1. It’s about the control, not the anger
Anger makes you sloppy and predictable. After a short outburst or flurry of punches, your rage induced punch will drain you more than it should. Controlled aggression works better as you pick your shots and take your time to methodically take your opponent apart whilst conserving your stamina for the remaining rounds.
2. A good mouthguard is a worthwhile investment
We’ve been here before – mouthguards slipping out during sparring, remoulding your boil and bite mouthguard (ill-advised), a mouthguard that is too thin leaving your lips and gums bleed after one punch. There is no better investment for dental plans than a good mouthguard.
3. 16Oz Gloves are really heavy
8oz – light as feather, you feel like you are Manny Pacquiao with your 16 punch combos still landing properly. 10oz – still light, fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee . 12oz – standard issue, you do feel the difference in weight though it’s still manageable. 14oz- Uh oh, why do punch outs hurt more than they should? 16oz – What sorcery is this? Why am i punching underwater??!?!
While 16oz gloves are huge and heavy, it is important to use them during sparring so as to protect your sparring partners and yourself from injuries inflicted from punches.
4. Public head guards smells as bad as public gloves
You are halfway through sparring and you can’t figure out what that bizarre smell is. Yes, it’s the smell of all the previous sessions this equipment has been through, the smell of blood sweat and tears in the public head guard you are sporting. Having your own head guard is actually a good investment too if you are going to spar more frequently. S$107 dollars is not a steep amount to invest if you don’t want to embrace the ‘smell of a thousand warriors’.
5. YouTube is not real life – THEY MAKE IT LOOK SO EASY!!!!!
You wonder why you can’t land those combinations you see on Youtube, all those knockout reels, slick head movement, kicks that land flush to the body. Remember these guys are professionals, it is their job to fight and you can’t mimic what they do just by watching it. This brings us to…
6. Drillers makes killers
You will find out that drilling yourself senseless works. You can only pull off the techniques you have been drilling in your classes during sparring. You realise that drilling helps you achieve enlightment during sparring as you go ‘ AH HA!!!! I GOT YOU’ when you land that perfectly timed counter punch or combination.
7. You have to fight back even though it is practice
Sparring is a simulation of a fight. If you don’t fight back now, you will never will. Now bite down, keep your chin tucked, look at your opponent, aim and fight back, BUT remember CONTROLLED AGGRESSION (see tip no.1)
8) Keeping your hands up and chin tucked down is important for survival
Ali fights with his hands down, Roy Jones Jr did it too and Lomachenko toys with his opponents with chin up and hand down. Ladies and Gents, these are stunts and tricks performed by professionals, please don’t try this at the gym. Keeping your hands up and chin tucked down are important basics. Good basics + knowledge and practice goes a long way.
9) 5 rounds of proper sparring is more tiring than 1 hour of training
Sparring= 5 x 3 x 1 = 20 min
Training = 1 hour
But why is sparring so tired? Because the target in front of you is hitting back. You can now no longer take your time working out. You have to work faster and apply what you have learnt.
10. Sparring with your Coaches will give you a whole new perspective of the sport
Yes, your coaches have a different perspective on the sport. They are able to see things that you cannot see and they will exploit any little mistake that you make. Sparring with your coaches does not only give you a good work out but you will gain a wealth of knowledge as you realise that there are holes, and space for improvement, in your game. Ask questions, be inquisitive and approach your coaches with an open mind. You are in for a treat.