Sparing advice for the begginer

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by Mike32110, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. Mike32110

    Mike32110 White Belt

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    Hey guys, I think I am asking a pretty valid question, so if you are going to say something like "man up, you pussy", don't bother.

    I've been doing bjj for a bit now, and decided to take muay thai as well. After a few lessons I started sparing a couple weeks ago, the first day went good, everyone went easy on me and it wasn't too bad. The second day of sparing I fought this one guy who was probably 20 lbs lighter than me, less height, and less reach. However, he's had several mma fights under his belt (I believe he is 4-0 actually). He almost KOed me with a right hook, he was throwing leg kicks that I could really feel (to my head, chest, etc.), and at the end of the session it was 3 minutes of me getting beaten up. The one punch he hit me with dazed me for a bit, as I called timeout, but I still stood up. I told the guy I was brand new at the start, but it didn't seem to affect his strategy as he still went like what appeared to be 100%. He even told me afterwards he knocked a huge guy out last week in sparring with the same combo.

    Sorry for the rambling story, but what I am getting at is this: How the hell do I get better without getting a shitload of concussions?! I'm in the healthcare field, and do require my brain, and I thought that the chance of getting a concussion would be pretty damn low until i was preparing for an MMA fight and people went more "all out". I tried throwing the odd combo at him, but for the most part it just seemed like I was a sitting duck. I am trying to wonder if anyone can give me advice on how to prevent this again, because I wanted to go relatively light in sparing and then get more serious as I got better. I don't want to get 50 concussions as I am "learning", ya know? I just feel like for the odd guy at my gym, i'm just a piece of meat they can use as target practice since I am new.

    I wasn't wearing headgear at the time, but nobody else seems to at my gym as well. Any advice??
     
  2. casper1kebab

    casper1kebab Yellow Belt

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    chin down, shoulders up,
    never show ur hurt
    maybe headgear would be a good idea if u dont care about looking macho
     
  3. SAAMAG

    SAAMAG San Antonio Applied Martial Arts Group

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    Tell them your sparring sessions are for learning how to apply your art, not to see "who's better". Sounds like the "little guy" has a bit of a "little man" complex and needs to learn what sparring is actually for.

    Ask them to spar at your level and at 50%. If they can't do that, time to look for another gym with less morons.
     
  4. TheEnder321

    TheEnder321 Orange Belt

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    Sparring always takes getting used to, you have to learn your way around, to think about what your doing and how your doing while still being offensive, and that really takes sometime.., but yea most ppl shouldn't be trying to knock your ass out in sparring, ur teammates, you supposed to help eachother get better, not injure each other
     
  5. silvasurfer5253

    silvasurfer5253 Purple Belt

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    I feel for you, but lesson learned. Spar with people you trust. You can't improve if you're in a duel to the death everytime you spar. This guy sounds like he's in it for his ego. No need to spar with him again. You can always ask your instructor to spar. Also, watch how your teammates spar, and pay attention to the guys who are good partners. By this I mean the guys who don't put their ego above their teammates safety. Those are the guys you should try to spar with. hope this helps.
     
  6. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green White Belt

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    What you have their is a bad training partner. The sort of thing your coach should deal with, unfortunately some coaches don't, and a few even encourage such things. I would say either your coach should fix it, or you should find a different coach.
     
  7. Salar

    Salar Blue Belt

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    ok first of all, dont be afraid of telling your coach/instructor what your goals are and that you dont want to go to hard in sparring, everyone learns at a different pace. i teach Muay Thai and i have some students that walked in off the street, new nothing and 6 months down the track are showing more improvement than the guys that have been with me for longer and are competing.

    that fact is that most places and instructors tend to have regular students and when a new one comes along its just a force of habit that the instructor either will not explain every technique or keep a close eye on the student, this may be because hes over explaining all the time and figures the students will pick it up by just watching or because he simply forgets. a good instructor will always explain things properly and acknowledge the skill level of his students so as to not put the in over their heads.

    if your instructor doesnt change your sparring partner to someone more suited to your level or he doesnt have a word with the guy that you mention, then its probably a good idea to change gyms and find a place that will help you grow.
     
  8. Mike32110

    Mike32110 White Belt

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    Thanks for all the wicked advice guys, I was starting to wonder if I was sounding like a bit of a chump, but good to know that I had realistic expectations. I noticed in an earlier class we were playing attack and defend, and this 16 year old was throwing like 10-15 punch combos at me lol. I think that because I am a fairly good size, the smaller guys feel the need to go a bit heavier on me, despite the fact that I throw at like 25-50% in sparing.

    How my gym works is we spar like 5-6 people in 3 minutes rounds, so you almost end up sparing with everyone by the end of class. I think the lesson learned in this is that after the first exchange where I feel the guy is going a bit too hard, just tell him to take it easy on me, before I go through 3 minutes of torture.

    I think I will buy some headgear, but my only concern is that people will go even harder because they figure I have protection now.

    Does anybody have any advice for what to focus on in sparing in the early days? I personally like sparing with newer guys and girls (don't laugh) right now, because I don't get intimidated when they throw punches, and I tend to block and parry a lot of their punches, as opposed to shelling up when a bigger/experienced guy starts throwing combos. Is it a good idea to find more sparing partners like this, and then working my way up?
     
  9. CouchStud

    CouchStud Purple Belt

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    Generally speaking, nobody should be trying to knock you the F out in a sparring session. That just isn't cool at any level and it's dumb even for professional fighters because it cuts their carrier short. If someone is just going harder on you because you're easy pickings, that's really bad on their part.
     
  10. Connoisseur

    Connoisseur Purple Belt

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    Few tips that have helped me:

    1) First and foremost, you need to be confident in yourself. Be prepared to take some punishment, but go in with the mindset that you are going to work your game, that you belong there, and just focus on your technique. Work on learning the basics well, don't let yourself slack off; stay relaxed, don't try anything fancy, try to mix things up, and have fun out there.

    2) Don't get into the pitfall of trying to fight like anyone else. Do what works for you; for me, when I spar dramatically better guys than me, it means holding my ground and not running away. I'm a big/ tall guy, so it's paramount that I make sure to plant myself when I throw, otherwise my power's crap. I like to work my jab/ cross, throw kicks when the other guy is too flatfooted/ planted, and when facing a pressure/ inside fighter- catch them with uppercuts (right uppercut is my best punch) or a check hook coming in. Just find out what works for you, and try to implement that while constantly trying new things when there's room to do so.

    3) If you're getting beat up by this guy, it might be because he is an aspiring fighter, and needs the workout. Sparring is the time for these guys to work their technique and get a workout, they have to throw a good amount of volume, and with enough velocity to maintain form, to get a workout. Maybe he's a dick and really does just go too hard, but most amateurs i've sparred with (which includes upcoming guys at Xtreme Couture like Ryan Couture, Gil Guardado, etc) just need to get a workout while sparring with you. If you can't handle it, do your best to survive the round without cowering, and then ask to switch partners. I've found that fighting guys well above your level toughens you up, and forces you to fight extremely smart.

    Good luck bud, and hope this advice helps.
     
  11. Smw

    Smw Purple Belt

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    If you can't handle the sparring, and you can't tell your partner to take it easier then you are a pussy.
     

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