On Qi-Do and Sparring Essay

Submitted By Wildpsyd
Words: 1429
Pages: 6

There comes a time, where a martial artist might consider creating his or her own system. I’ve been training since 1982, almost earning a 3rd kyu in Shotokan after ten years, then going on to earn a 3rd degree Black Belt in Isshin-ryu as well as a 1st degree Black Belt in Kenpo after about another ten. Since then, I have been reading and getting instruction in a variety of martial arts and found myself intrigued by the recurring concept of qi or “life force.” This martial arts philosophical/ metaphysical concept of qi or chi is important and mentioned in some manner in all martial arts systems.
I am calling the system upon which I will be instructing, Qi-do.
It is influenced heavily by my training in Isshin-ryu, Kenpo and
Shotokan of course, but also including philosophy and technique from Wing Chun, Aikido, Jeet Kune Do, and Modern
Arnis. This is a contemporary style; technique and forms that are useful only if we still lived in the Middle Ages of Asia will not be used. We will train in our "street clothes" and will wear common footwear. We will train for modern "street" application such as self- defense and close quarters fighting. Despite the emphasis on being a modern system, I will instruct apprentices in two historic kata, Naihanchi and Sanchin. Naihanchi kata, a favorite of Choki Motobu and generally most associated with
Shorin-ryu (although having its roots in Chinese martial arts), focuses on techniques useful in close quarters conflicts and can be interpreted in terms of striking, grappling, and throwing.
Sanchin, considered to be the backbone of many Asian martial arts systems, introduces the student to the use of qi for training and fighting applications. Discussion of qi will also figure prominently throughout all class discussion and my explanations for why I am asking people to think, feel, and do as I will train them to.
If you are a fellow geek, you'll also appreciate one of the primary reasons I have settled on this name for the system.
Since Qi can be translated as "life force," the literal translation

of this system is the "Way of the Force"... use of lightsabers and
Force Lightning will not be part of the curriculum unfortunately.
Along those same lines, at this time, I am only imagining three ranks in the system: apprentice, teacher (knight), and master.

The best modality of training in any martial art is with a human partner. Heavy bags, striking boards, and the air are all convenient “partners” and have their place in training but, not only are they too “forgiving”, they lack the intense energy, substance, and reactions of a human being. Training with a human partner provides its own unique and important challenges and literally bring to life a technique that is otherwise an academic exercise.
Thus, in addition to drilling basics and practicing form, we must spar. The concept of sparring is the most intimidating of all the training modalities for many students. It can engender fear in a variety of ways. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of physical injury. Fear of physical intimacy. Allowing fear to dictate one’s training will not only contort and cripple one’s growth in a martial art, it will lead to inefficient and even dangerously ill-executed, poorly controlled technique. Thus, in Qi-do we will utilize sparring. For the beginning student, structured sparring, and, for the advanced student, semi-structure sparring. Note that while some refer to semi-structured as “free” sparring, this is misleading. At all times, sparring will occur within a framework and with rules; safety will be the emphasis at all times.
Structured sparring – there are three types of structured sparring: one-step, form, and three-step. They are executed at 50
– 75% speed and power.
One-step sparring (ippon kumite) - used for self defense drills. A single and specific attack from the uke is pre-determined. The tori then develops a pattern of response to that