The most underrated skill in Sparring…⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
There are many skills which are invaluable to ITF sparring and we don’t have to list them out.
However, one particular skill which we rarely hear about is Decision making and more importantly adaptability.
This is of course something which is not as measurable as other skills and not so obvious to the untrained eye.
However, make no doubt that this particular skill is arguably the most important of them all.
Within the rule set of ITF, it is one of the more shorter competitive combat bouts of all martial arts.
This means the competitors, must make decisions quick and often and need to adapt to various ques and responses which occur on the tatami.
We dont have the luxury of long bouts to take our time to figure out the opponent and impose a particular strategy.
For us in ITF if we fail to continuously adapt on the go and fail to pick up what’s going on we are sure to run out of time to solve the problem. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Two ways you can develop better decison makers would be to not over coach and also facilitate problem solving practices.
These two go hand in hand for the most part. Now I’m as guilty as anyone at times of over-coaching.
I’m passionate about the sport and want to give my students the best chance possible.
However flaunting your knowledge and solving the problems all the time for your students is like doing your child’s maths homework for them and wondering why they struggle with maths when the test results come out.
Instead of providing the answers we should try to create problems and challenges for our students which they need to over come and figure out.
This type of practice can be done using a constraints led approach where we constrain the tasks and environment to facilitate particular situations to occur which the students need to solve.
I know it can be difficult but try not to be so quick providing the answers for your students. Let them do their own “maths homework”and become better students of the game as a result.
We should coach our students not to need us, then we know we have done a good job.