Colour Scale of Intensity/Comfort in Sparring
At one point I came up with a colour scale for intensity. The idea being to help articulate how sparring was going for you and what you were getting out of it. It seems like it might be time to try it again, after recent discussions about comfort zones, speed and intensity in training.
- Blue was “Why am I even doing this?”
- Green was “Comfortable”
- Yellow was “Good”
- Orange was “Working hard”
- Red was “Pushed to my limit”
- Black was “NOPE STOP”
When someone wanted to fence longsword without masks, I noped out fast. It was Black zone for me. I didn’t feel safe, and I didn’t think they were safe. Clearly it was acceptable for them, though - maybe Red?
If I’m coaching-sparring a newer person and providing simple direct attacks and parry-ripostes, it might be Green for me but Red for them. If I spar the same person in competitive mode, it might rise to Yellow for me - even though I’m probably getting hit a whole lot less, I’m trying more types of actions and working with more intensity, speed and pressure to win. If I spar them and try to win while restricting myself to B- or C-game techniques, I’m in the Red zone very quickly, even though I’m fencing an “inferior” opponent.
The difficulty isn’t a matter of touches but of technical and physical comfort zones.