Sunday, 19 October 2008

Ring and Cage Fighting

Sparring is something that most martial artists should do. People who can get away with never exchanging blows with a partner are those who choose to practise martial arts for the sake of keeping up an adequate fitness level. However if your aim is to compete in fighting events or to be able to defend yourself better on the street, you must spar. And one of the areas in which you must constantly deal with during your sparring, is fighting from a close distance with your opponent.

Past articles on this site have dealt with this issue, including close combat striking techniques. Close combat striking is something that is sometimes neglected. The reason being because many do not spar in a close combat environment.

Arts which fall to this problem are mainly those which do not utilise a cage or ring during sparring. By sparing in an open area which has very wide boundaries (halls, big rooms etc) there is nothing stopping you from moving away from your opponent when you feel they are getting too close to you. However in a ring or cage, if your opponent is pressing you, you can only move back so far. When tight on the ropes or up against the cage and your opponent is at close distance to you, you must rely on close quarter combat utilising the techniques necessary.

For this reason sparring in a ring or cage can be a great training tool forcing you to use techniques that maybe you have not used before. Of course you can compensate for a ring or cage by sparring in another small surface area such as a room, hallway, lift etc. However if you and a friend get caught sparring in a lift at your local shopping centre, you could end up on the front page of your local newspaper as a couple of people who have lost there marbles.

This is another reason why I constantly go on about visiting other martial art schools and for the sake of this article, ones which utilise rings and cages (Muay Thai, MMA, Boxing etc). Expand your horizons, train with different people under different environments and learn something new that you can add into your overall fighting style.


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Related Articles...
Fighting Against the Cage
Cross Training for all Martial Artists
Close Quarter Strikes (for Grapplers)
Body Blows for Strikers
Dealing with Different Ranges of Combat

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Elias said...

Haha are you sure that's good advice? Sparring in a lift?

I think I'll try that, if I can find someone crazy enough to try it with me :)

MARKS said...

Elias, like I said, if people saw you sparring in a lift, they may think you have lost your

However, street fights mainly will not happen in an open plan area such as a gym/dojo, but maybe in crowded rooms, on stairs, in allys etc. Mainly in small areas are where they take place, so it makes sense to SOMETIMES spar in small closed up spaces.

John Vesia said...

People often decry sparring because it resembles "sport." Still, I think sparring is essential for any stylist because it forces you to experience spontaneity. You can't really get that with any other type of training.

btw, sparring in a lift (elevator in NY lingo) sounds like a winner, gotta try that!

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