absolute right or wrong answer : just a right or wrong answer for the individual
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 16054
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2023 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with DarthPenguin that there's really no right or wrong answer because it's up to the practitioner. The CI/Governing Body can guide, but the decision lies within the practitioner and not in the Governing Body!!



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Revario
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 27 Feb 2023
Posts: 5
Location: Ottawa Canada
Styles: Karate-Chito Ryu

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2023 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very true indeed. I think I also have partially answered my question by the way I ended up asking it.

Some is better for a specific type of situation or learning tool while the other which is equally good is for training a different set of skills.

In my ignorance I was comparing apples to oranges and I can clearly see how they differ and complement each other. I also know I need to obtain those parts as well as I have neglected that from my training. Being a big fan of Makiwara in general I feel it is a part of my training I need to incorporate more often. Karate sometimes forget to strengthen the weapons (commercial and more sport oriented schools around here at least)

Another point was touched in regards to civilian dressing compared to what is worn in classes. I will keep it brief as this could be a whole subject on it's own. When in civilian clothing, a martial artist should consider their highest kicking point with said pants, confirm level of comfort on one leg with said shoes (which should be preferably steel toed, yes I am a kicker) and a non restricting jacket. Those are things to take in consideration at the moment of purchase. Civilian clothing should not hinder one's skills but ampliphy them where possible.
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scohen0300
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 09 Feb 2016
Posts: 249
Location: It varies
Styles: Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2023 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting question! I feel like Iím going to have a very unpopular opinion 😂

I prefer point style sparring, where you have to make contact while also showing enough control that you donít knock your opponent back. I do NOT think of the modern point style Kumite matches, what comes to mind for me is the old school Shotokan sparring, but with more emphasis on the not hurting your opponent aspect. For me, itís just fun!

That being saidÖ Iím also well aware that itís not the best method when really training for self defense.

While I like the padding on hands and feet for protection on both ends, Iíve found many practitioners will continue to get carried away knowing theyíre padded, and hit harder. I once got roughed up pretty bad in a boxing gym, and my ďsparringĒ partner was pretty brutal. We both had head gear and gloves on, and boy did I feel that for the next few days. Also, we wonít have gloves on in a real situation!

With the gloves off, I think you condition your own hands for more of the real thing. You donít hit unrealistically hard (for yourself) when you donít have something protecting your hands, and I think that gives us a more realistic understanding of what weíre capable of. Plus, I think we maintain a little more awareness on how hard weíre hitting our training partners when the gloves are off. Again, thatís good for both ends.

I also just hate wearing sparring gearÖ I get it, I understand it, I support it, but I just donít like it 😂
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29784
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2023 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think what and how you plan on training on a particular day can lead to wearing different gear for protection, based on the training. Light drilling might require little to no equipment. Harder contact naturally tends to lend itself to more protective equipment in many cases. I also notice that when harder contact is the goal, a rule-set tends to get implemented in order to prevent serious injury.

In the end, I think it's a matter of finding a balance.
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aurik
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 352
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2023 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At our dojo, when (adult) students spar, we generally only wear handpads and mouth guards. We are expected to practice good control and not injure our opponent. Our sparring rules are set up with those things in mind. For example, the head is not considered a valid target unless your partner is a brown belt or higher. Leg strikes/sweeps aren't permitted unless your opponent is over 18, and if you ever take your opponent down to the ground, you're expected to help them control their fall. We generally don't do "point sparring", except if we are actively preparing for a specific tournament. We more do a 'freestyle' sparring where you are expected to combine sequences of attacks and defenses. The goal isn't to hurt or injure your partner, but to practice your techniques in a more fluid environment. I, for one, wear MMA style gloves, because my usual technique is to let the opponent strike, then grab his/her weapon on the way back out and use that against him.

For younger students, they are expected to also wear headgear and foot protectors. Some also wear shin pads as well, however I find shin pads to be more of a distraction, since we should have already conditioned our shins to a certain degree.

The key though is we are expected to spar in such a way as to respect our partner. One thing our CI frequently says is "you're more likely to get hurt sparring against a white belt than a black belt". There have been a handful of incidents over the years where one student injured another, but those have been pretty rare (and usually ended up happening on belt tests when emotions are running a bit hotter).
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
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Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2678
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2023 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm of the opinion that martial arts training must be approached with many overlapping layers of training methods in order to account for the compromises we make in those methods, and sparring is no different. Personally, I like to spend the most time sparring with kakedameshi (sticky hands sparring), and if we're going light with an emphasis on grappling, we'll do that without gloves or mouthguards, but if we are going harder, we'll put those on. I also use "bully sparring" (one person acting as the attacker who just keeps putting on forward pressure and doesn't stop hitting), and other asymmetrical sparring methods like boxer vs. grappler, or legs vs. hands, in order to expose my students to a variety of skillsets and challenges. I also like MMA-style sparring for covering all ranges of combat, and self-defense scenario training for the highest level of realism with regard to how self-defense situations actually happen.

As a general rule, we use mouthguards and MMA sparring gloves, with shin/foot pads and headgear being optional (I generally recommend against it unless they need to avoid bruising or other marks on the face, as they've been shown to make TBI worse). Contact always starts light, and we slowly increase the contact to get people used to impact, although full-contact is largely unnecessary. I only allow light contact to the head, because we don't need anyone developing TBI. Techniques that are particularly dangerous (eye gouges, knee kicks, etc.) are either done slowly or with slightly adjusted target locations for safety.
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