Deliberately Losing Your Sparring Match ...

... But Not Your Game.

You need to get used to having strikes thrown at you. You need to be able to defend and cover. You need to be able to control your breathing to increase your endurance. You need to be able to exhale sharply to be able to absorb the hit if have to. Then you have to learn distancing and timing. You should know how to land just one technique consistently. Not a whole bag of different strikes. Just land one upper body strike. Once you get confident, this distance calibration helps you land other strikes far easier.

The person you are working with should not be thought of as your opponent. He is your training partner, and it is his job to make it appropriately simple or difficult for you so you need to work towards improving your own game. But his role is to help you, and therefore when beginners partner off, an environment of mutual cooperation and respect is needed. Such collaboration requires you to exchange strikes, not engage in mortal combat. One-upmanship will result in slower progression ...

Your mindset should therefore not be on winning, nor about deliberately losing. You should be using such an opportunity to learn about body movement, distancing, dealing with a dynamic situation, and applying the techniques you've learned. Respect your partner for offering you his or her body as a target by applying good control and keeping each other safe!

The real fight? It's both out there and in your mind. It is never on the mat.

Enjoy the weekend.


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SooShimKwan said…
With the current climate of MMA and what people see on TV it is often difficult to get the beginners to realize this training-for-mutual-benefit idea. Add to that the idea of doing drills that seem so far removed from 'real fighting', but which will hone specific and valuable skills; beginners just seem to want to fight, without investing in the skill training that precedes good fighting.

Aah, kids these days . . . ;-)
Colin Wee said…
The alternative is to stick them in the deep end, let them flounder ... and allow the senior students to beat the stuffing out of them. That seems so uncivilised, and doesn't say very much for a 'program' or an offering from a 'school'.

There was a situation a few years ago where one student came into the club wanting to take his martial arts into the cage ... and it was quietly agreed that the black belts should 'enlighten' him to show he was out of his depth and he didn't know what he was talking about.

I remember when he tried to grab both of my hands I did a headbutt to his face ... with control, mind you. And you should have seen the look in his eyes. It was shock ...

Nowadays ... I've got much more of a program that hand holds the beginners through their first few ranks. It's a much much healthier way to approach sparring, and allows students to learn essential fighting skills more uniformly.


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