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Beginning sparring: any tips?

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    Beginning sparring: any tips?

    Hi guys,

    First post. I've been doing muay thai for a few months now. Last few lessons I've been doing some sparring. Previous to this I have been doing pad work. I know that I need more experience before i can have any hope with sparring but i really do suck at the moment. I kind of freeze up, get tense, can't concentrate on both defending or offence at the same time (ie. I can only think of either hitting, or defending myself). it seems I forget all my training as soon as I'm faced with an opponent.
    Anyway, if anyone could recommend some general tips for starting out sparring that would be great.

    #2
    welcome to Bullshido.
    Only way to improve sparring is to spar.Your reactions were normal when you did sparring.As you said you freezed up that was normal for a beginner.Just continue your training and you will see it.I am just a noob for muay thai but other bullies will help you i think.

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      #3
      Keep your hands up.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by psytaco View Post
        Hi guys,

        First post. I've been doing muay thai for a few months now. Last few lessons I've been doing some sparring. Previous to this I have been doing pad work. I know that I need more experience before i can have any hope with sparring but i really do suck at the moment. I kind of freeze up, get tense, can't concentrate on both defending or offence at the same time (ie. I can only think of either hitting, or defending myself). it seems I forget all my training as soon as I'm faced with an opponent.
        Anyway, if anyone could recommend some general tips for starting out sparring that would be great.
        Yeah sure.

        Protect your nuts.

        More seriously, just keep it up. You'll freeze up less as you become accustomed to people really trying to hit you in face. As you relax, you'll start finding openings and be able to work both defense and offense. You just need experience. For now, just don't give up!

        Train safe bro!

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          #5
          Remember to breathe.
          Try to keep your shoulders relaxed.
          "Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez

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            #6
            Thanks for the responses guys. really appreciate it.
            I guess I'm been a bit hard on myself. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I want to be good at what I do.

            Comment


              #7
              Breathing, yes, that's reminder one.

              Reminder two: hands up and chin down. Feel those arms getting tired? That's them telling you to put them back up again.

              Reminder three: throw punches and kicks. You won't get much out of sparring if you forget to let your hands go. Even if it's sloppy, just throw something, anything. Once you realize it's easier to hit people than you thought, you'll do it more and with better technique. Also, the more you do it the more you'll start to feel at home in the ring, and you'll start using your brain instead of operating off of instinct.

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                #8
                Yeah im recently sparring more often and at times i have those problems to. Sometimes you get caught with a good shot and start to hesitate not wanting to get hit by another, then you just thing fuck it and get back into the rythum. Dont worry if the first few times you get hit hard you think, what the fuck i dont like that cos youll get used to it.

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                  #9
                  Yes, I felt all those things when I started 9 months ago. Now I love hitting people and getting hit. All the flinch responses are gone, thankfully. I agree with the advices given. If in doubt, spar spar spar spar and spar some more. My biggest issue at first was closing my eyes when the punches are flying into my face. I thought I'd never get over it, but I did.

                  Good luck and have fun.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by psytaco View Post
                    I kind of freeze up, get tense, can't concentrate on both defending or offence at the same time (ie. I can only think of either hitting, or defending myself). it seems I forget all my training as soon as I'm faced with an opponent.
                    Wellcome to the world of hard lessons learned through sparring.

                    Those reactions are normal, a few tips:

                    -Sparring, while important, it's not a susbtitute for all the other work you are/shold be doing, like drills, pad work, heavy bag and conditioning.

                    -Build it up, don't start balls out on it, increase the contact degree and intensity as you get better in every other aspect mentioned above.

                    -If possible, try to spar with different people, parterns at more or less your same level, more experienced partners, bigger, stronger, faster than you, or smaller and lighter, etc.

                    -If you learned a new technique during class, try to pull it off when sparring, do not rely only in the same things, sparring is a tool for learning and not for measuring egos.

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                      #11
                      Breathing is really good advice. Irregular breathing will get you gassed quickly, make it much harder to concentrate and a gut shot will drop you every time.

                      Also relax. Sounds daft and a bit of a flippant comment but its the same as breathing under pressure, you almost have to force yourself to do it to make it work.
                      Ne Obliviscaris

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                        #12
                        One thing that people who are starting out sparring sometimes have difficulty with is eye contact. looking an opponent in the eyes can unnerve some people, especially when they are starting out.
                        Different people have different view on this sort of thing, but I think the best advice for beginners is to focus on your opponents trunk/chest area. you can pretty much sense any sort of body movement from the arms or the legs if you focus on the center of your opponent's body, and should be able to respond quickly to a punch or a kick.
                        If you are ok, with looking your opponent in the eyes, then that's fine too. Over time, you will figure out what works best for you.
                        Also, try to move laterally when being pressured instead of backing up, backing up all the time is not the best habit to get into.
                        My former sifu used to tell me "when bone meets bone, hardest bone wins.' I don't know what gear you may be wearing, but just keep in mind when blocking or deflecting blows that a shin bone is always stronger/harder than your knuckles/hand bones.Avoid direct contact if possible.
                        Best of luck and keep those hands up!
                        " If one wants to have a friend one must also want to wage war for him: and to wage war one must be capable of being an enemy." - Fr. Nietzsche 'On The Friend' Thus Spake Zarathustra

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                          #13
                          Go in to every sparring session knowing that you will get hit.

                          You will get hit. It will hurt sometimes. Get over it.

                          If you're afraid of getting hit you'll forget to breathe, forget to throw offense, and basically you'll stay on defense and break down worse and worse every minute. Acknowledging that you'll get hit will help you relax, too.

                          Keep your eyes open, too. The punches that really hurt are the ones you don't see.

                          If possible, spar with a more advanced student. They'll stay calm and should help you out with pointers while you're sparring. Plus they are less likely to spazz out and try to "win". More mature students use sparring as a training tool rather than a contest.

                          And before you free spar, try actually getting hit a little bit. Wall drills are awesome for this - put one heel against the wall and play defense against an opponent for 2 minutes. All you can do is block, duck, evade. No Offense, and your heel must stay glued to the wall. You'll get used to being hit and being evasive with your movements. It really works wonders for your D.
                          "Never trust a quote you read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln



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                            #14
                            Originally posted by psytaco View Post
                            Hi guys,

                            First post. I've been doing muay thai for a few months now. Last few lessons I've been doing some sparring. Previous to this I have been doing pad work. I know that I need more experience before i can have any hope with sparring but i really do suck at the moment. I kind of freeze up, get tense, can't concentrate on both defending or offence at the same time (ie. I can only think of either hitting, or defending myself). it seems I forget all my training as soon as I'm faced with an opponent.
                            Anyway, if anyone could recommend some general tips for starting out sparring that would be great.
                            That sounds about right for the first few times you spar :)

                            Eventually you'll get fed of being punched about, something inside will click into place and you'll make a quantum leap forward in your ability. And you'll freak your sparring partner out cos you'll sudden;y be gaurding effectively and actually hitting them back :)

                            Just stick at it...think about it, dwell on it, consider your weaknesses and strengths.

                            It'll will snap into place I promise.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by tao.jonez View Post
                              And before you free spar, try actually getting hit a little bit. Wall drills are awesome for this - put one heel against the wall and play defense against an opponent for 2 minutes. All you can do is block, duck, evade. No Offense, and your heel must stay glued to the wall. You'll get used to being hit and being evasive with your movements. It really works wonders for your D.
                              +1 do this. A lot. It really works :icon_salu

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