In our gym we are always saying we go one direction – forward! For those that have sparred with me, you know that I can take that forward direction to extremes and have pursued individuals around the gym while sparring. It happened again last night and I wanted to comment on that and also comment on strategic retreating.
Pushing forward - it is much easier to move forward than it is to move backward. When advancing on an opponent you can shape their movement of where you want them to go. If you are throwing strikes your opponent doesn’t have much opportunity to throw strikes back at you. Last night the person I was sparring with did keep a good sense of their surroundings and I wasn’t able to back them completely into a corner which is good for them.
Strategic retreating - if you are feeling overwhelmed by an opponent or need a quick break to regroup that is when you should retreat, but don’t just go straight backward. Create some angles that may produce opportunities for you to strike. Good strikes to help you create that distance are defensive front kicks and retreating punches.
When you do need to retreat, do it with the thought of not just getting away, but how are you going to turn the tide and get back on the offensive. Remember that is is much easier and safer to move forward than it is to move backward.