MightyBands, home gym system

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cons of Full Contact Fighting

In my last post, I discussed some of the benefits of full-contact sparring. My personal view is that, when it comes to the street environment, full-contact fighting is simply part of an arsenal to add to your training routine, but not the determining factor for realistic self-defense. I understand, and agree that with full-contact fighting, the adrenaline rush is something that might get you incredibly close to the “real thing”. It’s a great test to see how you’d react to the nature of that adrenaline rush, to the tensing of muscles and to the stress.

But there are some drawbacks.

1) Full-contact sparring creates habits – squaring the opponent up, for example, either with distance control or jabs may work strategically in the ring, but the street fight may not start off so fare and square, nor would there necessarily be much space to do so. Chances are someone has already been hit, or perhaps cornered into people or into a walls, tables, etc.

2) Squaring up takes away from that initial burst of energy and that opportunity to attack. Full-contact fighting in the ring is controlled and highly strategic. There is more time allowed for decision making and it is not too often where the person would throw a barrage of attacks at the start of the fight. However, in the street fight, chances are that punches are thrown before a fight even starts! There’s no time for strategy, only reaction.

3) Over time, as you get used to full contact fighting in the ring, the adrenaline dump wears off. Of course, there is still the rush, but the territory becomes familiar and your body becomes more efficient at handling that situation. The street fight presents a different environment and the different stimulus would provide an extra boost of stress that your body is not used to..or better said…that your mind knows it should be used to, but your body reacts otherwise.

4) Hits, as sloppy as they may be, are 100% committed. However, in the case of full-contact fighting, there is room to throw feint punches and kicks to measure distance, to force a reaction, etc. In the case of the street fight, the guy just wants to hit you and will do what it takes to do so.

5) The guy attacking you doesn’t know nor care about martial arts. Chances are you small you’re going to fight a skilled MMA guy or Thai boxer. Most of these guys are incredibly nice guys! It’s the jerks that cause the fights. It’s very rare that such “jerks” have the determination, drive, and discipline to learn such a complicated art like thai boxing or MMA.

Now of course, there are exceptions to every rule. You may end up fighting some MMA guy in a situation where you have lots of room to roam around and there’s a mutual start to the fight. Like I said above, full contact sparring definitely has a significant role in one’s training, but it’s not everything. Drills training, in my opinion, can be tweaked up a few notches to present quite an intense sense of street fight (think, 2-3 second fight). The hard part is finding the right people to train in such a way. And it’s not easy. It’s exhausting both physically AND mentally. It’s also hard to find a partner who’s willing to take hits, know how to throw a good un-wing chun punch, and let their ego’s go.

I have to give credit to the full-contact fighters. They are able to take hits and not give a damn. But us wing tsun/chun guys aren’t like that at all. It’s kind of annoying. Boxers don’t care if something doesn’t work, they just go back to the drawing board and train harder. I think we can learn something here.

Until then.


Matthew Tripp said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alex Wallenwein said...

Here is a good vid of Wing Tsun full contact fighting from the "old days" in Germany. No squaring up here, just full-blast action. It's how it should be: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU5EZlxSo5Q

Popular Posts