Afraid of punches?


White Belt
Nov 10, 2003
Reaction score
Hello everyone, i practice BJJ, and altought i have basic/intermediate knowledge in grappling (position, submisions, escapes, etc) , yestarday i had my first "valetudo" class.

We began standing up logically, and altought i feeled confortable kicking and punching, i was afraid to enter in a trade range, and get hitten, i was heavier than my opponent but when he rushed to me landing punches i walked backwards, is it normal? do you think it's a practice problem (i mean, that i need to train more "valetudo" to minimize this "fear")?

PD: Please don't tell me that i cross train in other style because i have no time to do it.

Thank you in advance
Try to move to the side instead of going backwords. Just ask ur sparring partner to go light for the first few times. Get the feel.
Yeah tell him to take it light. Hope you aren't going bare knuckle and are using some tpye of gloves and/or protection for your head/face? Tell him to pull his punches, meaning they can still hit and he can gain his technique but not hurt you. Tuck your chin as well since getting hit to the forehead and top of the dome doesn't hurt very much. Also try to get your adrenaline flowing by listening to some fight music or whatever gets you going (for me it is the pride theme :) as the adrenaline will help you "not feel" the pain.
you have to strike more to desensitize those fears. experience will relax you.
it's perfectly normal to be a little fearful of getting hit. The more u spar, the less tense it gets. Also, it's important to spar w/ people who will "work" w/ u, in that they won't go and try to rip your head off. Dont' let stupid pride get u hurt, thinking u can't tell someone "no" even if they're a dumb brute who just wants to hurt u. Be smart about it.
all above is good advice. Just let your partner know that you are pretty new to the striking game. as long as your training partner is good, they should go light and gradually increase everythign as you become used to it. When I started boxing I didn't like getting hit either :D. After working with a lot of people and sparring, I got used to it.
If anything walk into punching range, it takes a lot of opportunities away from him and opens a lot up for you if you know what to do when your in there
A few lessons with a boxing trainer would be my best advice.
I had the same experience, as I was actually closing my eyes when my opponent punched at first. It is just a matter of time before you get used to punches and get rid of the jitters and fear.
BlackBeltNow said:
you have to strike more to desensitize those fears. experience will relax you.

Exactly, You will get used to it and perform better under pressure.

I think everyone felt anxiety the first time they tangled with a superior striker who wasnt holding back.
Someone said to throw more punches. This is true but the most important thing about striking is to pull your hands back as fast as you throw the punch. Pull them back to your face protecting your chin. Get used to moving laterally(usually to the left if you fight an orthodox fighter, stay away from the powerful punchesfrom a big right). This will make you harder to hit as well as to be taken down. get some head gear and jump in to a ring. Unfortunately i have seen guys who are afraid to get hit and they never change. If this is the case stick to jiu-jitsu. You should be ok as you are from venezuela. Just think of men like Bolivar and throwdown.
well since you only plan on doing BJJ and don't have time for any real stand up classes it seems like you have made the decision to be a grappler. in this case get used to closing the distance fast. instead of backing up, maybe you should shoot in for a clinch and takedown. once you get inside his punching range and really go for a good takedown, i guarantee the strikes will stop coming and even if they do they won't have much power when you're clinched real tight.
It goes eventually. I am still afraid of getting hit and it makes me worry about counter punches when i come forward. You just have to get used to it and eventually you will take all the shots and not really notice. MY instructor used to do an exercise called 'wetting the face' it involves two people with small gloves on just hitting each other in the face. I sort of glad he doesnt bring it to our class any more...
Do more stand up so become comfortable with this style fighting and as some of the guys already said side to side movement not straight back and ask those with more experince for help.
maybe you guys are sparring too hard. if thats the case, then maybe finding another gym is the best choice. you dont want to get the habit before you really fight.