Friday, April 20, 2007

The Three Cs of Sparring: Offense and Defense - repost

This is a repost of what I believe is a very good post on the basic tactics of sparring. Enjoy!

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Read this post from February about, what I call, the Three Cs of Offense and Defense. I will elaborate here a little.

3 Cs of Defense:

  1. Circle the opponent - You will find that, defensively, that the best habit (trained) to have it circling. What you do is step and slide to your left or right in a circle around your opponent while maintaining your facing (with respect to your partner) so that your can defend or fire. Remember that you want to circle away from the opponent's power hand or foot, which is usually in the back. That mean that if your partner's got his right in the back, circle counter-clockwise, or to your right about 75% of the time. The effect of this is to keep your enemy from "getting set," or ready to fire. He can't target you because the target keeps moving. Try it. NEVER move straight back because you'll get run down, and can't run backwards faster than your opponent can run forward.
  2. Cover/Guard hand up - it should go without saying, but keep your guard up. I like to aim my lead at my opponent, and use the rear hand as my guard, along with my lead shoulder. NEVER give your opponent a free shot by leaving a straight path to your face.
  3. Counter when able - get in the habit of firing back immediately after you block an attack, evade, or even when you get hit. If you wait, you opponent will attack again, and you'll never get the initiative.

3 Cs of Offense:
  1. Close the gap safely - use a proper lead technique to close the gap. The first mistake my kickboxing coach had to clean up when I started training at a boxing gym was to make me lead before getting close to my opponent, not get close, then lead. Nothing will ruin your attack more than moving in without something to get you there safely. Read this post about it.
  2. Cover by keeping the guard hand up - one hand should always be proving cover or protection while the other is in use. It should also be aligned to where it will guard against the most likely attack. When I am at kicking range, I keep my hands out in front and away because I don't have to worry about anything from the side. When I get in punching (outfighting) range, my rear hand is in front of me while my lead hand is aimed and firing. At infighting/clinching range, I cover to the side.
  3. Clear the engagement safely – always have an "exit strategy" BEFORE you engage. I call that clearing (a Joe Lewis term). I like to check the arm and then clear to that side, bump my opponent and then clear at an angle, or make him miss, then just turn around to face him again because he's done the clear for me.

These basics should help any fighter in their stand-up/kickboxing game. The more you stick to them, the more successful you'll be. Get back to work!

1 comment:

Patrick Parker said...

Recent follow-up article at Mokuren Dojo: