So this weekend I went back to the MT gym after a month of not going, and I had a light sparring session with one of the ammys. This was only my second sparring session and since I'm a complete noob, I would ball up instead of circling out every time he threw combos at me. He kept telling me not to ball up, but it was hard for me to do since I'm a beginner. Sometimes I noticed that I would turn my back on him, which isn't so good either. When I kept my hands down, he would land a fairly big shot on me; he told me he wasn't really going hard, but I did feel a little buzz:icon_neut. At the end of the session he told me that I needed to start strengthening my neck so I could take shots better. He told me that I should get a rope/cloth and tie it around a weight so I could bite the rope to lift the weight. I want to strengthen my neck, but I'm scared to develop some sort of neck problem in the future. Is it safe to strengthen my neck this way, and are there other ways I can strengthen my neck? Also, are there any drills that can help me not ball up/run away?