An ancient form of discipline, martial arts has gained much momentum over the past years as it helped millions of people, especially women to become confident and stand up or fight for themselves when faced with dire situations.
According to martial terms, sparring is defined as a form of training that includes free-form exercises that are governed by a set of rules and customs to minimize injuries. The sparring techniques are different for the varied martial arts forms. They involve different moves and can be overwhelming especially for beginners.
However, do not worry, we have curated for you a special list that combines all the important sparring techniques and tips that will help you to become a better fighter.
And through this article, we are going to talk about one of the important segments of martial training which is the sparring technique that not only helps you to become a good fighter but is a very effective form of weapon when used against the opponent.
Some sparring techniques and tips
- Be alert and present at the moment
Mindfulness which originates from Buddhism is an integral component of sparring techniques. It is extremely important to keep your mind focused on the present moment and your opponent.
Over analyzing or overthinking your or your opponent’s actions and moves should be strictly avoided. Once you enter the sparring practice, your sole focus should be on the actions of your opponent and your counteraction against it. Mindfulness helps in bringing greater mental clarity and focus. It helps you to react better against your opponent.
- Ground your emotions
You will meet opponents who will try to provoke you and lead you to lose control over your emotions. Getting angry, or intimidated can lead to a point where you fail to inculcate your techniques in the match properly.
Therefore, it is extremely important to remain calm and composed throughout the time. Even if you feel that you are getting overwhelmed by your component, try to compose yourself, stay calm, focus, and breathe.
Letting emotions control the plan of your actions, opens your defenses towards your opponent which helps them to get an upper hand over you. Controlling emotions often helps you to control fights.
- Breathing is an absolute must
We can never stress enough the fact that how much breathing is important in sparring practices.
First, breathing helps in controlling emotions, and secondly, when we control our breath during an attack or defend the move, it assists our body in its natural ability to release energy which allows us to hit every move with more power.
Often practitioners stop their breath when they are attacking, but that practice should be strictly avoided.
- Lose control over your ego
Sparring is not a contest, practising sparring helps in getting each of the participants to get better in their form.
Before starting to spar, one has to acknowledge the fact that you will hit and you will get hit. One should not remain in a false reality that the person is too good to get punched or kicked.
The only way to get better at sparring is to work hard and to work on your techniques and having an ego will only become an obstacle in the path of your becoming a good fighter.
- Have the right position when sparring
When sparring, the hips should not be kept sideways and instead should be directly pointed at your opponent.
Positioning the hips in such a way will help you to move sideways, forwards, or backward more swiftly and will provide you with more stability. This position also helps in blocking the moves of your opponent and allows both of your hands to move more naturally.
You will also be able to observe that your punches and kicks will be more swift. This position is especially important for kickboxing sparring.
- Take your opponent as a whole
Most practitioners often tend to focus on only one part of their opponent. This mistake should be completely avoided.
Let us give you a simple example to explain. If you solely focus on your opponent’s eyes, you will miss your opponent’s footwork and hand movements and that will lead you not to be able to defend or counterattack your opponent.
You should keep your eyes moving all over your opponent’s body. Try to focus on the solar plexus as it will help you to get an idea about your opponent’s movements.
- Avoid hitting at nothing
One of the most important tips for sparring is to avoid hitting for the sake of it. Do not kick or punch just because you want it.
Each move consumes a lot of energy and therefore when we waste a move, a lot of energy goes away with it which can make you lose energy easily.
However, you can sometimes use a kick or punch once in a while to find a weakness in your opponent’s defenses and exploit it accordingly. But we do recommend you to do precise calculations beforehand.
- Break the rhythm and use combinations
Sparring is not an easy process and it requires hard work and dedication to the craft. You have to always improve your craft each day.
And therefore you have to always break your rhythm and inculcate new moves within it. Use different combinations and footwork so that you can always baffle your opponent. You can combine different types of footwork and angles of the target with some basic kicking and hand movements and your opponent will never know what is coming.
- Have a proper gameplan
Another important sparring tip is to always have a proper game plan whenever you are entering a sparring round.
Well, we are not telling you to include how you will win the round or beat up your opponent but having a proper game plan on what your performance would be.
Before starting the round, plan out what your moves will be like, whether your actions would be focusing on offensive or defensive strategy. Control the distance and plan out the different combinations you would be trying out in the session.
Well, this is our last tip. We can understand that sparring can be overwhelming business especially if you are a beginner. Keep your game plan simple, train your mind and body that you will be hitting and getting hit so that you do not lose control over your actions in the round.
Try to focus only on your opponent and since you are just a beginner at sparring, start to enjoy the process as sparring helps you to follow your route.
Now there you go. Hopefully, the article was able to provide you with some effective sparring tips. Use the techniques and soon you will master the art of sparring.