Sparring Strategy

Great fighters need more than just technique, power and speed. They also need a good dynamic strategy. Strategy ought to be tailored to a specific opponent or situation. It is also good to have a “default strategy” – a strategy you automatically revert to without thinking about it. In my opinion, the best method of this is continuous attacking (some followers of Kung Fu also adopt this approach). When you are hit, automatically hit back nonstop until your opponent is no longer a threat. This will minimize the damage to yourself.

This line of attack relies on the use of combinations of techniques, not just the one hit wonders which often miss. This is one of the reasons why I think TKD (and other martial arts which practice patterns/forms/katas) is better than kickboxing. TKD teaches patterns (a sequence of movements against an imaginary opponent) which can be adapted for use in default continuous sparring.

One advantage of this strategy is that for the majority of the time, you are in the dominant position. If you land your first attack, then your opponent will likely be hurt or stunned, but even if you miss, your opponent is prone to be “on the back foot.” They will be reacting rather than acting, which means you get to dictate the fight.

Obviously, this strategy should be used with caution. You shouldn’t go running in all gung ho. Timing is everything. Pick your moment to attack carefully, as kicking and punching thin air is just a waste of energy.

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