To be able to spar in any given format, the checklist is relatively simple. All you will need is the following:-
1. The right equipment
2. The right attitude
3. The right set of tools
4. A gameplan
At London Arnis, we provide most of the essential equipment - armour, sticks, gloves, etc... However, there are still a couple of essentials that you'll need to pick up, namely a gumshield and groin protector or chest protector. Should you wish to continue sparring in the long term, picking up your own helmet (for stick sparring) or boxing gloves is highly recommended (for boxing, we use 14oz gloves for sparring). Ask an instructor for tips.
Remember that sparring is about fielding tactics and techniques against a mobile, resistant target. It's not a real fight: Nobody's here to bash anyone up, and those that turn up with that attitude generally don't last very long. Sparring is a training tool that helps to test and improve your skills. It is also important to note that sparring, whilst useful in developing attributes such as accuracy, timing, ranging, etc... is not a simulation of a real fight. It is just a training tool. Have fun, and enjoy exploring and applying your knowledge.
It goes without saying that if you are physically fit and able, you will get more out of sparring. If you're ill, tired, or injured, sparring can turn into more of a survival exercise than a training one! Also, the breadth of your technical knowledge has very little to do with success. Rather, it is down to the successful application of the limited knowledge you have. Over time you'll naturally pick up new tools to play with, but you will need to be ruthless in assessing their reliability if they are to be truly useful.
In our upcoming sparring workshop, one area we will be looking at is developing a gameplan. At its most fundamental level, it involves understanding what constitutes victory, and trying to achieve it (at the same time as preventing your opponent from achieving their victory conditions). But at a tactical level, it also involves being able to observe the behaviours of your opponent and deploying the appropriate tactics to defeat them.
Our next sparring workshop will be on Sunday March 26th, 10am-2pm. Please check out the "Where to Train" Special Events section for more details. We also run regular sparring sessions in our normal class schedule.