Students learn to deal with the unrelenting attacks of an opponent by creating an effective defense and offense according to opponent's fighting style. By placing themselves in a position where there is the risk of injury, students learn to face adversity using both their mental and physical training.
Face fears. While a point sparring is a game, there is still a possibility for injury. For some this causes anxiety. Free-sparring helps calm your anxieties and develops your confidence.
Beware of the actors. The type of opponent falls to the floor in apparent agony at the slightest contact, to draw the sympathy of officials and in an attempt to cause you to ease up. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. If it is used too much, everyone evolved will catch on and the person will suffer for it. Sometimes, just as the boy who cried wolf, when a real injury occurs, no one will believe it.
Quickly adapt to opponent's actions. Because free-sparring is not prearranged, the opponent may use any type of permitted attack. Students must learn to quickly counter an endless variety of attacks and adapt to their opponents' style and timing. Through free-sparring, students learn to respond quickly and calmly to unknown situations that may occur in real life self-defense situations.
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