Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sparring Routines

Martial arts is about defeating an opponent. One feature common to Chinese martial arts is the use of routines to train. But one cannot train in the skill of defeating an opponent just fighting empty air. You need an opponent to practise against.

That is where sparring routines (对练套路) come in. These are routines in which one learns how to apply the techniques/movements as well as how to counter/block them. These are practised by two partners. One would practise the movements as found in a normal routine. Another would then use movements from within that routine as well to counter the movements.

An example is the bajiquan sparring routine below.

Once both partners are able to perform the sparring routine smoothly and with proper application of force, they can then move on to free form sparring. Pushing hands is a form of controlled free form sparring, with certain rules, to allow taiji practitioners a controlled environment to slowly build up their skills in applying taiji movements.

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