The third type of sparring that we analyze is body defensive automation. This type of confrontation must be run at a moderate speed based on the level of the contenders and always with controlled power; the idea is to develop skills such as precision, timing, reflexes, adaptability, body control, body conditioning, pain control (etc.).
Let’s see what are the rules of this type of sparring.
- The 2 practitioners are one against the other with their relative guards
- The practitioner 1 attacks as he prefers, the practitioner 2 suffers strokes
- 90% of the fighting takes place with kicks and punches but it does not exclude small and “soft” actions by the other parts of the body
- Who suffers the blows must dispose his body in order to limit the damage of impacts
- The defender must not only think about prevent damages but also to try to hurt the aggressor passively
- The defender must try to cause harm by replacing the opponent’s target with his toughest / solid parts body (eg. elbows on punches and knees on kicks)
- The attacker must be able to penetrate the defensive tactics and get the target
- The attacker must avoid any kind of stiffness, softness and fluidity are necessary to prevent impact damages
- The combat must always be imagined as real
- The battle can last more than 15 minutes (minimum 2 minutes)
- The roles are exchanged at least 4 times during the execution
What we can do:
- We can move quite freely but in a limited area (eg 4x4m)
- The attacker can hit the opponent but without full power
- The attacker can use punches, kicks, knees, elbows, etc. (in a controlled way, without too much momentum)
- The attacker can (occasionally) use combined, consecutive, simultaneous (etc.) techniques
- The defender can position his body freely but without performing active actions to reach the opponent (eg. a kick)
- The defender can not load their own limbs or make too big movements
- We can go lower, rotate, do small jumps, etc. (but that’s not the focus of the exercise)
- We can use rigid / soft training weapons (if not dangerous)
- If we use flexible weapons, the defender can try to grab it
What we can not do:
- Levers, projections, constrain techniques and any kind of prolonged contacts are not allowed
- The defender can not dodge, channel, etc.
- The defender can not start any kind of active attack
- We can not use full-speed (especially the first times, we have to go very slow)
- It is not allowed to bring any type of technique as to cause damage
- We can not go for ground fighting
- We can not lead shots on pressure points (lethal, pain, etc.)
- The main goal is to teach our body an instinctive way of defense and counterattack
- The basic reaction is that we try to limit the damage (through changes related to breathing, target, mobility, tension, etc.)
- The best reaction is to disable the limb that attacked us (eg. by breaking a bone) with a “small” but very precise and intense movement
- Enclose great power in very small time-space
- Develop the last defense of our body, the more instinctive, the one that is activated when all else has failed
- Learn to deceive the opponent through our body movements
- Learn to read, imagine and prevent opponent’s actions
- Gain precision, conditioning, pain control and spatial intelligence
- Learn to recognize good space / time to act
- Learn to oppose stiffness to softness and vice versa
- Depending on the level of the fighters (experience with the exercise, self-control, spatial intelligence, body conditioning, etc.), can be used or not more or less complete protections (gloves, helmets, etc.)
- If we use weapons the attacks must be very controlled
- To suffer fractures or microfractures in this kind of exercises is very easy, let us not overestimate our abilities, we have to focus
- Both who defend both the attacker must think to the safety of his companion (there are no rivals in a training session)
- In some cases we can run a 2-3 attackers against one
- In some cases we can do the exercise with the “victim” forced to stay to the ground
- The attacker can use soft / rigid training weapons (eg. soft plastic chains)
- The exercise can be done also without power and with simple pressures (as for the attacker as for the defender)
- In the case of skill disparities we can apply some handicap to the more experienced practitioner (more about this later)
- This is not a sparring type good for novices, the risk of error / damages is high, the contenders have to know what they’re doing
- When our body absorbs this kind instinctive automation, we will became very dangerous (especially if we practice broken and the special 6DKF’s techniques); our psychophisical autocontrol ability must growth in parallel to our ability to create damage (we practice to find peace not war)
- Doing only this type of sparring is useless, it should be combined with the other types
In future articles of this series we will see the other types of training fight.
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.
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