You have finished warming up and have put all of your protective gear on. You’ve spent the last 5 minutes mentally preparing yourself for what’s about to happen. ‘It’s all good’, you tell yourself. ‘I am the star here. Everyone is here to make me look good and I’m going to kick butt’. You feel sharp. You feel ready. You feel excited.
The bell goes, and within seconds your partner hits with you with a hard, clean shot.
Things go downhill fast from there. Your adrenaline takes over. Your combinations don’t seem to have an effect, you can’t seem to land any clean shots and you start getting frustrated.
The next round, though with a different partner, feels much the same.
Has this ever happened to you? If the answer is 'yes', then read on.
For some, this word brings excitement, anticipation and fun.
For others, it brings fear, trepidation and that familiar feeling of an empty pit in the bottom of your stomach and a dry mouth.
Both are normal, and we all get some days of one and some days of the other, depending on our experience, how we feel on the day, who we are sparring with, etc.
I’d like to invite you to think of the aggregate, or the overall theme of how you feel about sparring. Which one of the above two responses seems more prominent - anticipation or fear?
There is a very common misperception in the martial arts world, that the sensei is always the best fighter and technician in the dojo; they are unbeatable and will never lose a sparring match to a student!
This is often very far from the truth... And here's why.
Speed. It’s a great attribute to have, whether you are looing at self-defence or competition. To watch fighter with blistering speed is always awe-inspiring. But too often speed is looked at as how fast your hands are moving, or have fast you can move your feet. While this is definitely important, speed encompasses a lot more than just that, and is really a term that encompasses a variety of skills! So what is speed really made of?
A discussion I have often heard amongst practitioners of self-defence and Krav Maga systems is whether sparring should be included in the curriculum. There are many valid arguments for both sides and different schools and instructors approach it differently. Here are my two cents.
Martial arts are, in a very real sense, a way of solving problems.
These problems can be broadly defined - improving fitness or learning to defend yourself from an attacker, or more specific, such as how to land a particular punch against a particular opponent in a particular bout.
The parallells between this and solving problems in business or personal life are easy to see. Dealing with difficult customers, expanding your skill base, managing stress and finding opportunities where others see difficulties are all part of this. Not sure how?
Our first sparring day featured three rounds for each matchup - one Kickboxing, one MMA and one Stick Sparring.
Congratulations to all who joined in. Was a great morning of brotherhood and fighting spirit. OSS!