Unrealistic Range One-Step Sparring

Unrealistic Ranges of 1-Step Sparring

(Fast Punches and Counters)

by Keith Pascal

A Barrage of Speedy Strikes and Counters … Don’t Believe it!

I don’t know the classical term for the exercise I am about to describe …
When I was in both Tae Kwon Do and Karate, we did one-step sparring, but we also did a more advanced form.
You stood facing your partner. Your partner punched. You responded with a block and then one or two punches. That was the one-step version.
Eventually, this progressed into a more complicated form of the exercise.

Real Fighting? Not Even Close

You still stood facing each other. Someone punched. The person blocked and then punched — but then it continued. Block- punch, block-punch, block-punch.
This trading of techniques with your opponent facing you was impressive.
It looked quick. A blindingly fast series of punches and counters.
With this drill, I developed confidence. No matter what was thrown at me, I knew could block it — and I had a response punch that thrust forward without thought.
Cool, huh?

Punching Range Problems

Unfortunately, reality doesn’t always work out the way the mind imagines.
One of the problems — the one I’m going to discuss today — was distance.
In this “multi”-step sparring, we stood at a set range, a fixed distance from our partners. The punches were ‘pulled’ in front of the face or chest. The punches didn’t actually reach the body.
And this becomes a problem. You learn a false range. You don’t have the right sense of distance to reach an opponent in a real fight. You think you can defend against anything, when you’re really only learning to defend against ‘the familiar.’

Come a Little Closer, Now

So, I have a suggestion …
The next time you face someone for one-step or multi-response sparring, get a little closer. Face off at your normal distance.
Now, close the distance by a few inches. maybe one step closer.
Ok, time for the multi-step sparring, if that’s what you do.
If you feel cramped at this new distance, what are you going to do about it?
You have to do something. In real-life attacks, the fighters do close distance.
Get comfortable at the new, closer distance.
Then …
get a couple of inches closer and continue practicing.
In fact, challenge the distance. Get even closer. Breathe down your opponent’s neck.
Now, some might argue that one-step sparring is needed in the beginning stages of learning a technique. They’d claim that you add realism, “later.”
One of the ways that I want to change ALL martial arts practice is to suggest …
What if you practiced from a realistic distance … even from the first time trying the technique?
What if you had your practice partner step in on each and every repetition of the technique, forcing you to deal with a realistic range?

An in-your-face fighting range?

What if?

Want to read a great collection of articles by Keith Pascal?

100 practical martial arts articlesKeith collected 100 of his best martial-arts articles, from over 2,000, and put them into one ebook. These articles were chosen for their practical application. In other words, this is stuff you can use.

Now, for one low price. Read more about 100 Practical Martial-Arts Articles by Keith Pascal.

Tags: , ,