How do Self Defense Arts Spar?

Silat09Last time we talked about why MMA & Kickboxing sparring methods are ineffective ways to train for self defense.

…but we still need to pressure test our arts.

We need to practice our skills against opponents who are trying to beat us.

One way to do this is through real world experience.

Move to a dangerous area, do stupid things, put yourself in bad situations, etc…

Sigung Clear and many of his teachers learned a lot this way. However, this is very dangerous. Sigung Clear and his teachers didn’t seek out dangerous situations. They had the misfortune of living in dangerous areas.

I don’t recommend this method if you have a choice.

Even if you do have a dangerous job or live in a dangerous place, I recommend doing as much of your pressure testing in training as possible.

After all, our goal with these arts is long term survival and health.

So, How to do we spar…

…and get to practice all of our most lethal techniques..

..against a resisting opponents…

…without hurting our training partners?

The simple answer is: You Can’t.

There is no single way to do this.

Any sparring method, game or drill that is safe will be divorced from reality in a way that leaves holes in your skillset.

In today’s, take a pill to cure everything world, this is not a popular message.

It’s much more comforting to buy into the ‘single solution’ message of MMA & sport martial arts. “If it works in MMA it’s good, if it doesn’t it’s not.” Clear, simple, easy.

But we are Reality Based Martial Artists.

…and the real world is messy, nuanced and complicated.

So, we need a bunch of drills, games & sparring methods.

Each game has a specific purpose, providing pressure in different ways and helping us build different parts of our skillset.

The good news is: we have more fun games to play with our training partners.

In our new 2 disc DVD set, Sigung Clear teaches the primary games, drills & sparring methods we use to spar and develop the skills of Kuntao Silat, Tai Chi, Bagua & Xing Yi against resisting opponents.

This includes the core sparring method of our Kuntao Silat that builds superior positioning skills and, if you put in a lot of hard work, will teach you how to move slower than the opponent while beating them to the punch every time.

Included with this set is a section on how to use these arts in a sport sparring format.

Though sport sparring is ineffective in preparing for self defense, it is very popular and it can often be a useful way to play with martial artists of different styles in a context they are used to.