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Lessons from Sparring

March 7, 2011

I FINALLY went for a sparring session a couple of Sundays back.

It was a very educational experience, one I am glad I had. I was supposed to spar with one of my friends, but he pulled out because of work. So I sparred with two other people there instead and learned loads of things. A few of the lessons include:

Distance is everything.

One person I sparred with launched pretty ineffective attacks because he launched them from too far out. If he was one foot closer I’d have been clouted, because there was something about those attacks that caused me to block the WRONG way. Of course I launched a lot of ineffective attacks too, but they were simpler, so I was less vulnerable to counters.

The same thing also applied to defence. The second person I sparred with could kill me easily, so I largely stayed out of range. It’s a secondary victory, if I cannot win properly, the next best thing is to drag out the process and make the other party WORK like nuts to defeat me. And I did this by keeping the distance at the stalemate range. I know this sounds pathetic, but it brings me to my next point…

Heart is everything.

I didn’t get to use the Torite Kihon Goho, signature Bujinkan techniques, because 1) I was wearing boxing gloves; 2) I didn’t dare to close in. Only once or twice did I manage to luck my way into grappling distance, and managed to eke out an osoto gake.

If I didn’t dare to close in EVEN though it was only just friendly sparring, what makes me think I’d dare to close in when it’s a life-or-death struggle? Imagine, a large chunk of my taijutsu arsenal made useless because of MY cowardice…

After that…

While sparring with the first person, I got too caught up with the feinting and all that (I’m not as sensible as i thought I was) and accidentally kicked my toes against the guy’s shin. Because I had to rush off after the session I didn’t give the matter a second thought, even though my toes started to hurt.

By the time I actually LOOKED at my toes, it was hours after and my toes were all swollen. They hurt to walk, never mind training or exercise. And I had to go for x-rays to make sure they weren’t fractured or broken.

All in all, that meant that I didn’t do any real serious training for the past week. Somehow it seemed appropriate, because it was time to re-look at my training regime and see what changes needed to be made. As I mentioned before in another post, I had neglected a lot of Bujinkan waza in my preparation for this sparring, so it’s time to get all those under my belt again. And let’s not forget kenjutsu and jojutsu!

And I’ve also decided to spend more time watching videos to learn more stuff. I have proven to myself that I am not just a video-watcher but can get down to actual training. Now I think it’s time for me to expand my training horizons even more, by investigating videos to see what techniques and principles I can learn from them.

More to come! 🙂



From → bujinkan

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