Question for the boxers: learning to spar

  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Feb 23, 2014 9:06 AM GMT
    I recently took up a class called Street Line Defence (mainly boxing) and also occasionally do a boxing class on top of that if I have time. I am fine when on the punchbag but I tend to lose it during sparring and my technique just goes to pot. I also tend to get very exhausted very quickly which is annoying as I think I am pretty fit (work out the gym/run half marathons)

    So the question is : did it take you boxers a while before you felt comfortable sparring? My boxing instructor says I need to relax more and get used to being hit (which feels a bit of a contradiction). Its a thing I am really not comfortable with (despite being from Glasgow). I practice on the bags out of the class once or twice a week.

    Any help here appreciated!

  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Feb 23, 2014 2:03 PM GMT
    ^ Thanks to the big man above for the feedback.

    Aye to the question about the coach, he seemed satisfied with the fact I was practising on a punchbag at the gym between lessons. I am actually just back from a class and didn't get on too badly - my main problem now is a) not practising enough in between lessons and b) trying to get everything (legs, defence, body shots) working together (as I'll be trying to defend myself from shots while trying to work out the best place to land a shot - forgetting about leg work etc). Starting to think more that things will come in time.

    Marathon running is my first love and the boxing is a sideline but I would like to learn to "stand a round". Think it will just take a bit more practice.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 23, 2014 2:23 PM GMT
    Yes your trainer is right, you need to get used to being hit and not flinch. And don't worry about being the best sparring, sparring is meant to teach you...you will learn and get better in time.

    Good luck
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 23, 2014 2:25 PM GMT
    You should focus your cardio on burst or explosive exercises.

    One example is setting the treadmill to the highest speed. Get on, press start and let it accelerate to that speed. Do this for a few minutes then decrease the speed. Repeat.

    My trainer used to put markers on the opposite ends of the room. I would have to run from the one marker to the other marker as quickly as possible and back again. Rest. Repeat.

    Find a decent staircase or perhaps the seating of a stadium and run up it. Repeat. Keep your time and see if you can beat your previous record.

    Skipping rope is also important as mentioned above. But again, you got to do it in an explosive manner. Go as hard as you can for as long as you can.

    I sometimes box with writ weights to condition my body to handle holding my my hands in a protective stance.

    My trainer also told me to keep in mind how boxers sometimes hold on to each other during a fight. It's an exhausting sport.

    As for the hitting, you're going to get hit. You shouldn't be precious about it. My trainer used to hit me in the face to show me how hard it was going to be and checked if I was okay with it. I expected him to build a level of trust between us before I could continue sparring with him.
  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Feb 23, 2014 2:58 PM GMT
    ^thanks guys for the advice above. Its a LOT tougher than I imagined - and its gonna be a long slow learning curve.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 23, 2014 3:20 PM GMT
    If you are tensed and throwing unnecessary punches especially in the first round, you will get tired too quickly. If you are bigger than your opponent you can clinch with your opponent and crush them until they throw you off, this is a great way to tire them out quicker than you and most newer boxers are unfamiliar with it so won't catch on for a while. Watch some YouTube videos of boxers around your size to see if you can find one to copy the style of. I copied Wladimir Klitschko and it worked great!
  • TooTall

    Posts: 47

    Feb 24, 2014 3:42 AM GMT
    Being exhausted as a beginner is natural....when I first started muay thai, lasting for a round or two continuously going is a ton to do.

    I jump rope and do ladder drills with my coach which has also helped my footwork and endurance. (warm up with 3 - 3 minute rounds of rope and alternate footing)

    As far as sparring, your biggest enemy can be your own brain during any sparring. Your brain knows the combos or at least you should be practicing them w/ your coach. You have to train yourself to think less and react (and of course not flinch).

    It might take time and thats cool. Get with your coach and have them run drills where he's calling out combos and you're throwing the punches. I used to drop my hands all the time and so my coach started hitting me in the head when I did it. Not only was it a reminder NOT to do that, but it also began to lay the groundwork for blocking and then reacting from there as well as taking hits.

    You can learn a ton from sparring, especially with people better than you. Go slow but don't be afraid of the challenge either. If you're still flinching, take a step back and shadow box and work your way back in the ring. It'll come with time icon_smile.gif