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erezb
12/19/2013 5:40am,
Hi, we have a few new kids training, and some of it (training) falls on me.
We box, and i wanted to open this subject of light vs heavy or hard sparring again, this time for beginners.
I have noticed that hard sparring too early and often will weed out the week as they say and leave you with determined people that will progress nicely (usually).
But, i think it is a mistake to forgo the timid, not just because it is a business and our club is not designed for high end competitive boxing, but also because i think some really gifted boxers/fighters can arise from those that needs more time to get accustomed to hard sparring.

From my experience, even the most timid can get used to it if it is graduate enough. In the end someone that was not meant to be a fighter can actually box pretty well and spar hard with little emotional effect.

I also think that to learn good technique and skip the rabbit punching phase right into actual boxing one needs plenty of light sparring in all it's versions.
The down side of course is that inside the ring it is not light nor forgiving..and to be able to perform your technique under real stress u need to feel it, allot.

I guess the quick answer will be to do both, but if you have twice a week with the kid, and he is not hard bent on actually competing what do you think should be the "right amount" when do you think you should introduce hard sparring? and generally what's your thoughts about this?

jedtex88
12/19/2013 7:33am,
It's going to be different from student to student. After a couple of light spars start sticking them every once in a while. Look to see how they reacts. If they seems to exhibit tenacity stick them more often. If not just ease them into it, maybe make that good stick a body shot for a while.

Diesel_tke
12/19/2013 9:23am,
Yeah, I would take it on a kid by kid basis. I have two kids and I spar with both of them. One of them takes a beating and comes in for more. Matter of fact he gets more into it, the more intense the sparring. The other one is actually better. His techniques are a lot cleaner and his movement is better. But you pop him one time a little too hard and he starts crying and shuts down. So I have to spar with them differently. If I did both of them the same, one or the other wouldn't get anything out of it.

Main thing I make sure I do is go full speed but very the intensity level. Either with padded sticks, focus mits, bigger gloves, kick/punch shields, or lighter punches. But full speed either way. I don't think that going slower helps them any, just makes them lazy. Also, keeping it fun.

blackmonk
12/19/2013 9:34am,
I think the gradual approach is most effective.

It's how they build such phenomenal sambo stylists overseas. A long, continuous process where the athlete is given progressively more difficult tasks, and thus both proficiency and confidence (which is most important) are built in a responsible manner.

It's how we do it at my club, and we routinely bring home a high percentage of medals from sambo, judo, and catch tournaments.

BKR
12/19/2013 10:25am,
I think the gradual approach is most effective.

It's how they build such phenomenal sambo stylists overseas. A long, continuous process where the athlete is given progressively more difficult tasks, and thus both proficiency and confidence (which is most important) are built in a responsible manner.

It's how we do it at my club, and we routinely bring home a high percentage of medals from sambo, judo, and catch tournaments.

Quoted for truth. Coaching kids is fairly complex. Different stages of mental, physical, and emotional development demand different goals and strategies.

Vieux Normand
12/19/2013 1:12pm,
OP: is it a purpose of your gym to "weed out the weak"...or is it to transform them into the mentally- and physically-strong (while also working to improve those who already are strong)?

itwasntme
12/19/2013 2:27pm,
erezb, what sorts of strategies have you implemented with kids that have no self esteem (the kid who laughs when they get hit or do something wrong and makes it obvious they aren't really applying themselves) and who probably don't really want to be there (without telling their folks that their little Johnny just does not want to do this activity)?

Are there methods that have worked more than others for you?

Roughly how many of these children would you say that you've seen turn their attitude around and succeed?

erezb
12/20/2013 10:23am,
erezb, what sorts of strategies have you implemented with kids that have no self esteem (the kid who laughs when they get hit or do something wrong and makes it obvious they aren't really applying themselves) and who probably don't really want to be there (without telling their folks that their little Johnny just does not want to do this activity)?

Are there methods that have worked more than others for you?

Roughly how many of these children would you say that you've seen turn their attitude around and succeed?

Truthfully, i tell them not to waist my and their partner's time. This place is for people that want to be here. I tend to treat them as i would a grownup, they respond well to it. Their parents pay too much for them to **** around, and the other kid that suffers that behavior as well. But... i encountered that rarely as boxing is not something kids will do on a whim. Also because it is mixed, grownups and youngsters (14,15 and up) they tend to behave like the grownups. But, most don't stick anyway, i rarely pay close attention to someone that is less than a month with us because there is a good chance he will quit.
What i encounter is kids wanting to toughen up but have trouble with sparring. You can see they hate it and dread it, and a lot of the times they are clever nice and actually quite skilled kids, and it is a shame to loose them, so i emphasis to spar lightly, not be cruel. Obviously when i spar with a kid i am not going to punch him hard no matter what..the problem is other kids. I also do think that this kids have a place in boxing, as i said we are not a pro gym, nor are we aimed at producing amateur champs, we had a few some years ago, now we are focused more on students, grownups like me and youngsters that were sent boxing to toughen up a little.
Our goal is to get them fit and teach them how to box, that is it.

erezb
12/20/2013 10:37am,
Yeah, I would take it on a kid by kid basis. I have two kids and I spar with both of them. One of them takes a beating and comes in for more. Matter of fact he gets more into it, the more intense the sparring. The other one is actually better. His techniques are a lot cleaner and his movement is better. But you pop him one time a little too hard and he starts crying and shuts down. So I have to spar with them differently. If I did both of them the same, one or the other wouldn't get anything out of it.

Main thing I make sure I do is go full speed but very the intensity level. Either with padded sticks, focus mits, bigger gloves, kick/punch shields, or lighter punches. But full speed either way. I don't think that going slower helps them any, just makes them lazy. Also, keeping it fun.

It is hard to control your power when going full speed, all that needs to happen is that the kid bobs when you think he is going to lean back and he gets punched hard.
What i see happens when you spar hard (also from experience) is this horribly boring sparring matches that can't be called boxing, usually one quick punch and immediately jumping back, rabbit punching against any close contact and all sorts of BS when the goal becomes surviving those rounds of free sparring.
Though hard sparring toughens you up it seems to loose a lot IMO. If you feel that you are going to get punished for every mistake (trying something new) than you won't try it and your advance into someone that actually box will have to wait until hard punches don't phase you much... some people are born fighters and from the get go will stay cool even when bloodied, but most of us aren't.
Going slow and soft sometimes is needed to get them to listen to directions during sparring, as things progress and their guard is better, their movements more logical and predictable you can speed it up. I think that if a kid/guy is shutting down during sparring and going into survivle mode than this is not ideal, the whole point is to try new stuff and perfect them.

But again, the time constraint is a player here, if they were to train daily , grate u can take your time with light sparring and gradually kick it up..but when they have twice a week...what is better? a slightly better technique or a better attitude when under stress of hardish punches?

Diesel_tke
12/20/2013 11:22am,
It is hard to control your power when going full speed, all that needs to happen is that the kid bobs when you think he is going to lean back and he gets punched hard.
What i see happens when you spar hard (also from experience) is this horribly boring sparring matches that can't be called boxing, usually one quick punch and immediately jumping back, rabbit punching against any close contact and all sorts of BS when the goal becomes surviving those rounds of free sparring.
Though hard sparring toughens you up it seems to loose a lot IMO. If you feel that you are going to get punished for every mistake (trying something new) than you won't try it and your advance into someone that actually box will have to wait until hard punches don't phase you much... some people are born fighters and from the get go will stay cool even when bloodied, but most of us aren't.
Going slow and soft sometimes is needed to get them to listen to directions during sparring, as things progress and their guard is better, their movements more logical and predictable you can speed it up. I think that if a kid/guy is shutting down during sparring and going into survivle mode than this is not ideal, the whole point is to try new stuff and perfect them.

But again, the time constraint is a player here, if they were to train daily , grate u can take your time with light sparring and gradually kick it up..but when they have twice a week...what is better? a slightly better technique or a better attitude when under stress of hardish punches?

Sounds like you have it all figured out. Good luck with that.

Vieux Normand
12/20/2013 12:20pm,
Sounds like you have it all figured out. Good luck with that.

Sarcasm is never ever lost on arabz.

W. Rabbit
12/20/2013 12:33pm,
Obviously when i spar with a kid i am not going to punch him hard no matter what..the problem is other kids.

I think this sentence sums up the problem.

ghost55
12/20/2013 1:35pm,
In Muay Thai, I was thrown into fairly hard sparring pretty early, and I loved it. As far as I am concerned, the harder I get my ass kicked, the more I learn (to a point), and having to pressure test when I learn at an early stage just makes me learn that much faster. That being said, not everyone is like me. I would probably ask the kids how hard they want to go, and then divide them up based on that.

JJX
12/20/2013 10:10pm,
How does one define light vs hard?

Is light, just tapping? More like point fighting? (gosh I hope not)

Is hard, a knock down, drag out bout or just enough to ring your bell?

I don't know. Do you guys?

erezb
12/21/2013 3:04am,
for me "hard sparring" or to be exact "too hard sparring" is when at least one of the guys goes into survival mode, he stops trying new things, stops thinking of executing what was drilled before and all the thinks about is to finish the round uninjured.When too much fear from your opponent is in the picture it is hard to concentrate at actually improving.
Also a ton of time is wasted circling out side the range fearing to get inside and box.
For some getting their nose smashed is nothing and they keep calm enough for others a hardy punch to the belly is enough or even just a hard punch in the gloves.

karaterick
3/10/2014 10:08am,
I personally start my karate students very slow. We incorporate boxing and the first technique I always teach new students in the jab and cross followed shortly, after some basic kicks by cross and uppercut.
Anyway, I have found that having new students start slow and I mean very slow allows them concentrate on proper technique, stance and footwork. I just think I've seen to many students thrown into the lions den and in an effort to keep up the pace of everyone else they never never develop sound technique.
My opinion, for whatever it's worth, is to teach new students a very proper foundation on solid and correct technique. If that is allowed to happen speed and power will develop quite naturally from that foundation.