Kyusho Sparring

September 8, 2013 | By | 1 Comment


Kyusho Sparring

Here is an article recently submitted to Budo International to release this fall, feel free to add comments:

spar1spar2spar3Since the beginning of Kyusho’s public release, people have always asked us why we never do competitions, spar or freestyle fight with Kyusho. Well the answer is we do and have for decades, but not publicly.  Just as Kyusho’s secrets were kept within families and clans or with certain trusted individuals during ancient times, so too has it in modern times and practices.  What is shown publicly is only a small portion of what is known or practiced in private. The reason for this is to gain the skill, test it, refine it and then validate it prior to public release.

What was accomplished through the initial books, articles and videos developed for Budo International was simply to explain, document, demonstrate and qualify Kyusho basics.  This was done so that people would train slower and therefore safer until they had a grasp and skill with the vital points.  We also waited until we had enough qualified instructors ready to help people really learn Kyusho correctly.  Since those educational tools were first published 10 years ago, Kyusho has spread into over 100 countries and has developed some highly skilled and safe instructors as well as practices.  A solid and proven curriculum as well as professional instructor course and protocols was also set in place to maintain quality standards.  This time in preparation and practice has also served to develop our instructors’ skills and pedagogy in this aspect of training so that when we did move to make this secondary educational process public, there were those that were actually qualified.

And even more importantly what was needed was the proper instruction for safe and effective (usable outside the Dojo or seminar tricks) perpetuation of Kyusho globally.  We are still in our infancy with this movement and growth, but have attained much success and refinements.  As Kyusho is not style specific, you will one day see it as the most widespread martial enhancement practice in the world.  Currently it is Brazilian Jujitsu… but even that can be enhanced with Kyusho and the use of it’s vital targets and their effects on the human physiology. All instructors will eventually begin to incorporate it into their style and teachings as it reaches the mainstream.  And as we see now it is already mentioned in movies, TV shows and most recently even Dan Browns new best-selling novel “Inferno”.

So now it is time to again release more vital information and training with this knowledge as we are ready with qualified instructors and the new dynamic.  In fact since February of 2013 it has become an integral part of the open courses, just not released on DVD or in books until now.  We have always taken this approach as a means of field testing first in private to validate the possibility, then publicly to validate the probabilities and universal adaptability.  Using this method our instructors first worked the concept with their peers in the art (privately), they then worked with personal students, now we are branching out to work it with new people from various styles and training backgrounds in open courses.  This helps us synthesize it into more of a generic process much like the UFC and MMA evolved as opposed to style specific.  If you remember when MMA first began everyone used their style, but with time only the best methods were kept and those that failed were discarded.  Now all MMA fighters work basically the same and have increased their potential and effectiveness.  So it is with Kyusho.

Working over multiple decades on this aspect has also revealed what will not work, what works only a small percentage of the time and therefore not worth the study and also what is the most effective (in times of high stress and adrenaline) to utilize and refine.  As a matter of fact most points taught in typical Kyusho seminars will have little to no worth in actual combative application.  But let it be clear now that Kyusho Sparring is not Kyusho fighting, there is a huge difference so the readers do not fool themselves into another false belief (the first being you can practice statically and be effective in a dynamic and urgent situation).

GB-20Take for example the GB-20 target (pictured here) which is so often taught in typical Kyusho classes and a favorite of most typical Kyusho practitioners.  In Sparring this target is not obtainable and is recessed due to the fighting stance.  Yet we have seen almost all try this point (far more than any other target) to no avail.  They are taken by surprise as it always worked in their stationary techniques, yet has no availability in a sparring type of training.  However it is not only possible and usable in Kyusho fighting (the next evolution), it becomes readily available, knowing this distinction and joining it with the correct training is vital to the fighters’ success.

Another reason why sparring is the next logical step in the Kyusho practitioner’s journey is that static technique will not create the stress, adrenaline limitations and physiological changes that faster more urgent training will.  In sparring you need to spontaneously recognize an available target and access it instantaneously before it is moved or recessed.  This will increase your skill and ability to use it in a severe or life threatening attack but more importantly it removes you from technique and into the realm of target acquisition, which is a far more reliable practice.  You will learn to cope more with gross motor skills as opposed to fine motor skill application or techniques that your body will resort to in increasing limiting possibility when adrenaline rushes through your body under real stress.  This changes your positioning, movement, angles and so many other attributes.  If you do not train this way you will never be assured you can handle a real situation well let alone deploy Kyusho. Another benefit is that you will also develop a new skill that static training will never reveal, that being the ability to know where your partner (or assailant) is also targeting (or not), so that you can use protective measures to counter more assuredly.  That could be through the use of the concepts taught in the Iron Shirt or attacking the attack as taught in the basic training levels of dynamic Kyusho.

An additional and valuable component to this training is that you will learn to deal with the occasional dazed affect and fight through it.  So many people during a real encounter are surprised, shocked and incapable of dealing with pain or dysfunction.  In a more dynamic Kyusho training and especially Sparring, your body, mind and spirit learn to cope and continue rather than freeze or give up.   Think of the mental as well as spiritual and physical benefits this added component brings to the Kyusho practitioner.  As an example say your opponent takes your wind away, can you deal with the temporary dysfunction as you correct yourself with a “Kyusho First Aid” method, can you undaze yourself in a slip second to carry on the fight… more importantly however, can your opponent?

Yes all the prior levels of basic training in Kyusho are cumulative and brought to reality in his stage of development, but far from the end.  There is so much more but again small sure steps will build far better skills and bring so much more worth.  Too many people rush their studies, rush their training, rush their development that key components are missing or only in their minds, not their hands.

Many instructors in our own organization wish I would not bring this public, they wish to remain private and gain only from within, but we have other training that will remain private for them.  And it is true many will copy what we do as they have from the beginning, some will join to gain the inside information and break away when they believe they have it… as they have in the past.  But again they miss the vital point as they do not have the whole picture, where it leads or more importantly why.  Most never saw the full application from all the basics released publicly or synthesized them into a single concept or direction that fully unleashes the Kyusho to the correct practitioner.  And it is because of this that we can release this information; we are presently so far ahead in the training concepts other Kyusho groups will not catch up as we are working and training in the direction of the whole process as opposed to copying ideas or aspects in parts.  And let us not forget that if the others do copy and mimic, it will at the least raise Kyusho higher in understanding, skills and acceptance around the world, quality can only get better… as will Kyusho for future generations.

© Evan Pantazi 2013

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  1. Dee says:

    This type of sparring has opened another door for me.

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