Thursday, December 29, 2016

How to do effective solo sparring

Whether you have access to a local self defense school or you don't, you must spar in your own time if you want to dramatically improve your performance. Why is solo sparring important? Helps you see where you need to improve in hand to hand combat. If you don't spar alone, you won't be able to excel in fighting as well as those who do. This is also be known as shadow boxing except for self defense, you don't solo spar to win a fight. You solo spar to be proficient for survival in self defense. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to effectively shadow box for self defense.

1) Have the proper mindset - Remember you are solo sparring for self defense. You are not sparring for a boxing match. You are not sparring for a UFC or a martial arts fight. You are not sparring to win a street fight. You are sparring for survival. Your mindset should be to eliminate the threat as quickly and effectively as possible then prepare yourself for the next threat if it exists. You are sparring to survive by any means necessary against every possible situation even the unexpected. Practice fighting dirty. Once you have the proper mindset then you will understand how to excel in self defense training. 

2) Have a goal - What are you trying to improve? Techniques? Footwork? Kicking? Speed? Power? Punching? Coordination? Dealing with weapons? Strategy? Don't try to do everything at once as it can be overwhelming. Focus on improving one at a time with a set schedule. Make sure that you assimilated what you've learned well in muscle memory during drills before you begin to solo spar. 

3) Have a set schedule - You should have a schedule to spar in many different situations for your solo sparring regimen. If you've read my other posts then you can apply the principles in solo sparring. These are the following situations you ought to spar with: 

* Hand to hand combat - Spar to be proficient against various types of attackers (faster, stronger, more resilient, more aggressive, more experienced, etc.) and learn how to adapt to each one.

* Multiple attackers - Practice your strategy against multiple attackers. Prioritize which attackers are most important first and eliminating them before the rest. Make sure that you are moving to positions where you can fight only one at a time. 

* Weapons - Practice disarming weapons and skillfully using them as well. Recognize when they are useful and when they aren't in certain situations. Learn when to avoid and when to engage certain armed attackers. 

* Use of the environment - Remember to use the environment as a weapon and be mindful that it can be used against you. Use dirt, sand, clothing, lights, and other objects as distractions. Practice sparring in many different types of environments such as uneven ground, in the dark or light, in confined spaces or wide open areas. Use whatever weapons you can improvise against your attackers when applicable. Use vehicles, trees, and other obstacles as shields against your attackers. 

4) Practice mental rehearsals - Part of stress inoculation are mental rehearsals which are used by the military and other professionals. The first step is to remain calm and relaxed. Clear your mind of all distractions. The next step is to imagine being in a dangerous stressful situation. Recreate the visuals, the sounds, and feelings as much as possible. Imagine yourself being attacked in various heated scenarios. How would you respond? Visualize yourself performing proper techniques, strategies, and movements. Resist the urge to lose focus and rationalize it by thinking "let's hope that never happens.." or you won't effectively train for self defense. From a psychological level, mental rehearsals strengthen neural pathways required to perform a certain set of skills under high stress. 

5) Gain feedback - Look in the mirror and make sure that you are performing everything correctly (good posture, footwork, proper techniques, movements, etc.) You can also film yourself and ask others for advice. By looking for improvement, you can hone your skills and correct your weaknesses. 

Finally practice warm ups and warm downs. Continue sparring by yourself and combining mental rehearsals with your physical movements then you will see dramatic increase in performance.If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my blog for updates, more advice, and exclusive content in the near future. I'm proud and excited to offer a FREE sample chapter of my E-book "Jeet Kune Do: How to build your own fighting system for self defense!" It's essentially a step-by-step guide on how to make your own self defense system suited to fit your own needs using Jeet Kune Do. If you would love to receive your FREE chapter of my e-book, click on the link below and share a post via. social media then it's yours for FREE! Be sure to also fill out the survey on the right and provide feedback on my blog. Leave questions, comments, and suggestions below.

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