More similarities than differences?

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More similarities than differences?

Postby Balloo777 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:00 pm

Hello everyone, I just wanted to point out something i've percieved and see if anyone else has noticed anything similar. I have spent many years studying different styles of martial art, and I see that each style has its benefits, and uses. I see many styles practicing forms (kata, sequences, quan) etc, for hours and years to learn the movements. Yet when the students spar they seem to revert back to basic kickboxing and often times the style they use isn't even recognizable. Does anyone else notice this?
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Re: More similarities than differences?

Postby John the Monkey mind » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:04 pm

I think it is more a matter of sparing not being taught properly. I think if that is all you are going to do just take up kick boxing and save some time.

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More scrappy than a form but you can see traditional movements. Also sparring is far removed from a real fight and I hold traditional movements work better for fast and frantic 3 second fighting than sparing.
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Re: More similarities than differences?

Postby Monsoon » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:52 pm

It's all very problematic to me.

In the vast majority of real fights you start off defending. Then, if you are sufficiently skilled/lucky, you turn the defence into a controlled attack or opportunity for running away. There are very few situations (for regular people) in which starting a fight is a good idea - possible exception being to prevent an escalation of the danger (i.e the situation getting much worse and potentially unsurvivable).

Most of the scenarios suit the arts we learn - or is that the other way around? :)

In a controlled environment things are even more difficult. You are expected to attack even though it potentially puts you at a disadvantage (assuming relatively equal opponents - unequal opponents wouldn't be a sporting contest). Also, you are severely limited on technique. Take boxing. Both combatants will generally approach each other in a defensive posture, from which they will lash out probing strikes. A kind of fortress mentality. The sport is designed this way (perhaps for safety) and is quite different to the bare-knuckle fighting of a hundred or so years ago. Now imagine you are stepping into a boxing ring as a MA player and you are told you are allowed to use sweeps and ground attacks. The boxer will be at a distinct disadvantage, as every time he advances in range of your legs - but not his arms - he will be in danger of the sweep.

Not a perfect analogy but hopefully it illustrates my thinking on this.

So, some will argue that MMA is closer to an ideal as it allows a greater variety of applications. And yet it still severely limits what the contestants can do, in the interest of safety.

Our training is not so limited. However, when constrained by 'rules of the ring' it is perhaps not surprising that people fall back on simple punching and kicking a la Thai boxing.

Ultimately, if the other guy does nothing aggressive then there is no need for you to do anything aggressive. There is no fight, and that is by far the best outcome.
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Re: More similarities than differences?

Postby caesar » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:41 am

I have only little time to reply before I have to run to school. But before that I'd like to say that I don't personally think that ring equals to your abilities to use your art in self defence. I've been in arts where you'd spar regurlary (and it was useful!), but I've also been in arts with no sparring/ring at all or only light "randori" with your partner...where the idea is to give opportunities and let yourself make mistakes, and learn.

I know this is a subject often argued...and some tai chi players say "NO" to sparring and then again some reply to that "well that's the reason most of the tai chi players get their butt kicked." From my experience, you might learn to be very lethal and efficient in self defence even if you wouldn't have the opportunity make full contact sparring. I've witnessed this my self in two arts.

This is by no means an argument against sparring and might indeed bring much you your practice and learning how to apply your art and confront fear/pain etc! But I don't see rings and sparring as a necessarity to really learn your art...with a good teacher it will happen anyway. In the end, ring and its rules does limit your arts full potential to survive in a real situation...and this is also one of the reasons why your IMA whatsoever starts to look like every other art when sparring.


Re: More similarities than differences?

Postby Monsoon » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:50 pm

Agreed. Personally I think sparring or ring-work is useful, but more for the mental toughness side of facing an opponent who intends to hurt you in some way. A lot of real fight situations are terribly one-sided, partly due to factors such as surprise and partly down to the freezing of the person who is attacked. Hard to fight back when you are gibbering in terror and shock, and it's those first few seconds that are crucial.
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Re: More similarities than differences?

Postby Rigobert » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:56 am

It depends on how you're looking at the fight. Is it a sport or is it a self defense? The situation and when you use your skill change everything.
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