Monday, October 27, 2008

Bando or Bandon't there is no try.

Getting an alternative view on any martial topic can be mind blowing.

My school has been friends with a Bando practitioner for many years. He just ran a sparring seminar for us focusing on their approach to continuous sparring.

Point sparring deals with the very first exchange of what will be an extended exchange (on average). Continuous sparring is judged on positioning, scores, and fight control. It's a good way to get rid of the bad habits found in point-stop fighting.

The seminar was eye opening and included new concepts on blocking and striking and provided a good lesson in how to be a good partner. The Japanese talk about the social contract between martial arts practitioners, an agreement to adhere to certain rules and approaches to fighting. Without this unstated agreement, there would be no safety. My partner during one portion of the seminar didn't adhere to the goal of a "half-speed" drill.

He broke my rib.

It took me about half-an-hour to realize I was injured, but it prevented me from finishing the seminar and makes it less likely I'll trust this guy to not injure me in the future. When you are partnering someone it is imperative that you pay attention to instructions and adhere to both sides of the social contract. If you do that you'll learn more, be injured less frequently and have more fun with your practice.