Free Sparring is NOT for the Street

Woman elbowing a man who was trying to assault the woman

I am not a politically correct person. I don’t not believe in it at all. I believe it is one of the reason we have so many issues in the world, but I digress.

Free sparring has nothing to do with being attacked in the streets. It is part of the sport aspects of martial arts and instructor who say it is NOT are putting their students at risk.

I began my martial arts career in a TKD / Hapkido mix. Hapkido for defense, and TKD for sport. My teacher was one of the best TKD fighters of his era having beat men like Herb Perez. But as I trained I wondered how the ring and street could mix at all.

That is because they don’t! It is like playing baseball with a hockey stick.

In 1992 during the Christmas season I got a very rude awakening. I walked into a street situation of a very large man, and I do not mean FAT, he was a monster, who was harassing and grabbing a young woman.  I walked toward the man and got his attention from the young lady so she could run. Then I realized what I was dealing with. This guy was nuts. I was standing on ice and snow, and all my real skills besides a few punches was kicking. I was screwed and I knew it.

Now I was faster then he was and got to my car before he did. He beat on the windows trying to break it to get to me. I realized that day that sport and the real world do not mix.

What you see in a ring is SPORT and not STREET. No matter how good the fighter is, he will have issues in an attack.  An attack is not a street fight either! That is 2 guys deciding to beat on each other. Different world and mentality. If he wins it is not because of his MMA skills, but the person he is inside.

Self defense is a different mentality, and a different set of skills.  Trying to exchange blows will get you killed, and so will going to the ground. Street defense is very different from street fighting, and all of it is nothing like combat.

Now my purpose with this article is not to get you to come and join my dojo which is all about street defence, it is to present to you what is the equalizer in all this, pressure point usage.

Back in about 2008 one of my Black Belts enlisted in the Canadian Military and ended up in Afghanistan. Now the Canadian presence there is not what people think it is. He told me up his return about how different hand to hand combat was in real life compared to being attacked on the street. You are facing someone skilled who wants to kill you, not just someone who needs money for drugs or thinks you were with his girlfriend and perhaps wants you in a hospital or coffin.

But he did tell me that his Pressure Point knowledge did matter in combat and he was very happy he took so much time to learn properly. He said is saved his life.

If you want to really round off your martial arts study Kyusho Jitsu is the best addition you will make. Below is a link to some great ebooks to get you started.

Have a great day everyone!

Osu!

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