Sparring is important for becoming a competent fighter. It’s the best training method, hands-down to improve your boxing skills. Sparring regularly helps to keep your skills sharp. To someone new to the sport, however, sparring could seem very intimidating. It can be difficult for a new person to tell the difference between sparring and an actual fight. Follow these simple tips for sparring to overcome any fears you may have.
- Remember to master your emotions
This isn’t just limited to sparing but also applies to your core defence. Your emotions can easily take over and hamper your judgement, control and reflexes. It’s very easy for emotions such as disappointment, anger and frustration to flare up when you are being hit repeatedly. This may lead to emotional fighting which can result in dumb moves. This may also cause a friendly sparring match to turn into a fight if you aren’t careful. It’s imperative to feel the emotions but at the same time let go of them as well. It shouldn’t be the force driving you to do something you might regret. Never let your emotions control you.
- Use powerful attacks wisely
Never go in with a powerful attack at first. It’s typical to think every hit should make an impact, but this method will just tire you out quickly. It will also make your partner mad at you and at the end, no one will really benefit from the sparring session.
- Try and be unpredictable
It’s fairly easy to fight in predictable patterns when you’re not thinking clearly. The most important thing to keep in mind is to constantly think and move accordingly. Many people enter an ‘auto-pilot’ mode where they either stop thinking or blank out. This results in their opponent anticipating their next hit and makes it easier to take them out. Your head must always be in the game.
- Always be light-footed
Move around as much as you can to stay away from hits. Many people tend to over-focus on offence and defence techniques that they forget to move their feet. Experienced partners can take advantage of this. The best technique is to stay on your toes and not to lumber around.
- Purchase good equipment
Good quality equipment will provide good protection, not just to you, but your partner as well. Cheap or low-quality equipment wears out quickly, and will likely not fit well either. It’s a good idea to invest in quality equipment as this might prevent you from receiving any major injuries.
- Alternate between high and low attacks
An example of this is to kick and follow with a jab. When someone gets kicked low, their brain tends to focus on that part of the body. This can be capitalized on and used to alternate your attacks. But be careful as using this technique too much will surely alarm your partner who will probably be able to guess your next move.
- Alternate between partners
People tend to stick with the same partners as they become comfortable around each other. This is a huge mistake as after a while you begin to cope with each other’s techniques and become lazy. Constantly shuffling between partners shows you new techniques. It’s also good to try and spar with someone who may be better than you. If they have the right kind of an attitude, it can help with your technique.
There are no winners in sparring. This is simply to help you improve your techniques. The competition should be stored away for the match.
Hopefully, these tips will come in handy.