Advanced Sparring

Discuss sparring, training applications in a competition environment, or even in real-life (fighting, self-defence). Please no violence!
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Advanced Sparring

Postby yan12 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:38 am

Hi guys,

I'm yan12 from the US (interested in kung fu and YMAA for about 5 years) and I'm new in this forum, although I've read posts for a number of years. I'm very attached to the sparring side of kung fu, but have been pretty disappointed at the small number of good sparring demonstrations by kung fu exponents. They look a lot like kickboxing tournaments - everyone keeping their fists close in like boxers, not keeping stances, and just randomly roundkicking and snap punching. Now, I've never seen any unrestricted YMAA sparring, but from what I've seen, I'm convinced it's effective and uses more application than the average school.

However, I've found some intriguing sparring vids from NY Wutan, which was started by Master Marlon Ma of Liu Yun Qiao fame (the same lineage as Adam Hsu). They keep their stances well while moving dynamically and use their techniques heavily in a free flowing fight.

Here's the first, between two intermediate praying mantis students: ... NCoto&NR=1

And here's the second, between a master and an advanced student:

I notice that they use a lot of tripping techniques (mantis influence) and liberally apply Ba Bu Gan Chan to attack ankles (I am well aware that they are not using any padding, which creates a safety issue, but also invites freer application of techniques). One practitioner mentioned that when in doubt in sparring, "one should attack." What do you all think of Wutan's sparring and methodology? Does YMAA sparring ever look like this, and if not, why not?

Thanks for your thoughts,
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Re: Advanced Sparring

Postby John the Monkey mind » Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:23 am

Thanks for the videos. The masters sparing looked good. I have been told how people develop sparing like that but was only taken about a 3rd of the way through the process when I studied southern kung fu. It takes a lot of drilling and discipline to maintain stances and form in sparing and most groups don't seem to do this so they end up kick boxing.

On the White Crane 3 and 4 DVD it has sparing practice more in line with what you want and with multiple attackers. I seem to remember that Dr Yang said something on the DVD along the lines that students have to put padding on so he wont get sued but that this distorts the practice as the padding lets them push on when they take a hit when without the padding it would stop them dead. This has a negative effect on the training as you end up with people just pushing forward punching and it hampers training of strategy and technique. ... 8kQyDenvo0

This is YMAA Portugal Tournament sparing. They would have to have the padding for legal reasons. Also keep in mind this is long fist not southern kung fu.

YMAA training montage.

Sparing is not necessarily the best preparation for real combat anyway. You can't really train real combat just around it. Some people hit a lot of bags, some people drill a lot of applications and some people spar, some people do the applications in the form. Some people pad up one guy and practice on him then change sides. I tend to think a combination of all the above is best as a real fight is nothing like any of the above.

My approach is always focus on rooting the most.
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