Sparring and Taijutsu:

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by zenpokaiten, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. ninjedi

    ninjedi Valued Member

    So what? This art isn't about speed and power. It's about distance, timing, and angle (among other things).
  2. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Every art is about distance, timing and angles.
  3. yorukage

    yorukage Valued Member

    On the topic of sparring and Taijutsu, I went to a Jack Hoban seminar, it was the 2011 Buyu West Coast Camp. David F. (not sure if he'd like having his name dropped so I'll leave it there, any in the Buyu community should know who this is) did a segment on a fun exercise called Strike! It was a type of striking exercise to help with dealing with pressure and stress. Really cool. I used it with my guys afterwards and it was great. I have adapted it over time because the group I lead is a really good group and ego tends not to be a major factor.

    I found some really great MMA gloves for this. They are all leather, but have padding on the sides of the gloves, the thumbs, and have extra digits with padding for the forefingers. So, you can use many different strikes from the dakentaijutsu and these gloves have padding there. We still have uke and tori, and that is important to keep it from being a striking fest. Uke gets to attack however he wants, no limits really. The Tori's job is to control the pacing and speed of the encounter using mostly kihon happo because it's trained so often it is the easiest to use when you aren't thinking of a technique. Tori can punch also, but that isn't his job, his job is to control the fight, keep the Uke from striking him, and eventually maneuver him into a position to end the encounter safely.

    We don't do this a lot because it doesn't help make the Kihon or Taijutsu any better, in fact it starts to get sloppy of course. But it does teach grace under pressure and how to take a hit, because the Tori does get hit, and too many in the Bujinkan have never actually been hit while expected to be the Tori. It is good training and helps to understand the finer points of taijutsu and to use them in more realistic fashions. It's also fun. Again, this is possible because of the group I have. I've had some guys who I wouldn't use this with and didn't when they were training because they couldn't keep in control. It was actually part of my learning curve, putting two of these guys together. One was a former Taekwondo black belt, the other a body builder. They kept it pretty civil until one pantomimed a good neck choke. He had an arm bar with one hand, and grabbed the throat with the other. The Uke didn't acknowledge he was beaten like he should and started punching the other in the face with his free arm, ignoring the fact his throat was about to be removed by the guys powerful grip, and have his arm broken. I called it and broke them up really fast and no one was hurt. I had to talk to the Taekwondo guy about how he should have given up at that point because he was not in a good position, and that was his role, give a hard hitting start, but once your are got, you are got. I share this as part of recognizing my learning curve and my mistake. It doesn't happen now with the current set of people, and I'm careful to feel out new people before trying it with them. It is very important to make sure everyone has a good grasp on the "rules" of the game to ensure no one gets hurt and to ensure there is training value to it, not just sparring with each other. Again, clear uke and tori, just uke gets to press the attach however he wants and can resist the beginning of the techniques.

    Maybe you disagree with this, but I really wanted something that would help pressure test my group because I came from a full contact sparring MA and also did wrestling in high school and I know there is a huge difference from the way something works in practicing it and when the pressure is on.
  4. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    It matters, because I did not feel threatened. If kata is the primary vehicle to teach the art, then I should feel threatened. Now in retrospect I think that my perception of no threat may just be a byproduct of my newness. Im guessing kata speed and threat level picks up much later in training.

    It no longer matters at this point any ways.
  5. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Even as a n00b you should at least experience having an impetus to move at times, granted when going through the steps it can be mechanical and you are trying to get everything working together but you should still on occasion feel threatened, IMO.

    Even with something as simple as drilling tai sabaki.
  6. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    That's just it Dean, I didn't feel threatened. I have a feeling it is related to my prior training experience in mma.

    I don't know what to say. I don't know if it was the fact that I knew it was just kata and therefore it didn't bother me. I don't know if it was the fact I was used to full contact sparring.

    Since my thoughts on BBT here get back to my former dojo, im not going to say any more.
  7. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    True, and I totally agree that learning new things should be done slow. However, even then, distancing is important and any and every attack should land if tori does nothing. Too many people in this art train against punches that never land even if tori does nothing. that's fail 1.

    Fail 2 is that even many people who have trained for quite a while never train with anyone who is actually trying to hit hard. It's all good to talk about that speed and power are not what the art is about, but if you only ever get the kind of non threatening training and you get used to not feling danger, then the first you will be facing someone who is actually trying to hurt you, and your adrenalin is rushing and you'll be afraid, chances are you'll make a mess of things because you don't know how to handle yourself in that context.
  8. hatsie

    hatsie Active Member Supporter

    I agree even the teachers get used to the pathetic to the side of the head lame punches, and react in an overly relaxed manner.
    I used to remember when I attacked my teacher it was always done strait to his head, and had he not moved I would have damaged teeth/ broken nose etc.
    I was t being 'arsey' just honest. I remember feeling/ seeing an 'oh crap!' In his eyes in that split second when the penny dropped ' this is a real punch!'

    It's the only way to go in my humble opinion, and if someone is holding a judan plus, it should feel like your going to make contact ! :D
  9. Pankeeki

    Pankeeki Valued Member

    I always try to hit my teachers, full speed, and when they show an opening in their defense i take it too. As uke it is your duty to help the other guy train realistically. The higher the grade, the more difficult it should be.

    Biggest problem in the BJK is crappy uke's, because they create bad teachers...

    And even the people that think they are good uke's ussually are crap because they are not critical enough in their thinking and action.
    Last edited: May 7, 2014
  10. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    And lack of combinations. It's easy enough to avoid one punch, much harder to avoid three.
  11. Pankeeki

    Pankeeki Valued Member

    I agree, that is why i said:

    "and when they show an opening in their defense i take it too"

    If they don't stop me on the first attack i continue...
  12. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    Ok I know im not in the BBT any longer but I wanted to come back to this. You say if someone resists you flow to the next technique. The only thing I have to offer is, that you still have to experience the resistances to understand the timing needed to flow to the next technique. I feel that resistance must be both static, like the kinds of resistance built into some of the kata and more dynamic resistance.

    The notion of a fully resisting partner is important because they help you learn the timing of when and how and how much to apply the counter to the counter.

    I think that this should be done carefully though and not to often, but often enough that the practitioner has confidence in his/her abilities to deal with a threat that has skill. I feel that limited may be usefull in this. I also feel things like FMA style Flow sparring would be helpful as well.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  13. workingactor

    workingactor Valued Member

    Here's my question, as a "white belt". If we never spar..and the only training I get is with a "semi-resistant" do I know that these techniques will work in a real self-defense situation? This is what I'm struggling with. I love training bujinkan..and I THINK it would work if I actually had to use it..but I'd feel MUCH more confident in it, if I saw it used in class against a fully resistant opponent. My sensei is in Japan training with Soke right now..and I'll speak to him aboutit when he returns..but that's always been my biggest concern with Bujinkan.
  14. yorukage

    yorukage Valued Member

    At this level you are going to have to take some things on faith. In the dojo at the speed and level you are training at there is little chance of injury. But these techniques can cause very real and permanent damage if done full contact. I trained with a guy once that kept asking similar questions and I guess he didn't trust my responses. He started resisting everything and trying to fight me back. I took a simple ganseki nage that he resisted and tried to sweep my leg. He didn't understand the way this technique sets up and he tore the tendons in his elbow. So, there are very good reasons for not doing these at a full level, especially at your level. There were a lot of injuries in the 80s and 90s when there was more full contact sparring type stuff.

    At higher levels you will get more chances for this type of training when you and your partner have the ability to do more "randori" type training where you can test these things out without getting hurt.
  15. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I agree (sort of). Depending on the art you can spar a little safely enough on day one.

    We learn an arm bar on day one in Jujuitsu. Literally how to break an arm. We learn to tap and thus prevent full extension. After a month of learning to pass and arm bar you could hypothetically spar very safely under supervision.

    Wrist locks you can't spar because a) as any ninja/aikido player will tell you, you have to do it by surprise and thus you can't do it in sparring (when you're expecting it) and b) They're pretty dangerous because the joint is so small and fragile. It's either not working or it's broken. Not really much time to tap in a full contact scenario.
  16. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    If you learn correctly and follow the principles that are found in the techniques it will work. That you can see if you have the eyes to see it. The question is will it work for you in a particular circumstance, under particular parameters.:dunno: That can only be addressed by you and the forging you undergo in your martial journey.

    No amount of sparring or anything else will change the above so you shouldn't look to sparring to fix your issue of faith in the techniques. Pointing a gun at someone and pulling the trigger is one way to deal with a threat. You don't need to shoot people to know it will work. The question is can you pull the trigger and shoot someone? Also, what to do in case the gun doesn't fire(like a jam, etc). Or you shot the guy and he's still coming on.

    If your training and experience hasn't given you enough confidence in your ability to apply something, then it probably won't work. Spar to spar, compete to compete, train to ingrain certain principles and build a certain kind of body. Then you will know. If not, you should move on.
  17. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Experience beats theory, randori and sparring is essential to understand energy in motion.

    There's a reason hatsumi called judo the foundation of budo.
  18. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Experience of energy in motion can be experienced in a myriad of ways. We aren't talking theory.

    Again, I don't have the oft stating view that you shouldn't spar, or that the techniques are too deadly to do so(some don't lend themselves to different formats but that is a different story), just that it doing so doesn't automatically lead to some eye opening ability. Just like competition, sparring just another thing you should experience in your training, it is not the end all be all that many want to make it into.

    If you have been in fights before you start martial arts, you might not idolize it as some necessary cure all for the supposed ails of kata training.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  19. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    I wouldnt call bjkn methodology standard kata training either.

    But I've done both, and its only with a lot of unscripted experience that I've been able to reach the skills promised to me by cooperative partner work.

    You can get that unscripted experience through real fights, but you tend to get more hours in without injury by also getting a lot of randori in as well.

    Of course your rate limiting factors may be different to mine.......
  20. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Not sure what you are calling Bujinkan methodology either or what you consider standard kata training? Perhaps that's part of the problem.

    I don't only train with cooperative partners and arm hangers get on my nerves. I think the only way to achieve the heights of these arts is to train like Hatsumi sensei, the Shihan, and the generations who created these arts did. That is a lot harder than you see and hear on Youtube, but that's just me.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014

Share This Page