Last sunday, the Shinergy[battle] summer 2011 took place. Honestly, the event gets better each time. I kind of miss the fightclub-athmosphere the whole thing had when we took our fights to the clubs, but especially for newcomers, the more orthodox set up is working out fine. We’re still experimenting with the rules. Since the battles are relatively small, we can do that with no problem. In my opinion, we found a great way to structure things, but the jury’s still out on the decision wheter or not to keep this up:
- Gray-Belts (-2 years of training) compete in point-stop battles. I don’t say semi-contact, because as a matter of fact, every competition is full-contact. Fights in this class are, however, interrupted every time a point was scored. This way, the boys (and girls, obviously), learn to work tactically. Rather than just brawling it out, the goal is to out-move and out-smart the opponent and score a clean shot.
- Blue-Belts (-5 years of training) compete in action-stop battles. Basically, after the first hit, the fight is allowed to continue for about 2-3 seconds. Then it is interrupted. The basic idea is to keep a focus on technical sparring but to eliminate those semi-contact kickboxing moves where you’d hit the opponent with the edge of your pinky finger and score a point. Three seconds is more than enough time to score a knockout against an uncareful opponent.
- Red-Belts and Black-Belt compete in continous, full-contact battles. The fight is only interrupted if a fighter leaves the fighting area or gets knocked down. Also, to keep the pace up, excessive clinching (>2-3 seconds) is interrupted.
All fights follow the same rules when it comes to prohibited techniques:
- no headbutting
- no kicking below waist level (sweeps are fair play, though)
- no holding
- no throwing
So basically, the following is allowed:
- All kicks above waist level
- All punches and open hand strikes above waist level
- All knee strikes above waist level
- All elbow strikes above waist level
- Sweeps (must be placed on the lower 1/3rd of the opponents shin)
All fighters are required to wear full protective gear, consisting of gloves, shin- and foot-padding, groin protection, a vest (just like in TKD, Sanda and since recently Muay Thai), a mouthguard and a head-guard with a fence. In the following picture you can see the type of equipment we use:
From my school, three guys stepped into the octagon (as you can see in the above picture, the fighting area is octagon-shaped. This has the distinct advantage over a square area that it allows for a greater degree of freedom, thus increasing the tactical possibilites). Two of them, Andreas and Felipe, had their first fight. Both did remarkably well, considering the circumstances.
You see, Andreas competed in the youth-division. His first opponent was Felix, who has quite some experience when it comes to our style of fighting. Regardless of the difference in experience, Andreas won a spectacular fight. His second opponent, Marvin, has been training for about 4 years now and competed in various national kickboxing tournaments. As a matter of fact, he even qualified to compete in the upcoming ISKA-European championships as a part of the national team. On the other hand, Andreas just started training like two months ago. Still, the match was pretty well balanced, Andreas lost by a couple of points.
In the men’s red-belt division, Felipe was up against Stan. Just like Andreas, Felipe started training about two months ago whereas Stan is a Shinergy instructor – needless to say, the difference in both skill and fitness is huge. Now you might wonder why this match-up was possible, after all there’s three different belt divisions. Well, unfortunately, this battle was pretty small in terms of contestants (maybe Whitsun Sunday isn’t that great a date for a fight after all). Therefore, no grey-belt fight came about. Since Felipe put time and energy into his fight preparations, we’ve decided to give him a shot in the higher division. The fight was stopped and judged a TKO at the end of the first round, however, I strongly believe the experience was a good thing for Felipe. It’s the lost fights you learn most from.
Last but not least, Michael fought Stan in the redbelt divison. Now to be perfectly honest, when it comes to technical skill, none of them would actually pass the red-belt examination. Still, since the graduation-system is pretty new and most trainees didn’t have a chance yet to take the exams, we just decided to have the boys fight under red-belt rules. During the first round, Michael really did a great job, kicking Stan (who’s more of a boxer than a kicker), keeping him at a distance and scoring with great maneuvers. Unfortunately, he gassed and eventually lost the fight. Still, I’m pretty happy about what I saw (apart from the lack of endurance), because Michael is just getting better each time he competes. There’s a continous improvement to be observed and after all, that’s all that matters.
Considering all facts, I really consider the Shinergy[battle] Summer 2011 a great success for Shinergy[international] (because we’re really getting a hang for things, organizationally), for my boys (as they really did a great job and delievered one hell of a performance) and finally for myself (as I was proud to watch my boys compete).
I don’t have any videos yet, but obviously I’ll post them as soon as I can lay my hands on them.