Sparring is a great way to get better in all martial arts. Below are some quick sparring tips that will help optimize performance and development.
Use Your Peripheral
The peripheral is the vision outside of the focus point, mostly from the sides of the eyes. It detects motion much quicker and it improving the response time. Don’t look at the eyes, hands, or even at the target your attacking. Stare through the center (usually the chest) and not at it. This will almost put everything in peripheral.
Slightly Raise Your Eye Brows
Raising your eyebrow helps increase perceptual attention. Increasing your ability to interpret any attacks or opportunities to attack.
First Defense Should Be Moving Your Legs
Using your legs has a higher percentage of successfully defending attacks than blocking or slipping. The goal is to be out of reach.
Hit First, Hit Fast, Hit Last
Action is faster than reaction. look for opportunities to hit first. And be cautious in not getting countered in the process.
Always Stay in Motion, Either Your Legs or Your Body
Constant movement makes you harder to hit. Moving laterally, in and out, and changing levels will not only make you harder to hit but may create opportunities to attack.
Let it Hit By It Self
Avoid mental processing which will delay response time or sabotage the opportunity. Be patient and when the time comes it hit all by itself.
Always set goals in sparring. It can be trying new stuff or improving the old ones. Goals give you motivation, focus, and allows you to measure progress.
80% Go-to & 20% Experiment
When sparring make sure you keep improving your A-game while also experimenting on new ideas or techniques. I recommend keeping it 80/20 to avoid altering the good habits you already built.
Keep it Honest
Don’t matter who you spar, keep it honest. Give nothing and take everything. This will help you prioritize your attention on attacking and the ability to take advantage of every opportunity. But you don’t have to hit hard, just execute at every opportunity. This will also keep a healthy perspective of what works and what needs more work.
Relax the Power, Practice the Technique
A good rule of thumb is to match your partners intensity. Keep it around 70% power. focus on technique, timing, and speed.
Spar with Hammers
This is related to keeping it honest. sparring a few of these will help keep a healthy perspective of what works and what needs more work. Remember, real gold don’t fear the fire. This is an essential part to getting better.
No matter who you spar, you got to believe in what you got. Lack of confidence will only degrade your performance. Always respect your failures and seek to improve them but also accept them and move on.
Conserve your Energy
No matter how much stamina you have you don’t have an endless supply. Relax and pace yourself. If you are sparring in fatigue state most of the time, you will develop bad habits.
Don’t Unleash the Hulk
Your training partners are your friends. If you keep hurting them, no one will want to train with you.
Log & Analyze
Log your rounds and also analyze on how you did in sparring everyday. Write down your success and failures. This will help you review and analyze on what works and what needs work. I usually do this in a digital form and email it to myself.
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