Tag Archives: sparring

Sparring from a TMA background

So, most of my sparring experience (outside of swords) has been in a TMA background.  Not much ring experience via kickboxing / boxing / etc.

It’s itneresting and as Randy pointed out, causes a problem with the way I spar in that I generally don’t follow-up.  I set up a single, clean shot and take it but never do a follow-up – instead bouncing back to safety.  It’s great for point sparring – not so much for actual fights.

Went and sparred against a boxer on Monday.  He’s got a few years of boxing experience and some kickboxing experience, has done a lot of sparring recently for sure.  Me… well, first time I’ve put on gloves in months.

It wasn’t as one sided as you’d think. My understanding of measure kept me just out of range for a lot of his shots, my ability to fade before attacks meant that he only managed to land a few good shots.  I still don’t check as many kicks as I should, but I got a handle of that eventually.

He had trouble with my ability to pop-shots in to his centre and I got a few good kicks in.  No real combinations, though I managed to do a few nice spin kicks.  Towards the end I started to read his movements and checked quite a few kicks perfectly – both using Thai checks as well as savate shin kicks and straight kicks to his rising thighs.  That screwed with him for sure – he’s not used to that idea.

I got to work on making myself do combos more and work some of my TMA stuff into combos. Still, it’s fun and certainly not a rout.

Mentality and Sparring

Had a semi-serious challenge happen this week.  I lost – badly.

Watching the fight, and as Randy pointed out, I was holding back.  Significantly.

Personally, I’ve realised I have major issues in the mental department for sparring / duels.  Especially when it comes to sparring with swords.  Basically, they break down to:

1) Inability to take sword-fighting seriously.  It’s a general thing, but it really shows when sparring in tournaments.  I don’t necessarily take the entire tournament thing seriously, so I don’t fight to win or go in thinking ‘I will win’.

2) Inability to warm-up fast.  I really, really need to work on that – I warm up to fights real slow -it generally takes at least 4 to 5 passes before I’m ready to fight, often 4 to 5 minutes of pre-sparring at full speed with a good opponent before I feel ‘ready’ to fight.  I cool down from that mental mode fast too.

3) Not caring – or caring too much.  I don’t have a lot of in-between gears, so I’m deathly afraid of making this a ‘serious’ sport – because then I’ll want to take it seriously.  It’s better (or so I tell myself) to not care…

Something for me to think about and figure out.  It’s definitely something I have to work on if I ever want to get really good at this sport.