Need help regarding sparring

Discussion in 'Muay Thai' started by xPesky, Nov 2, 2016.

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  1. xPesky

    xPesky White Belt

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    So i've been doing muay thai for 2 years now, and i recently joined the competitive group and i'm getting destroyed by everyone. My punches are useless they block absolutely everything the only thing i can do is kick and when i do kick they just punch me in the stomach or in the face. There are a few guys who are my age and weigh pretty much the same and i have a chance against them, but we switch partners every round and let's say im against a proffesional guy who is in the UFC, I'm afraid to punch or kick him because it wont have any effect on him and he will do the same thing to me and i just feel hopeless.

    Hopefully you can understand what im trying to say even tho this post is a mess. I just need some tips
     
  2. paitingman

    paitingman Blue Belt

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    I've been there and still find myself there from time to time!
    Persevere! There are so many subtleties going on in high level sparring it takes time to pick up on it all.
    For now focus on making sure you are eliminating all basic mistakes on your end. And diligently try all suggestions they make. (more often than not people end up just pointing out some basic mistake you've made)

    Stick to your Muay Thai guard and believe in it! As you noticed it is very difficult and frustrating trying to land clean punches on someone with a very disciplined Muay Thai guard.


    It will get better
     
  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I
    I'm no expert on Muay Thai, so I'm speaking in generalities. It sounds like you're giving them cues that tell them what's coming, or your strikes are very slow. Your instructor/coach should be able to help you figure out which it is. If they aren't able, or aren't available, I'd guess some time spent at an MMA gym with some folks who want to spar and help each other will help - they'll be able to tell you why you're easy to block.
     
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  4. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    So people who are better than you are being better than you?

    Do more sparring.

    Get punched more.

    Dont worry about what effect your punches have. And dont try to knock out pro fighters. They hate that. Just go in and do your thing.
     
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  5. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    How long have they been sparring? There is probably a difference in experience sparring, which you will have to get used to the change from drilling and actually playing a mental game with the opponent and feeling the pressure of them attacking you. If that's it, you just have to be patient while you get acclimated to it.
     
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  6. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Do you have plan? What's your

    - entering strategy, and
    - finish strategy?

    Sparring is not you punch me, I punch you back. You kick me, I kick you back. Sparring is to be able to develop a plan/strategy that you can use for the rest of your life.

    For example, a simple plan/strategy is to keep moving toward your opponent's "blind spot" so you only have to deal with his leading arm and leading leg, 1/2 of his body.

    1. Both you and your opponent have right leg forward.
    2. Move your back foot (about 1 foot) to your left to line up with your opponent's leading foot and his back foot.
    3. Move your front foot again (about 3 inch).
    4. If he turns with you, repeat 1 - 3.

    When you are at this spot, your opponent's back

    - arm will be jammed by his own leading arm.
    - leg will be jammed by his own leading leg.

    At this moment if you use your left leg roundhouse kick at his leading right leg, not only he can't kick you with his leading right leg, he can't kick you with his back left leg either. If you can use your left forearm to push his leading upper right arm toward his left (your right), you can use his leading right arm to jam his back left arm. This will give you a free right arm to punch. If you just repeat this "entering strategy" over and over, you will be good at it some day.

    If you keep moving and force your opponent to move with you, you will force him to play with your game and not his.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
  7. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    This is actually the one you want to be sparring against, always try to spar against the most experienced, highest graded person there if you can. The reason being is that these are the ones that won't 'destroy' you, if they understand that you are inexperienced they will help you, they won't or shouldn't go piling in. They are the ones who know exactly what they are doing and can teach you best. They are experienced enough to be able to take whatever you do in their stride. Seek them out and ask for help, you will improve I promise.
    Stop worrying about whether shots will hurt them, and concentrate on your accuracy, not signalling what you are about to do and your tactics, all these you will learn don't worry, it will all come together.
     
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  8. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    If you are afraid of trying things in sparring, that group is not good for you. You need conditions to think technical quality when sparring. You need to be confortable to try even stupid things. Among 10 'stupid things', you may find your best asset. Especially in Muay Thai where there are many many ways of fighting.

    I guess they are doing what is ok for their level, not for yours. I suggest you to discuss it with them. If no progress, change gym without regret. Because taking strikes in the body is called conditioning. But being striked hard in the head (brain) is called concussion.

    Even with light contact, you need (other) conditions to progress (well).
     
  9. KangTsai

    KangTsai 2nd Black Belt

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    I really think that's a matter of fitness and how much you train in your own time. I say take more time to work out and drill.
     
  10. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    This sounds like they are reading you accurately. So I'm guessing that you have a tell-tale that's giving away what you are about to do. The chances that EVERYONE blocks all of your punches is very slim, unless EVERYONE is at a much higher skill level than you or if EVERYONE is picking up cues as to what you will do next. If that's not your problem, then you may be stuck in a pattern. By this I mean that you go with the same combinations all the time. If you have a pattern to your fighting or if you are always attacking with the same stuff every time then you'll be destroyed every time.

    There is a big skill level difference here. There is no realistic reason why you with your 2 years of training should be able to keep up with someone who has enough skill to fight competitively in professional fights. When someone is at a much higher skill level, then you need to focus more on learning than trying to beat him. If he destroys you then ask for tips and suggestions on how you can improve, ask him about the weaknesses that he sees, or the strategies behind his attacks.

    My recommendation to you would be to first video tape yourself sparring and fighting competitively. You need an outside view of what you are doing so that you can analyze your fighting skills. By doing this, you can tie what you see with what you had in mind when you threw the punch or kick. From there you can make improvements on what you do. I would also take note of how your opponents fights because that will allow you to take advantage of what your opponent does or doesn't do.

    Fighting is more than just punching and kicking. You have to fight within your capabilities and in the context of who you are fighting against. The more you learn analyze videos of you fighting, the better your fighting will be. You'll also get to the point where you can analyze people while in the heat of the fight.
     
  11. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Correct and you can add the ability to analyze your opponent. For something that looks very basic on the outside. there's a lot mentally that's going on during the fight. The brain is processing a lot of information
     
  12. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    I train this way as well. If I'm afraid to try new things in sparring because I'm worrying about getting my head knocked off then I need to lower the intensity level of the sparring to where I can afford to make mistakes without paying a heavy price in the form of a concussion.
     
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  13. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    As words are always short to say everything, that is just the way I like to spar as a standard. And the way I see people progressing faster. Of course, there are many types with many purposes.

    Hard sparring is great to check what moves one really trust when things get serious (street, competition) and what one can do when the risk of injuries is present. But does it words the cost? How much hard? How much often...?

    At the end, it is always a balance between safety (so one can think technique, tactic, strategy...) and hardness (so one knows that can cross the 'hell', confidence... or just the opposite with the wrong timing).
     
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  14. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    I know this sounds like its from a corny fight movie but if you want to be the best you have to beat the best. Always try and fight the best guys because that'll get you the experience you need and see how the higher levels do things. Sure you'll get destroyed but you'll still learn. When I was fighting competiveky I never wanted to fight the lower guys I wanted to fight the big names the best I could get. I never cared if I won or lost I just wanted to test myself.

    As for tips I haven't got any because I've never seen you I don't know your height your weight your strengths or your weaknesses. Fightings a very personal thing people will say its a team sport because of your coaches and training partners and yes they are right but its also very personal because you haven't got your team mates in the ring with you or your coach its just you and the other guy. We can give all the tips but you have to find your own way.

    Learn the way the find your own way, learn it all then forget it all.

    What I mean by that is learn what you need to learn all you have to learn then find your own way to apply it learn it then forget all the instruction and let it become instinct
     
  15. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    That doesn't encourage people to try. Most senior grades and pro fighters I know are actually careful enough with learners that they can learn, and it will be a hard lesson, but they don't 'destroy' them. They don't destroy each other, they may spar harder than amateurs but destroying each other, no. No one wants injuries before a fight. All that time training, conditioning, weight cutting etc just to have it thrown away because they were 'destroying' each other in sparring, I think not.

    As you say, fighting. The OP hasn't got to that point, we don't know if he wants to compete but he's focussing on learning to spar, you've got ahead of him. Not caring about who you fight is the way to take fights where you get badly hurt, that's why it's never a good idea for fighters to do their own fight matching, you should have a coach or manager who does it for you, if they have an honest assessment of your abilities you will have the right matches that you stand a 50% chance of winning, you learn nothing if all you get is brain damage.
     
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  16. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Well I never got badly hurt and have no brain damage so it worked for me and when I say destroy I don't mean beat them up but outclass them easily
     
  17. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    To be honest if that's what you mean you should say so. 'Destroying' people sounds exactly like you are beating them up. It might be a small thing but you will scare beginners and the inexperienced away.
     
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  18. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    When I visit new gyms I try to get the best guys 'casually' for sparring, because I now it will be more interesting for me and I will learn more. Usually, I do well. If not, that's ok because, hopefully, it is only sparring. :) Choosing the best / higher rank to train is also great to check the level of a gym.

    BUT if the level is tooooo different, one cannot do anything and cannot see anything. It is just frustrating and I think the OP is feeling that.

    The UFC fighter/instructor does not need to show all the time he is the best. As an instructor, he should give opportunities (in sparring), advice (in case the student doen't see it), not be intimidating... and so on. The same for higher grades in relation to much lower grades. But perhaps in competitive groups it works differently... and they just compete all the time.
     
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  19. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    If they get scared away by what some stranger says on the Internet then they need to look at themselves. The op already spars so he knows the level of control that his club has my comment should mean nothing to him and I'm here to give my opinion not to baby anyone I'm not here to tell him everything's going to be all and he'll be beating everyone in 2 weeks I'm saying what I think and feel if he wants to my comments on board cool if not means nothing to me either way he asked for opinions I gave my opinion end of story.
     
  20. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    If you jump in to a competetive class that is what you should expect.

    A lot if clubs that are really good quality gyms have a pro sparring class that you couldn't drag me into.

     

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