O’kay so we did one step sparring, epo kumata,
we did three step sparring sonbon kumata and now we are doing gio kumata which kumata basically
means crossing hands or meeting hands and it is what the Japanese means sparring. Sparring
is where there is no prearranged targets. It is basically like putting on the gloves
and going at it. There are rules and you are not trying to knock your opponent out. You
are working on your distancing your mahi. You are working on your tsubaki. You are working
on timing and if anything its timing. The one thing that beginners have trouble with
it is timing. As you progress you get a feel for it. It is one of those subconscious things
that you will just learn. You stand and bow and you assume your comata or your fighting
posture. Now Shawn is just going to throw hands and I am going to be able to do anything.
We are going to work nice and slow and demonstrate what I am doing. I am watching the top of
his chest I’m not really looking in his eyes because often times they can fake you out
and try to look like they’re going to hit you somewhere. He’s a big guy and I don’t
want to get psyched out. I can see here whenever he is moving his hands. I can see when he
is going to decide to kick. I can look right there and see him shift his hip. If you are
focusing there, they can’t tell where you are looking. He did not see that kick. I maintain
the same level. You also want to work on your distancing too. You want to be able to hit
from a different angle. You don’t always want to go in straight, back and forth, back and
forth. If somebody has a superior reach, and he throws a punch, eventually he is going
to catch you. If you stay there and try to block it comes back. If you are using tsubaki
and he is throwing these punches willie nillie, you’ve got him on distance. Also if you are
in this close something that you may let you do in more practical sparring they may let
you use elbows, controlled though, you don’t really want to use elbows to the head, you
can use knees and take out low. There are so many different ways you can do it.

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