We had such an impressive showing this past Saturday the tournament in New Jersey. The promotion and the refereeing of the event it was extremely Fair. Every referee kept their eye on the student who was competing regardless of age or rank. The respect and sportsmanship at these particular tournaments are unparalleled, I was proud not just of all our students, but of all the competitors and their schools. This was a traditional tournament steeped in the martial way, love of the arts and integrity.
What I've noticed for my students is I can tell them and show them what to do, until they experienced it for themselves it will be little use. Students need to continue to practice and discover what I've been talking about to internalize it. For example:
The Reverse Punch:
One of the best techniques to use when you're point sparring, is the reverse punch. Blitzing off the line and going straight for the midsection of the body, is a sure way to get the attention of your opponent, and the referees.
Blitzing off the line:
Blitzing off the line basically means getting to your opponent before he gets to you. We saw many of the competitors yesterday pausing (my own students included), waiting for the action to begin. One of my students won his sparring division with three uncontested points primarily from blitzing off the line with reverse punches.
One of the best ways to defend against the reverse punch is the front leg side kick. When defending against an aggressive fighter (see blitzing off the line) with a good reverse punch, a good technique is to take a step back and use your front leg sidekick. Precise timing is critical and this is something we practice frequently in class.
I am sure my students are tired of hearing me preach about footwork over and over again. But proper footwork and skillful gauging are the cornerstone of an effective fighter. We should always remember to move, break angles and feign attack.
Training to fight-
Competition is fun and a very memorable experience for the children. However there are different rules in a tournament than in Dojos. For example, a major rule of the tournament was- no head contact for children divisions. I understand and respect the promoter’s caution with our young students, however this is different than how we train in the Dojo. This is not an easy translation to make sometimes. As always, a dojo's primary purpose is to ensure the safety of our students on the street. In reality, when confronted, there are no rules or referees to govern a real-life confrontation. Our goal always is to ensure that our students have the proper skill set to protect themselves.