Often you’ll notice beginners struggling during sparring due to a lack of spatial awareness, or simply miss-understanding how to utilize the distance between you and your opponent… Strikes fail to land while arms flail around grasping for balance. Footwork becomes misplaced or lethargic to a point where you may as well be spending your time running through knee-deep mud! Slowly but surely you’re beginning to wonder where it’s going wrong!
Well… that’s where pair work comes to the rescue! (And a bit of regular form fighting with intent won’t hurt either!)
Pair techniques, a signature quality of TMAP, and are an excellent way to improve many mental and physical aspects of martial arts! Aspects which in time conveniently come together to give you a crucial understanding of the distance between you and your opponent, as well as the instinct to be able to execute the correct footwork and timing to strike with precision and power. It’s a great opportunity to help master fundamental skills in technique, footwork, balance, defense and form under circumstances that partially simulate sparring.
Generally speaking, it’s easy to neglect the important aspects of exercise (Or for some, any exercise for that matter…) In fact often the areas of training that deserve attention are, funny enough, the areas of training that can be discouraging. Looking past what some feel is tedious and mundane is actually the opportunity to develop a ‘masterful’ level of dexterity. However, it all depends on how you apply yourself! In other words, don’t neglect your pair work! Being sloppy is certain to make you miss-understand the distance between you and your opponent, or create bad habits.
Be practical and make the most of your pair work by building good intrinsic habits! Be sure to strike to the head when making your partner duck or slip. Make sure you hit the target, making light contact (Remember, you won’t help yourself or your partner if your movement lacks intent!) Practice good form by finishing the kicks, keeping hands up and perfecting the angles created as you become an intermediate. Build your focus and concentrate on correcting footwork; your feet are just as important as your hands!
Remember, pair work shines when fighters are practical in training; it will help to develop valuable insight and experience that will prepare you mentally and physically when sparring.
The next time you hit the Dojo be ready to ‘fire-up’ and unlock the secrets of sparring by making the most of your pair work!