Thursday, July 3, 2008

Testing my study habits: Duck!

My posts lately have been about sparring and how much I'm really getting it now. Spending almost 7 months laid up, one has a lot of time to study things. In sparring, I believe that knowing your opponent's style and tendencies is of the utmost importance for you to have a chance of surviving a match, let alone victory.

We have a lot of 1st and 2nd degree black belts in my sparring class that are 18 or younger. The primary thing this gives them is SPEED, which at my (ahem) more advanced age is something still in development. My best defense until I gain speed is to anticipate what might be coming at me, and work on counter-attacks accordingly.

Two Mondays ago I was up against a zippy 13-year old 1st degree. I could hold him off or drive him out of the ring with repeated side kicks, but the very moment I turned away or otherwise took my eyes off of him, he'd nail me with a flying sort of blitz punch. It's a popular attack among the young black belts.

Guess what: I noticed.

In my head I reflected on it, and played out scenarios on how to deflect or avoid that particular attack. Watched a lot of WCL, checked out YouTube videos, and noted how advanced point fighters dealt with the attack.

Last Monday I was in the ring again with the same kid, but a different outcome. Anticipating the blitz, I ducked my head back out of range while delivering the last side kick in a combo attack. The result was an introduction of foot to chest--2 points!

Tuesday's core class was also a revelation. We worked on a lot of skip kicks, a long-range attack. That night I discovered my range is a lot longer than I thought. One more thing to note when gauging distance to my opponent.

Happy 4th of July!

1 comment:

BobSpar said...

Apropos of your counters, my old sensei used to say that timing has nothing to do with speed. Sounds like you're doing great.