One of the most frequently recurring topics of discussion within our group centers around sparring. Specifically, the best progression of drills to prepare new students for contact sparring, as well as how and when to step up the intensity. Now, we realize there is a certain segment of the martial arts community that believes light contact sparring, including sparring progressions, drills, and games is a waste of time. Realism is the priority, therefore it’s high intensity or nothing all. Some flat out do not believe in "sparring." They tend to be the Combatives and/or Reality-Based Self Defense groups, who sometimes prefer Scenario Training (simulating everyday, real life situations as opposed to “dueling”), and other times simply believe that the only way to prepare for a fight is by fighting, whether for self defense, sport, or anything in between. While the sentiment is understood, we do not wholly agree.
When you find yourself struggling with a technique, or, are having trouble dealing with a technique being used against you, the most simple solution is to break it down to a basic level and work the fundamentals. Repetition is king. The more times an undesirable action is repeated, especially under acute stress, the more ingrained it will become. That can only be resolved by repeating the proper response, over, and over, and over. In our opinion, this is where low intensity sparring, drills, and games become invaluable... [continue]