Today's Workout


Sparring Attributes

If you sense a threat, conform to a DEFENSIVE posture such as evading. If you do not sense a threat, conform to an OFFENSIVE posture. Continually reading (watching and analyzing the movements of your opponent) will permit you to recognize and seize opportunities for scoring.
Block & Counter
The other five components of free sparring will aid in your ability to score by blocking and countering in a match. Preventing your opponent from landing a strike is important, but victory can be achieved by capitalizing on your opponent’s close proximity to you by executing a rapid and accurate counter strike.
Evade with Option to Counter

Evading prevents unnecessary contact and presents opportunities to counter when your opponent might be vulnerable. Evasion techniques include body posture and creative footwork. The other five components of free sparring enhance the benefits of evading and countering.
Retreating from an attack has several purposes, the most obvious of which is to remove yourself from the range of the attack. By controlling the distance between yourself and your opponent, you can gain a moment to plan and execute your own attack while causing your opponent to lose momentum and expend his energy. Retreat is limited by boundaries, and if excessive, it can even affect scoring.
Do Not Telegraph

When preparing an offensive combination, use caution to avoid revealing your intent by controlling your eye contact and body posture, and minding your habits. If you telegraph or unwittingly communicate your intent, your opponent will be prepared for the attack and may respond successfully by blocking, evading and possibly scoring with a counter.
Non-Expecting Technique
A technique that your opponent does not anticipate is called a non-expecting technique. It can be achieved in several ways, but the purpose is to surprise and score. You can “fake out” your opponent (below) or “distract” him, e.g. performing several kicks followed by a hand technique. You can also execute a non-expecting technique to your opponent’s “blind side” by reversing or spinning.
The timing of your defensive and offensive maneuvers is absolutely critical in successful free sparring. It means the difference between scoring and being scored upon. In combination with reading your opponent, timing is the quintessential sparring skill to develop. For example, timing is imperative if you attempt to counter when your opponent’s kick is fully extended. Another tactic available to those with good self- control and timing is to move in at the first sign of an attack.
By telegraphing a false technique, you can produce an opportunity to score upon your opponent. It is often an effective strategy to “bait and switch” or create a defensive habit in your opponent and surprise him with a different technique (e.g. execute two side kicks which your opponent reads and blocks, then change to a similarly-chambered round kick which “fakes him out” and he fails to evade or block).
First train for proper technique, accuracy and timing, then as your conditioning for
sparring improves, set increased speed goals. Victory is all but assured for those who
think and act with great speed. When all other factors are equal, the faster competitor
will almost always prevail.

Skip to content