What NOT To Do In Sparring

July 21, 2020

Sparring is such a crucial part of one's training because it allows you to put your training and knowledge to the test! But because it is extremely intimate and can be dangerous, there are a lot of (unwritten) rules that most athletes follow. So here's a story on one of the top worst sparring sessions I haveever had.

Back when I was visiting Bali to host one of myTrain + Travel camps, I met the Muay Thai instructor at the gym we were attending. Now typically, this gym offers a lot of HIIT and a recreational Muay Thai class. The instructor asked to join my sparring sessions that I host with a group of 12 other individuals because he doesn't typically get the chance to spar. Of course, I gladly welcomed him to join, and for the safety of my students, I wanted to be the first person to spar him.

As soon as we touched gloves,I was welcomed with a big hard low kick. After that, a big hard roundhouse kick to the body in which I caught, and that was followed up with a big hard punch to the face.

At the moment, I felt disrespected and anger rose with both of us going to war. Now sparring "hard" isn't what I consider bad sparring etiquette. In fact, I spar hard quite often.

However, the reason I felt disrespected was because I just met him, I allowed him to attend my class, and nothing in my body language or first couple moments indicated it would be a hard session. I believe his first strike of the round was thrown with bad intentions and you'll also notice that he was well over 6 ft" with over 50 lbs on me!

I became impatient and rushed into many of my attacks, which led me to being very telegraphed. I was also very tense and tried to strike when far from being in range. So not only should we be aware of sparring etiquette, but we also need to remember to keep our emotions in check when going into a session or fight.

You can also watch some ofmy sparring from Thailand where you'll see some excellent etiquette from my partners and what you should do!

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