There is something to be said for long sparring sessions. I find that too many want to get in a few rounds and call it a day. You have to get dirty with a good solid hour of sparring to really find your technique, your heart, and develop some grit.
Sparring is not fighting. You don’t have to win rounds. You don’t have to knock anyone out.
Sparring is where we learn how to fight. If you focus only on winning rounds you don’t afford yourself the opportunity to grow. Sparring is not the place to play your greatest hits, its the place you figure things out and add to your arsenal.
The best years of my coaching life where the one’s we sparred an hour every Friday night or Saturday morning. Some days we didn’t even use a clock, we had a CD that was 60 minutes. We changed partners every song and never took a break. Not everyone made it the distance, but those that did were better for it.
Having a group you trust is key. Everyone has to be on the same page. If you have a few guys looking to win while you are trying to work, the entire room can get ugly. My solution to the nails that started to stick up from the board was to hammer them back down until they chilled out or couldn’t continue. A few sessions like that and a guy either gets with the program or quits.
I don’t like guys to spar tired or hurt. They tend to be sloppy. What I do want is guys to train until they are tired and keep going. When you are fresh and strong, you can set a positive pattern. As you get tired you have to fight yourself as much as your partner to keep the technique sharp while the body is starting to fail. If you train long enough, all you have is weight and technique. this is where you find out what really works and what doesn’t. You find out of you really know what you are doing or are you just strong.
Technique and heart should never run out. When all of your energy is pretty much spent, you still should be able to get your body behind some good technique and maintain effectiveness. This is what we learn to master on the long days. You don’t have to spar for an hr or more every day but at least 1 day a week is key.
Develop a group that gets it, spar to get better - not win, add a long day or 2 or 3 into your training week.
Back to work!
Killer B Combat Sports