Just got my sparring gear

Discussion in 'Karate' started by OldWhiteBeltGuy, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. OldWhiteBeltGuy

    OldWhiteBeltGuy Valued Member

    I just got my sparring gear today... I'm really excited to start applying a little of what I've learned over the last few months. At my school we're not allowed to spar until we get our orange belts (after white and yellow). I don't officially get the belt until the Friday after tomorrow, but I want to be ready!

    So, who has some good beginner advice? I'm 6'2" and about 220 lbs.
  2. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    Good beginner sparring advice:

    -Don't lean as you punch, stick your fist towards your opponent but not your face (they might take advantage of it!)

    -Block in a light, fluid way. Don't try and pull off the basic blocks in their full form.

    -Keep at the right distance: just out of their striking range. When you're ready, then is the time to close the distance.

    -Circle your opponent as well as moving forward and back.

    -Keep your guard up.

    That should keep you busy for now :D
  3. Sam

    Sam Absent-ish member

    Just relax, Go with the flow (i sound all surfer dude).

    Just to elaborate on a point of mooseys regarding footwork, In my opinion footwork is THE first thing you should learn, the ammount of belts I've seen who can kick, punch and block effectively but can only move back and forth in a very 2D way is silly, correct footwork opens all door's :p

    Your instructor will ease you into it you''ll be fine, Just chill.

    Good luck!!!

    Let us know how you get on.
  4. OldWhiteBeltGuy

    OldWhiteBeltGuy Valued Member

    Thanks guys! Good advice all-round. I just can't wait to get started!

    Moosey, I already have to remind myself not to lean as I punch, so that's something I'll have to really watch for.

    I know from learning forms that it takes a few hundred (maybe thousand) repetitions of a movement before I really feel I can coordinate the different bits of it. I'm sure sparring is the same way, learning all of those skills so you don't really have to think about them and you can occupy your mind on reacting to your partner's movements.
  5. prowla

    prowla Valued Member

    My advice, and it's based on something that I am terrible at, is to remember to breathe. You get all tense and hyperventilate or whatever, and you're knackered in ten seconds flat.
    Also, enjoy it. Sparring is a cooperative exercise between two consenting karateka who are looking help each other improve. You are not trying to injure each other.
    I guess you'll move on to points competition. Again, the object is to show that you could have injured your opponent if you chose to, but you only need a touch contact to prove it.
    Finally, enjoy the bruises. I've just been on a week's course, and am covered in them. They don't hurt. (Honest!)
  6. OldWhiteBeltGuy

    OldWhiteBeltGuy Valued Member

    Good point on the breathing... We've done a couple of pre-sparring exercises such as trying to touch a partner on the shoulder, or standing about 5' away from a partner doing strikes and blocks without coming close to touching each other, and I was surprised how quickly I became winded. I imagine actually getting knocked around a little isn't going to help!
  7. chrispy

    chrispy The Hunter

    breathing is very important as well as knowing when you can catch 2 or 5 seconds of time to relax for a bit, and not wasting energy, if you bring your foot up to kick and do nothing then you are draining your battery for nothing type of thing... a great thread on sparring is the "sparring" thread http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49859

    you can see some videos and definently see things not to do in them as well as some things that do work. plus there's loads of advice in there from quite a few people.
  8. narcsarge

    narcsarge Masticated Whey

    A couple of thoughts from someone that has sparred with and without padding.
    1. Pay attention to all the posts that say "BREATHE". That is your gas guage. If you are huffing and puffing you are running on empty.
    2. Do not get comfortable with wearing pads. They are to ensure that you do not damage yourself and your sparring partner.

    Years ago, before pads, I took full contact sparring and I learned very quickly getting hit sucks. And, it hurts. Making contact with another person can hurt too. You only have to jam a toe or a finger during a sparring session to realize this. Pads or not, keep your hands up and BREATHE! Good luck! :cool: :Angel:
  9. OldWhiteBeltGuy

    OldWhiteBeltGuy Valued Member

    I will definitely be taking your advice on breathing and watching my "batteries". I don't think I'll be sparring without the pads any time soon though... This is all about fun and health for me. I don't mind some bruises, but I'd like to avoid more serious injuries. I really don't expect to every apply any of this to "street fighting". OTOH, I will try to avoid things that would break fingers, etc if I didn't have pads on.
  10. narcsarge

    narcsarge Masticated Whey

    Thanks O.W.B.G.! Use the pads but keep in mind "accidents do happen'. Example; I was just sparing a Black belt. Light contact, no pads. He came in and lifted his left leg, I threw a right leg side kick. Great thought but w/ the 2 us of coming forward, my big toe on my right foot caught his left thigh. He bent over in pain and called it quits. I stopped immediately cause I heard some funny popping sounds eminating from my toe. I limped a bit afterwards, a full week afterwards, and my toe was severly sprained. Now, neither of us was intending to get hurt or hurt the other but it happened. Accidents happen and pain is part of our sport. As much as we try to prevent them, injuries happen. Just a thought from another old white belt. :cool: :Angel:
  11. Xoxi

    Xoxi Valued Member

    VERY IMPORTANT: dont hit the black belts too hard. What goes around comes around... :woo: :cry:

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