Chayon-Ryu Dojang Sparring
Submitted by Mr. David Bayles, CYR World Headquarters
Photography by Kenneth Young, Melissa L. Nichols, Sydney Moen
Many articles have been written over the years about this subject. From time to time it’s a good subject to review for the benefit of all students. This article can serve the newer generation of Chayon-Ryu students as a learning article and the older generation as a review.
There are three types of sparring. Dojang Sparring, Competition Sparring and Combat Sparring.
The objective of Competition Sparring is to win. It is to score points by score on your opponent using a technique allowed by the tournament rules in a controlled manner. This must be done quickly while defending yourself against your opponents attempts to score on you.
The objective of Combat Sparring is to survive. Combat Sparring is a potential life or death situation. There are no rules, no physical control. You must use any technique as effectively as possible to defeat your attacker.
The objective of Dojang Sparring is teaching and learning in a safe manner and environment. It should be an enjoyable, fun experience. As a beginner, you will learn stances, blocks, kicks and how to punch. You will probably not have much physical or mental control when you begin to spar in the Dojang. This comes with time and training. It is up to your instructors to guide you on this path. You should be respectful of your instructors as they should be to you.
Dojang Sparring is not about a winner and a loser or scoring points. It is not about who is stronger than the other, who is faster, knows more techniques or is better at them. And more than anything, it is not about hurting your sparring partner under any circumstance. It is about controlled sparring and learning. If you are accidentally hit or kicked hard, your instinct is to give back what you got. Be generous. Learn to let this go and not follow through on it. This is mental control. If a Tiger Cub swats and scratches his mother’s nose, does she attack him? Of course not. Learning controlled sparring is not only physical, but mental also. You should have no anger when sparring. No thinking like “I’m going to get him”. Sparring with physical control while wanting to really kick, hit or hurt your partner is not only a very bad attitude, but is wrong thinking, a bad state of mind. You’ve missed an important part of your training if you spar this way. You need to train your mind to be calm, clear, and anger free while sparring. Your sparring partner is your classmate, not an enemy.
Dojang sparring is a means of learning physical and mental skills required to spar in any situation. More skill is required to spar with control than without. This kind of training prepares you for any sparring situation.
Higher ranking students should match their sparring skills to that of the student’s rank that they are sparring and strive to teach them to improve and correct their techniques. They should not show off their skills and overwhelm and possibly hurt a lower ranking student. When this is ignored, students’ skills do not advance; students sometimes get hurt and often unnecessarily leave our system.
Sometimes lower ranking students have the mindset that when sparring a black belt or higher ranking student, they are out to prove themselves and “get” them. This too is a bad attitude and wrong thinking. You should be respectful of your higher ranking classmates as they are to you. This way, we all will be safe and our sparring skills will continually improve.
Wishing you safe and happy sparring.
Founder Chayon-Ryu International Martial Arts Association
May 16, 2014
May 16, 2014