In preparation for our August meeting (see last blog post,) I want to review the difference between Basic Sparring and Advanced Sparring. First, though we sometimes informally call the sparring sessions "fights," they are not fights per say, because the primary goal isn't to KO or submit the opponent, and the sparring sessions are not scored. The primary purpose of the 2 minute rounds are to get in full-contact continuous sparring with weapons (safety weapons though they are.) This is what we specialize in which is hard to find elsewhere.
To that end, this is why we have Basic Sparring. In Basic Sparring, the only strikes that are allowed are weapon strikes, and only a limited amount of grappling is allowed. The focus is on stand-up full-contact continuous weapon sparring. Here are a few examples:
Now on the other hand we also have Advanced Sparring. In Advanced Sparring we integrate non-weapon martial arts techniques into our weapon sparring. In Advanced Sparring we allow non-weapon strikes and extended periods of grappling within the 2 minutes. Here is one example of Advanced Sparring:
The focus in Tres Espadas is on Basic Sparring. Generally we want everyone to do at least one 2 minute round of Basic Sparring every practice session before they try Advanced Sparring (and some members rarely do any Advanced Sparring at all.) Some of the martial artists involved in Tres Espadas can hit a lot harder with their punches, kicks, and throws than they can with our safety weapons. This means that when trying to survive the 2 minutes, there is a strong tendency to actually prefer the non-weapon martial arts techniques to the weapon techniques. We have this "Basic Sparring first" rule to make sure everyone is getting plenty of practice in the main focus of Tres Espadas, which is full contact continuous weapon sparring.