Sparring Tips

Sparring Tips

  • Sparring is an exchange of techniques. It has a flow; a give and take of techniques; a rhythm. It does have the element of control. Actual combat is anything to cause the ultimate destruction of your opponent. Do not get sparring and fighting concepts confused.
  • All people are psychologically defensive or offensive fighters. Their footwork and techniques will demonstrate this.
  • All fighters favor either kicking, punching, or grappling.
  • An opponent can begin an attack from one of only five different ways. Name them.
  • The lead hand or leg is faster. It should be your preferred lead off weapon.
  • The rear hand or leg is the power weapon. It should be the finish off weapon. You should never lead with the rear side unless you are using it as a distraction because as a lead off technique, it is easier for your opponent to see it.
  • The rear hand punch is the nucleus of your arsenal.
  • All fighters should have three techniques that correspond to the three ranges:
    • Long
    • Medium
    • Short
  • I recommend perfecting the following techniques:
    • Back Fist
    • Punch
    • Front Round Kick
    • Side Kick
    • Hook Kick
    • Defensive Front Kick
    • Back Leg Front Kick
    • Left Hook Punch
    • Ridge Hand
  • Sparring is the application of your skills training. The better your skills, the better you spar! Start sparring slowly so that you can see your mistakes and correct them without getting injured. Remember, injuries cause you to develop fear and consequently a lack of confidence.
  • Wear as much protective gear as you can when you spar.
  • Spar with a partner at least your size and at your psychological level. If you are a bit timid, do not pair up with a hyper-aggressive person. Often a beginner with an advanced partner is a good idea because of the control.
  • Try to stay relaxed. Tension causes you to tire quickly and your reactions to slow.
  • Distance and timing are essential for a technique to be successful. Good footwork is the key. You cannot practice too much footwork.
  • Watch for patterns. All fighters techniques fall into a pattern, especially when they get tired. Avoid setting a pattern. Look for patterns in your opponent.
  • Everybody has a favorite technique. It is their best technique, it is their fastest, it has the best timing, and they are most confident with it.
  • A person usually throws his favorite technique first, when he is tired or injured, or when he panics.  Learn to identify favorite techniques.
  • A fighter often gives away his intentions by positioning himself to launch his “favorite” technique, or by developing “leading centers” that are cues for his intention. For example: dropping the hands before you kick, plucking at the pants leg before you kick, or putting your hands in a better position for a jab or back fist.
  • To be effective, you must be able to spot favorite techniques and patterns and then setup a counter plan.
  • What is your response when someone throws a specific technique. You should practice a response to specific techniques that you will probably encounter.
  • Develop your skills that fit your body style, flexibility, and psychological state.
  • To become better at sparring, you must spar without injures!