take a step towards the outside of your opponent's guard and try to always stay close enough so you can put your lead hand out and touch their guard. From here, try to keep a constant work rate of one punch of kick every second or two. This way you'll get in the habit of keeping pressure on your opponent and be able to get comfortable working and staying composed in the pocket.
The biggest problem with people in sparring is they tend to develop a get in get out game of tag. Try to break the habit of "you go, then I go". Once you land a shot, you've found the range you need to be at, so try to stay there. If they move back, you move forward. If they move to your left, you move left. If they move to your right, you move right. Concentrate on NOT disengaging after landing a shot.
It's all well and good to be able to not get hit, but if you're throwing one shot for every 4 or 5 shots your opponent is throwing, the odds are going to be pretty well stacked against you.
Lots of this is good advice, but the best way to learn aggression is to get in the pocket and trade. We were always taught in the pat cross stoplight methodology of striking. Green is where nobody can hit anybody, yellow is where reaching jabs and some leg kicks will land, red is rock'em sock'em motherfuckin robots. Instead of dancing into and out of the latter two, eliminate green range entirely. You should always be threatening your opponent, conversely they are always threatening you.
For me, what helped me learn to be more aggressive was getting hit hard a number of times. Before I got into full-contact training, I was a point sparrer. When I first started fighting full contact, I found myself reluctant to throw my strikes like I meant it. Once I got knocked on my ass a few times, I stopped holding back. I think my fear of striking hard was actually rooted in my fear of being struck hard.
But of course, this only helps you if you haven't been knocked on your ass your fair share of times. If you have, I dunno, have someone stab you or something.
Man, thanks. This is just what I needed to read just now I think. I don't throw enough to put any pressure on them when they're stronger/better, so they get to dominate, and when they're weaker/worse than me i just tag them a few times and disengage and reset. Thanks I'm going to do this more in practice.
Originally Posted by Torakaka
'Torakaka' you shared a wonderful post. Thanks
In addition to all the good advice on developing your ability to assert already posted in this thread, I would suggest for now, when fighting another reactionary or defensive fighter, think of it as if you guys are "feeding" each other in sparring. Just throw him a telegraphed punch for the sole purpose of letting him react to it. Chances are you'll take a few hits when you do, but eventually it should help with the inhibition. This really helps break down mental barriers especially if perfectionism plays some pert in the inhibition as well.
Also if your style yells when you strike, yell LOUD. Exaggerate until it is natural.
My advice is to get used to using lateral sidesteps against circular footwork to cut off their path and corral them into a corner. Some counterfighters get away unscathed after a jab or side kick or push kick because they have space to move away right after it lands.
There is a lot of great advice in this thread. But I'm very much the kind of person that believes one should play to their strengths. If you are having difficulty being offensive than perhaps you should work strong defense into your game.
Defense is extremely viable but I must adhere to the use of extreme caution when taking a path. Aggressive forward movement is a much easier thing to learn and can in most cases (possibly this one but without the total picture I can't really say) may be what you are after. But aggression while being defensive is not unheard of.
Here is a great list of defensive Boxers who did well:
And there are MMA fighters too:
Regardless; I can not stress this enough. If your coach is telling you to be more aggressive; clarify what he or she thinks you are doing wrong. Then work on it. If you are truly having an issue with aggression and are unable to come to grips with the style; then perhaps the style isn't for you; or the trainer isn't a good match.
Defensive style fighting is an extremely rewarding but masochistic and difficult style to master. If you so feel the need to continue down the path of defensive style fighting which I don't recommend; especially with all the great information in this thread. Then you will need to find someone that can help you train in that way.
1. work to constantly develop punching power or kicking power so that even in defense your opponent hesitates to even take a blow.
2. Combos, combos combos. Defensive guys tend to jam-up and wait for counter opportunities. However, if you work angles and combos, you force them defend in positions which you must learn, so that you can also learn what areas are left unprotected.
Bash for your last fifteen seconds or so.
Fight to win.