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What Steps To Follow To Be An Effective Sparring Partner?

What Steps To Follow To Be An Effective Sparring Partner?

Sparring Partner: Sparring is an essential component of martial arts training. It is the time when you can put all of the tactics you’ve acquired in lessons and exercises on resisting opponents to the test. Sparring, as crucial as it is, is also one of the most overlooked components of martial arts training.

Sparring is almost non-existent in several martial arts that have been watered down over time. This hampers their recruits since they never get to put their strategies to the test against opposing forces or gain battle experience. Students of such martial arts seldom perform well in competitive situations such as mixed martial arts.

The efficacy of martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Boxing, MMA, and kickboxing stems mostly from their robust sparring culture. Grappling disciplines such as BJJ and Wrestling offer the most advantages since trainees may spar at almost 100% after each lesson.

Sparring must be a frequent component of your training if you want to reach your full potential as a martial artist. You must also be a good training partner or you will be the guy everyone avoids when it comes time to spar.

Steps To Follow To Be An Effective Sparring Partner

Are you curious about what it takes to be a good sparring partner? Let us begin with our list:

1) Get the Right Equipment

Make sure you have all of the necessary equipment for your MMA, boxing, or Muay Thai sparring sessions, such as boxing gloves, an athletic cup, shin guards, knee pads, elbow pads, and a mouthpiece.

To safeguard your sparring partners, make sure your training equipment is in good shape and not worn out. The padding of boxing gloves, for example, wears away with time, allowing your knuckles to make contact with the target. Because there is no cushioning to shield your opponent, your punches will seem harsher even if you aren’t putting much power into them.

Sparring equipment protects both you and your opponent, so make it a point to show your training partners that you care about their safety by having all of the necessary equipment.

2) Communicate with your sparring partner in boxing, muay thai, or MMA.

Before each sparring session, make sure you and your sparring partner are on the same page by explicitly outlining your goals. Most professional fighters do not go full out during sparring sessions most of the time, so make sure you’re both aiming for the same level of intensity.

Once you’ve noticed what your sparring partner wants, make sure to be on the agenda for the duration of your sparring sessions. In case you didn’t get a chance to express your intentions to your partner, the golden rule is to go lightly. If someone does not expressly declare that they want to go all in with you, never assume they do.

3) Don’t Put Too Much Emphasis On Winning

A sparring session is not a battle or competition, therefore approach it as such. Sparring is when you put your talents to the test against opposing opponents to find what works best for you. Your aim throughout each sparring session should be to improve rather than to win.

Some people let their competitive inclinations get the best of them during sparring sessions, resulting in a reputation as poor sparring partners. Such individuals may be too protective during sparring sessions or throw blows too forcefully merely to avoid losing the session.

Nobody becomes famous by winning sparring sessions, therefore avoid indulging in such behaviours. Sparring should be utilised to put your most advanced techniques and combinations to the test. That’s amazing if they work. If they don’t, figure out how to make them.

Keep that in mind the next time you’re watching your favourite combat sports when a fighter performs a dazzling move that looks nice but ultimately wins the battle. They honed these methods during sparring sessions, which is why they’re ready to employ such high-risk manoeuvres during fights.

4) Plan Sparring Sessions Strategically

You should always keep a few goals in mind during sparring. You don’t want to enter the ring every time and have to improvise. Before sparring, make a list of talents you’d like to improve or flaws you have, and then go through your notes.

Assume you have a problem with your head mobility. Make a mental point to improve on it during sparring, and drive yourself to move your head more by lowering your hands.

As a general rule, attempt to incorporate any new techniques you’ve learned into your sparring sessions. Observing and training technique breakdowns are only part of the equation. To master them, you must also use them against obstinate opponents.

You might also be interested in reading this: 12 MMA fighters with insane Myau Thai techniques

5) Consider Sparring Sessions

You should also spend time reflecting on each of your sparring sessions. What was successful for you? Which of your strategies was the least effective? Which of your opponent’s methods did you find the most difficult to defend against? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself following a sparring session.

Try to fill in the blanks in your training logbook so you can easily practise them during lessons and future sparring sessions. If you can do it, do record your sparring sessions in order to improve your performance.

After sparring sessions, you should also be open to comments from your instructor or training partners. Third parties are occasionally required to identify faults in your process that you may be unaware of.

6) Compete with everyone

Don’t be that person who just challenges new pupils during sparring sessions. Training with less-skilled opponents helps you to focus on facets of your offence, but training is more than that. You should also practise your defence and put your skills to the test against more experienced training partners. When fighting with beginners, you may be able to get away with bad technique, but expert training partners will point out all of your weaknesses.

While the prospect of sparring in boxing or Muay Thai with someone more educated than you is scary, experienced pupils are usually the finest sparring partners. At this time, they’ve usually learned to control their egos, and they know they’re better than you. Advanced pupils are more likely to give you suggestions while sparring rather than try to overpower you with their abilities.

Spar with the best students in your gym any chance you get. Several films show Muay Thai luminaries such as Buakaw Banchamek and Saenchai Saepong sparring with children safely. If youngsters can survive sparring sessions with top-level Muay Thai practitioners, so can you.

Sparring with a range of people can also help you get a feel for diverse body forms. Spar with a small person one day and a tall person the next. Tall, short, long, stubby, chubby, lanky, heavy, lefty; each body type has its own set of challenges, so use your sparring sessions to become used to a range of looks.

7) Assist Your Training Partners

A good sparring partner is willing to assist their training partners in meeting their exercise objectives. Your training partner, for example, may have a bout coming up and wants you to replicate their opponent’s style. You should be eager to meet such requests since you profit from them as well. Imitating someone’s style provides you with new looks that you may end up incorporating into your fighting style.

Continuing with this scenario, suppose your training partner’s next opponent is a southpaw, although you usually fight from the orthodox position. By forcing yourself to stay in the southpaw posture during sparring, you will have a better knowledge of the stance and the difficulties it presents for orthodox fighters.

The more you go out of your way to assist training partners with their goals, the more probable it is that they will reciprocate.

8) Master Your Emotions

Nobody enjoys an excessively emotional sparring partner, so keep your emotions under control during sparring. For example, don’t get upset if a training partner strikes you harder than they should. Instead, explain that you would like them to reduce the force of their attacks.

When extremely emotional sparring partners in boxing or Muay Thai feel slighted, they usually lose control and begin throwing haymakers. This might cause friction at the gym, especially if the other person is emotionally aroused as well. Remember, this is only a sparring session, and you may easily cancel it if you think your sparring partner isn’t worried about your safety.

9) Be Prepared For Sparring Sessions

Sparring often consumes more energy than other components of training, so prepare for sparring sessions by providing your body with the nutrition it requires to power through them. A couple of hours before exercise, eat a meal that is around 50% carbs, 25% protein, and 25% healthy fats.

Drink plenty of water before a workout to keep your body hydrated and prevent cramping. When adequately hydrated, you should be sweating profusely during your sparring sessions. If you aren’t, you may be dehydrated.

10) Have Fun With It

Sparring is one of the most pleasant components of martial arts training, so make use of it as much as possible. Taking it too seriously or being excessively concerned with your appearance lowers your enjoyment and may drive you to spar less frequently. Throughout your sparring sessions, try to relax and appreciate the opportunity to put all of your skills to the test against a talented opponent.

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