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Sparring>Fundamentals>Types of free-sparring

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Types of free-sparring

Intro

There are different reasons for free-sparring; therefore, there are different types of free-sparring. Each type helps to achieve a specific purpose.

Class free-sparring

This type of free-sparring is performed as a part of a normal martial arts class. 
  • Purpose: The purpose is to experiment using new techniques, different combinations, and different strategies.
  • Energy output: Your energy output per match is low since there will be many matches and you will just be experimenting.
  • Power level: Your power level is low to avoid injuries to self or others.
  • Focus: Attacks are focused just short of the target.
  • Mental status: You are fighting to learn and have fun.

Test free-sparring

This type of free-sparring is performed in preparation for a rank testing.
  • Purpose: The purpose is to demonstrate all the required techniques with perfect form.
  • Energy output: Due to the number of difficult techniques that must be repeatedly performed, the energy output must be paced to the number of expected matches.
  • Power level: Your power level ranges from low to medium.
  • Focus: Attacks are focused just short of the target.
  • Mental status: If you are testing, you are fighting to impress the judges. If you are the opponent of a person who is testing, you are fighting to the best of your abilities but you are also trying to help the opponent do his or her best at impressing the judges.

Training free-sparring 

This type of free-sparring is performed in preparation for a competition.
  • Purpose: The purpose is to train at fighting by tournament rules just as you would in competition.
  • Energy output: Your energy output is very high. Since you are training for a competition, you want to push yourself to and beyond your limits.
  • Power level: Depending on the safety equipment being worn and your opponents, your power level will range from low to high.
  • Focus: Depending on the safety equipment being worn and your opponents, the focus of attacks ranges from the surface of the target to just behind the target.
  • Mental status: You are fighting to win every match.

Competition free-sparring

This type of free-sparring is performed in a competition/tournament.
  • Purpose: The purpose is to score more points than the opponent.
  • Energy output: Your energy output is high since you need to win, but you need to pace yourself since; if you keep winning, there will be more matches to fight.
  • Power level: Depending on the rules, your power level may range from medium to high.
  • Focus: Depending on the rules, your focus is from the surface of the target to just behind the target.
  • Mental status: You are fighting to win.

Self-defense free-sparring 

This type of free-sparring is essentially the same as class free-sparring, but the techniques used are more applicable to self-defense situations. The intensity of the sparring may vary depending on the type of martial art you are practicing.
  • Purpose: The purpose is to train to protect yourself or another from injury and convince the attacker to cease the attack and, if necessary, to kill the attacker.
  • Energy output: Your energy output per match is low since there will be many matches and you will just be experimenting.
  • Power level: Depending on the safety equipment being worn and your opponents, your power level will range from low to high.
  • Focus: Depending on the safety equipment being worn and your opponents, the focus of attacks ranges from the surface of the target to just behind the target.
  • Mental status: Although you are sparring, you still keep in mind that, if these attacks were real, you would be fighting as if your life depended on the outcome.
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