During a recent Saturday sparring class at our school, we were visited by Mr. Johnny Guzman, a black belt from Mr. Duffy’s Kenpo school in Austin. He fought all of us with a sparring style I hadn’t seen before. Mr. Guzman would stay in a much closer range then you’d traditionally see, and he’d keep his front hand or forearm pressed against his opponent’s front arm. It acted as almost a radar, measuring the distance between him and his opponent. If the opponent moved to go right, he’d slip his front hand in for a quick rib shot. If the opponent moved to the left, it acted as a trigger, allowing him to move toward the opponent’s center line. It was pretty interesting to watch (and feel), and I began trying it out on my own as well.
The videos below are from sparring at Disciple Martial Arts in Edmond, OK with my instructor, Mr. Damian Wilson, and his students. I was working on trying Mr. Guzman’s fighting style. You can see where it was moderately effective against Ricky, but not so much yet against Tony or Mr. Wilson. More practice is certainly needed. The two-on-one match and three-on-one match in the second video move too quickly to really try to experiment too much.
When you have a group of sparring partners you’re comfortable with and trust, you can experiment with changes to your fighting style. It allows you to expand your horizons without getting overly punished. Sure, when you expose your open points, they’ll connect on them. But you want them to. If what you’re trying leaves your targets open often, these are the kinds of guys who will help you determine it before it becomes used in a real fight or flight situation.
One on one matches against Ricky, Tony, and then Mr. Wilson.
Two on one match against Mr. Wilson and Tony, then three-on-one match against Mr. Wilson, Tony, and Ricky.