A lot of times kung fu practitioners catch flak from other stylists who claim that the sparring methods we use aren’t practical.
To fully address this, we have to look at what sparring is.
First, sparring is not fighting. Nothing that we as practitioners do is fighting (unless we’re fighting).
I hope this makes sense.
We have families for goodness’ sake. If we actually fought, as Kuntao practitioners, we would draw blades and end up killing each other.
Unless you’re Musashi, you’re chances of developing skill with this method are slim.
Everything we do from forms, to techniques, to games, and sparring are all isolated pieces of actual fighting. We break down skills and abilities into compartments called drills (or sparring) so that we can build fighting skill without having to actually fight. If you’ve trained all the pieces for fighting, even if in separate compartments, you can put everything together and have serious fighting ability.
The problem is that many stylists (including kung fu practitioners) don’t train all the pieces. These folks sometimes enter exchanges with serious fighters and just can’t hang with them. This results in suspicion regarding kung fu training practices (as it should).
This doesn’t mean that you have to resort to full power bare-knuckle fighting, you just have to plug in the holes in your approach.
Sticky hands is a good example. If all you train is close range sticky hands, there is probably a hole in your ability to navigate a decent entry for someone who is keeping distance and being cagey. It doesn’t mean your sticky hands won’t work, there just might be a hole you need to plug up to round everything out.
Having a complete, well rounded approach to sparring is vital for transferring the skills you practice into real life application.
Complete sparring methods that impart ALL the qualities a practitioner needs to transfer what they do in the school to the street can be difficult to find. That’s why Master Clear developed The Art of Sparring for Self Defense. The two disc set is loaded with information and method for how to adequately pressure test your art for live attack situations.
…and it’s just one of the videos in the Clear Defense Instructor Package that contains everything you need to become a Clear’s Silat Instructor (except the hard work. You have to supply that yourself.)