Sparring: everything you are asking yourself

10 of the most common questions about sparring

With this article, we want to share a selection of the most asked problems, fears, doubts, etc. about martial arts sparring and the relative (rapid) replies.

1. What is sparring?

It is a friendly confrontation (read How to do sparring). It is the nearest martial exercise to the experience of real combat (read The 6 types of martial clash). Hard or soft, it is made with respect and friendship, as a group study (see The respect during training [ Free video course ]). It has no winner / losers nor intention of hurt. Without it, you cannot be prepared to fight (read Why martial arts do not work: 5 reasons).

2. How to win the fear of sparring?

You simply have to start slowly, with partners at your level (or below it). Gradually, learning the right lessons from your errors and conditioning your body (read Conditioning check for the impact), you will understand at the same time how strong and fragile you are (read Acceptance and prevention of pain); that knowledge, of your potentials and limits, will make you able to face stronger and stronger adversaries.

3. How to find a sparring partner?

Go to a sport combat gym in the nearest big city or read this 5 effective ways to find a training partner. Be humble, respectful, ready to learn from a failing and choose carefully your first “adversaries”.

A note by Master Kongling – They will probably ask you to join their courses and this is not a bad idea but avoid to be brainwashed (read A note about the practice of other martial arts and Recognize a good / bad master: 5 characteristics). Stay away from the bad masters.

4. What is the best alternative to sparring when one is training on his own?

There are no substitutes for sparring and human partners. In our school, we have studied a series of fundamental technical exercises (read /// Subscribe (it's free!) or Login to see this content ///) but even if someone says that each of them hides an entire martial art, they are not enough; they can prepare you for sparring but they are not sufficient.

5. How does sparring prepare me for a real fight?

It is the only way you can simulate (part of) that kind of stress, pain, random dynamics, that otherwise are totally inaccessible: you get beaten and you get stronger, you see the body mechanics and you adapt to it, you see the most common errors and you learn to exploit them (etc., read Measure ourselves with errors).

6. What is the difference between sparring and fighting in sports competitions?

In sparring the risks are lower, the opponent tries to avoid to hurt you, do not want to forcibly win you and last but not least, sometimes, there are more limitations / protections involved (read Declared techniques, sparring and sport competition).

7. What is the difference between sparring and a self-defense fight?

Sparring is studying combat, a self-defense fighting scenario is something to be avoided in any way because: you directly risk your life, you risk to exceed the limits established by law and most of all there are no limits or protections (read Self defense, martial clash and war clash).

8. What can I learn from sparring that I can’t learn elsewhere?

The most important things: combat dynamics, body mechanics, mental mechanics, tactical instinct, timing, spacing, pain tolerance, mental stress management (etc.).

9. How much sparring is necessary to become a good fighter?

It depends on what is your goal: if you study martial arts simply for wellness, even zero, if you think to self-defense, from biweekly to monthly, if you aim at sport competitions from daily to weekly. Said this everything depends on your level, the type of confrontation you are preparing and how hard you are planning to spar.

10. When sparring, how we are supposed to fight to gain the best results?

You do not have to forcibly fight always at the highest possible level, you have to transform sparring in something you are at ease. You should desire to spar and not to fear it. With this in mind, the best thing is to variate, the intensity of interaction and especially the level of the opponents. In terms of dynamics, you should focus on speed instead of power, tactics instead of aggressivity, effort instead of economization of the forces.

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Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • Do you have any other questions about sparring?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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