There was a time when I was corrected by my teacher as I used wrong level of difficulties to my partner. ‘You should show him with examples on how to attack and where about to strike, not to fight him as though you are killing him instead’, he told me. And I have leaned my lesson on that day.
Sparring partner is crucial in exploring martial art.
If a martial artist is to help his partner to excel in martial art, he should be flexible in his approach to his partner. As far as I am concern, there are three levels of difficulties that one can use, namely the total submission, partial resistance, and total resistance. All of these levels have their own functions in order to guide a trainer to be a better practitioner.
- Total submission – The word trust is the best way to describe this level. This is when a person gives all that he has to his partner to do whatever he wants – practicing the martial art moves to his friends’ body. Usually, a students will not resist when his teacher shows a move such as a deadlock to him. He wants to concentrate on feeling that the teacher intend to give, and gives meaningful movements when he do that to his friend next time. For the sparring partner to memorise the moves that they have learned, drilling is a must. Repeatedly doing the same move again and again can be really painful if both parties give the real strike. Therefore, the partners need to just giving a let say 50% of the power whether he strikes or counters the strike. This will give a longer stamina to the body and they should be able to play more rather than getting injured on the first attempt.
- Partial resistance – This is used when the partner has master the moves that he learns. It is like an enrichment activity that a person has to undergone in order to expand his skills as well as experience. What his partner needs to do is that to give a bit of resistance or perhaps hesitance when the person want to do the moves. For an instance, when a person punch and the partner wants to catch the punch, perhaps he can make the hand a bit harder to catch or perhaps the other punch might comes if the partner takes too much time to finish the steps. We are dealing with human, not the robot, thus everything need to be fast and firm. But how much resistance should we give? The answer is just a bit higher than the person’s actual level. However, the person who are giving the resistance should be a bit more expert in the field as he always need to be at least one move ahead in order to give the enrichment exercise. Some of the silat schools call this person as ‘Jong Kakow’. Be extra careful when doing the resistance as it might also lead to injury if both parties do not want to tolerate. It is after all just a practice, not a fight.
- Total resistance – It is the preparation for the real life situation. The more ‘real life resistance’ the partner can give, the better it is. This is an application part of the skills and knowledge that a person has undergone. Without a proper test, how should he know that he is ready? or are the moves that he has learned is efficient and suit him well? or how should he do to adapt the moves according to the situation that he faces? This kind of activity will help a person to expand his horizon wider. The partner’s job is to give create this kind of situation, create the opportunity for his friend to experiment on his understanding. At the same time, the person who gives the training will learn something as well. It is like a win-win situation where both sides gain something valuable.
We can do the moves that we intent if our partner is submissive, but can we do them if there is a spark of resistance? or the worst case total resistance? Of course Cikgu Rambo and his partner can (in the picture).
In one of the martial art that I learned, there was an unwritten rules in which we should treat our partner with a drink after the training session if our partner gives his or her best shot by actually hitting our face with a punch when we should be catching the punch and doing the cool moves that we have learned. But if we injure him or her by doing the cool moves, we should be the one who treat them. Aren’t we should take a good care to our sparring partner? Who are we without their deed? The least that we can do is to thank them after the training session. huhuhu
None of you will truly believe until he loves for his brother what he loves for his own self. (Related by Anas. Bukhari, Muslim)