I recently came across this article entitled “5 ways to improve sparring“.

I tend to agree with #1: don’t stop to discuss what happened. That is what we teach. Don’t stop if you hit your partner. Finish the drill, complete the timeline to safety, and only then apologise (in training; no need to apologise in real life).

#2 “finish your opponent”, can be dangerous if you need to explain yourself after the situation to the police. Fine, you don’t need to stop to look for an imaginary judge to give the point or say the fight is over. If he’s down and you can safely leave, then leave. But if stay to you kick them while they’re down and teach them a lesson, realise it’s no longer self-defense in the eyes of the law. And don’t give me the “better judged by 2 than carried by 6” excuse. I prefer me students to come back to training after a fight, not to have to bring them cakes while in prison.

#3 Use your speciality. Bleh. Train everything. Your attacker or the environment may not allow you to use your “specialty”.

#9 No tag sparring. That’s a good one. you’re not in a ring. Tagging doesn’t get you out safe. Knocking your attacker down, or hitting to the point where he/she gives up is what will get you out safe. You need to keep going until the threat is no longer a threat, and then get out safe. Going through the ranges and high/low is also very helpful.

#10 one fighter down. Good drill, we do it too. Sometimes luck is not on your side, and you end up being the soccer ball. Good thought there: don’t sit/lay there waiting for the attack. Learn to attack first from any position, and get up asap.

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