2013 Sparring Tourney Team!

tournament sparring

NWSMA Sparring Animals

Congrats to the sparring tournament team on last week’s sparring extravaganza! Pictured are six of the nine students who participated. Look at all that bling! It takes a lot of guts to get out there in the ring, so excellent work. Thanks also to TMA – Pine Lake and TMA – Overlake for putting on a great event!

3 Reasons Why Martial Arts Partner Drills Work (and what makes them fail)

Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about martial arts partner drills. I’ll identify the important aspects of movement learned via partner drills. Then I’ll talk a bit about what makes partner drills fail.

Arnis

Arnis partner drills.

Partner drills form the “glue” between static movements and reality. On a continuum, form would be the least realistic. In form, there’s only an imagined opponent.

Partner drills and sparring practice movement against an opponent. They’re pretty realistic.¬†

Street defense is the most realistic. There are no rules, mats, pads, or equality of size/strength–only survival of the fittest.

(That is not to say that form isn’t important!!¬†Form is the place where you perfect your techniques & movement by maximizing efficiency. Form builds strength, and can be a great HIIT activity in and of itself).

So what *d0* you learn during partner drills?

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Tournament Sparring vs. Street Fighting

Today, I’d like to talk about the difference between sport martial arts and street martial arts. Sport sparring and street fighting are not the same, and today’s martial artists must be aware of the difference.

There are all kinds of people with opinions about tournaments. They range from those who dedicate their lives to the competition to people I’ve heard say that padded gloves were the worst thing to ever happen to martial arts. Strong stuff.

Kicking high at a sparring tournament.

Kicking high at a sparring tournament.

My personal opinion is that tournaments are a great motivator.

They promote friendly competition, give us a chance to practice sportsmanship, and create a sense of a wider community. They also make us more well-rounded martial artists.

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Preparing for Your Next Tournament: 6 Tournament Prep Tips

Tournament prep tips–with the tournament coming up on March 30th, I’ve had a lot of students asking me what they can do to train and prepare for it. The most basic thing is to be in class as much as possible, so the instructors can help you get ready and give you specific tips. Continue reading