I find that just random talk with students, members, etc…. at the dojo/gym leads to the best ideas. Case in point; in talking about sparring around at other spots a good point was brought up. A little sleep and random thoughts in the shower got me thinking about the right mindset for sparring.
We have a beast at Killer B named Karl Roberson. We send him out to other spots where he more times than not cleans out the room. It is hard for him to get work because we only have our spot and 1 other that can handle him consistently. Its not that Karl is a dick, its that he is just that athletic, talented, and well trained.
The rooms that work for us are the one’s where guys are not trying to win rounds but also not accepting of a beating. We don’t want guys that get dropped and are ok with it. We don’t want guys to hate each other but they have to have a competitive mindset.
You get dropped, it is because you are lacking. If you accept this and say your partner is just better, we don’t need you. You accept that you have work to do and then you go do that work so you last longer next time or even get up on the guy that took you down, you are somebody we can work with.
Don’t roll around on the ground thinking its cool that you got dropped by a liver shot. Get your ass up and figure out how to stop it from happening again or even better, figure out how to put the beast in his place with your own work.
Sparring is there for us to get better, it is serious work. Take it serious and push yourself which in turn pushes your partners. Never accept a beating or knockdown as just the way it is. You have to have a little “F.U.” in you if you want to be a competitive athlete or spar consistently. Combat Sports are for everyone but only those that have a bit of a fire inside will persevere and become truly good at them.
I have hated most of my friends at one point or another. On the mat I have been out for blood to get back what somebody once took from me in a previous session. Off the mat, no issues, best friends in the world. Good training partners accept all of this. We try to take each other out in sparring then take each other out for food and beer after. Its the balance of things in dojo life. We know that we are making each other better by pushing each other. If we let up and didn’t knock each other down we would be leaving ourselves vulnerable for somebody else to take us out when it actually matters.
All of this is scary to the average person who has never been in a fight or trained at anything really hard. Honestly, this fear is what we all need to address. Sparring and training hard makes you understand yourself in ways that others will never know. You make a mistake, you will feel it, I mean really physically feel it. Its not a computer crash or phone dying, its a real feeling of human contact.
OK, rant of the day is done. Don’t be scared, don’t accept that anyone is better then you, never stop striving for better, and never stop training.
See you on the mat -
Killer B Combat Sports and B Elite S&C