kungfu sparring

Transition from Pre-Arranged to Free Sparring — Part 1

Many martial art students today make a big mistake thinking that free sparring is the way, often the only way, to learn how to fight. In all kungfu history, this was not so. Going straight to free sparring without systematic preparation is a sure way to fight like children. There are a few progressive steps between set practice and free sparring.

Pre-arranged sparring as shown by Mark and Simon in Combat Sequences 5 to 8 and Combat Sequences 9 to 12 is one of these steps. Having familiarized themselves with the appropriate skills and techniques to meet typical combat situations, students progress to a series of transitional stages where control over pre-arranged patterns is gradually released.

One effective method we use in Shaolin Wahnam to achieve this purpose is what we call “Addition and Subtraction”, as shown in this video clip taken impromptu when Nicky and Hubert (both from Shaolin Wahnam England) practiced sparring on a windy winter morning by the side of beautiful Lake Killanary in Ireland in February 2005. Is the sparring free or pre-arranged? It depends on the stage of development.

The method can be programmed to range from totally pre-arranged at a beginners' stage to totally free at an advanced stage. This video clip shows the beginners' stage, where only some of the movements are free.

Please click the picture below or click the caption to view the video

Transition from Pre-Arranged to Free Sparring -- Part 1 from Wong Kiew Kit on Vimeo.


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