27 Replies to “My MMA Sparring Progress #2 • Martial Arts Journey”

  1. Rokas, you look very tense and unconfident. Hence even though you are the same hight as your opponent, you look almost half of his hight when you spar. I want to share with you an advice by Gozo Shioda (I am sure you know who that is). Even though in this saying he talks about the essence of Aikido, I think it is relevant to any martial art, more importantly any martial artist. Here it goes: “It is said that Aikido is the Way of Harmony. I think it is simple to explain this saying. If you face someone, and you can make this person’s animosity disappear, by your own true character, this is the Harmony of Becoming One. This is not a compromise. Harmony is a matter of having strength in yourself, and then making the other your ally. He becomes your partner. But unless you accumulate virtue, it is impossible. To sum up, the foundation is your own inner strength”. I think you are lacking this inner strength. You see an opponent as your enemy who might hurt you, and it shows in your stance and in your movements. You need to start looking at your opponents as being part of yourself, this will calm your mind and help to be more in control. To continue quoting Gozo Shioda: “Usually human being thinks “I will do this, I will do that” and he is not able to become yielding. If you can look at the other person with an open heart, you will be able to see the other person’s situation: What is he aiming for, what power he is using, where his balance is. If you wish to be yielding when you are facing your opponent, you must be in a perfect stance. If you can do that, you will feel free and easy”. I know it sounds like a saying from a fantasy art to you, but I keep thinking of it every time I see the way you spar. So wanted to share it with you and other viewers anyway. Hope you’ll find it inspirational.

  2. Great man! You are what is great about the world. Pushing beyond your vulnerability to make yourself in front of the masses. Great channel man, you go after the truth like a bloodhound.

    Your coach is an astute guy. I observed the same things he talked about. A little disunity in your movement (a break of structural integrity), sometimes at the hip, knees, ankles, shoulders. It can be fixed. Any drill that builds up your chore robustness (total body strength) will address that unity. Usually working close to the ground (harimau), hip bands, lots of varied squats including squatting your maximum weight twice a week(be careful to protect your ankles/achilles). Lots of plyometrics – jumping up to heights. Since integrity is your goal you would want as rigorous an upper emphasis – wheel burrows, rowing, medicine, kettle, heavy rope ect.
    I have made up hundreds of nonesense drills over the years to teach my students body unity/structural integrity – simply because there is no martial in our art without it. Watch two wild cats fighting, they will perhaps whip around and around, their whole moving as one.

    Drill: Moving as one ( skip step/skimming)
    Put down markers marking your front and rear foot positions in your adapted boxer stance.
    Now skip back, twice the distance of the width of your stance landing in balance. Carry hip and head parallel to the ground. Concave your chest slightly to keep your chin down and your crown parallel with the floor. Feel yourself move as a unit. Repeat as often to feel and save this sensation. The goal is to move this way, low in your body, moving under the earth in your daily activities but easier said….When ever you remember, carrying out boxes to your car, doing any life activity you can check your alignment -hip positioning, head, shoulders, torso and leg unity.

    Finally, there are many things amiss regarding traditional MA but there is nothing better to teach this structural unity. Kenjutsu, Shotokan, Aikido, Tai Chi, Western Fencing.
    Please forgive me but I know you have the spirit to benefit from a single word.


  3. That looks so much better! And I kinda had to laugh because your leaning and movement of your uppy body really reminds me of me when I am moving in sports. For me I am pretty sure it's because I get lazy with footwork as I am quite tall and usually get lazy by taking bigger steps and try to do smaller movements just with my upper body as always having my lower body stable below me requires much energy and is slower. Guess that would be pretty bad in MMA ^^. And I should try to move more and faster with my feet than with my body.

  4. Great Improvement! You have a very good and long stepping jab (pause the video and check your stance and reach when you throw it) I'd suggest you to do a bit of shadowboxing in front of a mirror in your spare time it'll help you to correct your posture your stance and your footwork. If I were you I'd try to to "make myself long" so your opponent will have trouble to get your distance and you'll give them hard time trying to reach you. Also the shadowboxing in front of the mirror will help you not to bend your body as much with your head movement. Also something that your coach pointed is the stepping back instead of leaning back. Overall great improvement! Keep up the hard work! It's paying off!

  5. If you move sideways you should move the food first of the direction you go in otherwise your stance is unstable.
    Also sometimes you seem to drop your other hand when punshing and to not pull the punshing hand back to the face directly.
    I am no expert though.

  6. A couple things I would work on would be your linear attacks and your retreating. While you were giving ground probably due to experience learning how to keep it could be useful and it may be that you are normally good with it but just against a more experience fighter you were giving the benefit of doubt. Moving in and attacking 1 or 3 times then backing out constantly will call in a rush attack, or in you were sparring a kicker, a downward kick. Being able to hold ground during an attack, like your opponent, will cut down on rush assaults. Practicing sparring more will increase this but a good training tool is a close fight where you are unable to back away, such as limiting yourself to only staying in a 3 foot square. Not all the time, just to practice closer combat. And with the linear attacks, they become easy to block the more and more you spar. If you can add more angled attacks it can keep your opponent on their heels trying to defend. It is a bit harder in sparring when you can grapple but it becomes more useful if your opponent ever commits to an attack that is off balanced or out of range.

    As everyone else is saying though it is coming along fantastically, and your movements are getting more and more innate rather than forced.

  7. If you don't mind me asking what is that striking style based of, looks a bit strange when you strike so it's hard for me to place it, when the instructor demonstrates how to dodge it kinda reminds me of Muay Thai yet seems a bit different so I'm kinda curious is it a wide spread striking style or something more unique to the gym you train at based of one of the instructors personal styles

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