In the last class this Thursday we just covered sparring. This was done with bag gloves as this most closely represents street fighting and you have to work on being highly skilful, there’s no hiding behind big pillows. The aim of the session was to use the stuff that we’ve been practicing so student made it their own. Lots of times you get people saying “I know that” but in truth they know of it, but can’t do it in action, therefore they don’t know it.
First, we covered just sparring the jab with the emphasis on being non telegraphic. If you do this with the arm moving first then the body it’s very hard for your opponent to see. We added doubles with penetration and footwork, then added the cross. What I got everyone to do with the cross was to think of only having five so you don’t waste them. All the fighters were advised not to chase after fleeing targets but to wait and use the punch either in attack or in defence when you were sure to score. . Setting this cross up with a non telegraphic jab or double jab makes it much easier. As you can see, it’s a linear approach. If you don’t get the first bit right you’ve got more work later. So application of the basics and true understanding of them is the place to start, and to come back to, over and over.
We then added front kick and fighters used the front of the box for punching then retreated to the back of their stance/ box to stop kick. Adjustments were made with the drag step we’d covered in the first class of the night. Keeping him at the ideal distance for you to hit is a crucial part of the art. Everyone was fighting really well by now.
We then added the simple trapping that we covered on Tuesday. Why learn it if you’re not going to use it? As in the jab it’s a case of the hand going first if Pak sau is your trap. This worked really well for lots of people and killed the non telegraphic jab that the opponent was using. A couple of people did classic lop sau grabs and landed wonderful cross punches. The theme of the night though was ‘ Using It.’ Whatever you learn it has to go into the mix. I only cover things that you can work in sparring. If you understand this approach each tool or technique can offset or counter another attack so you need to have some technique depth. But in essence it’s a simple game. All in all this was one of the best sparring sessions in ages. Generally in the classes we’re doing a technique, then putting it into some game or flow so it’s less defined and you learn how to see it in flow, then we’re sparring it. This has been very successful. Once you’ve got something to work like this it’s yours. Do it successfully a few times over a number of weeks and it starts to go into your fight DNA. Bruce, as always, said it first. “To know and not to apply is not to know. “ Congratulations to all who trained as it was a great night, those who went to the pub on what was a lovely evening missed a special session.