Inexperienced in hard sparring

CB Jones

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Because he thinks drills are more important, and that the inevitable injuries from hard sparring are counter-productive.

Ok but is he talking that it's better for him at the stage in his career or all fighters?

Not arguing....just curious if he has explained this.
 

drop bear

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Ok....but is it the case of an older fighter with 29 kickboxing bouts and over 35 MMA fights no longer needing to do hard sparring due to experience......whereas a young guy still needs the reps at hard sparring?

Sort of.

He spars, but with guys he can work with.

So Joe Schilling is his major sparring parter. Do they go hard? Sort of. Do they spar for knock outs and K.O.s not so much.

It helps if you are in a position to choose your sparring partners. Or a gym culture that promotes this. Especially as you get on and are looking at longevity.

But say for example you are up and coming and have made it in to Tiger muay thai or something. You would just have to bite down on your mouth guard and put up with it.

So yeah. The best option is to own your own ranch and then just invite whoever you like to train with. That way you get quality guys without having to fight the occasional egomaniac.

 

Dirty Dog

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Ok but is he talking that it's better for him at the stage in his career or all fighters?

Not arguing....just curious if he has explained this.
Can't say that I've ever asked. But I suspect he would suggest minimizing or eliminating knockout sparring to anyone he trains with. "Learn from my mistakes." sort of thing.
 

JowGaWolf

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Ok....but is it the case of an older fighter with 29 kickboxing bouts and over 35 MMA fights no longer needing to do hard sparring due to experience......whereas a young guy still needs the reps at hard sparring?
nope. Younger fighters are taking the the same path because the older fighters are often the teachers for younger fighters now. So if you are an older fighter you will take your own fight and training experiences and help the younger fighters avoid the stupid training stuff that you did when you were younger.

Hard sparring is still needed just not at the frequency that many MMA fighter first thought. Where hard sparring was originally seen as something you do to get tough. Hard sparring is now being seen as more technique focus to help fighters know if they can execute their techniques at a higher intensity level. If a fighter can't use his techniques in hard sparring, then that means he hasn't mastered that technique and should work more on that technique in medium sparring.
 

JowGaWolf

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That's the danger of medium sparring intensity. If that punch or kick lands just right then it's an early nap. That kick was just a relaxed kick. He wasn't trying to add power to it and he wasn't trying to hold it back. He probably thought his sparring partner would provide a block which would have allowed the sparring to go to.

When I'm doing medium sparring I'm sparring with the assumption that my sparring partner can block attacks like that. If I see that my sparring partner cannot block those attacks. Then I'll stop sparring. I shouldn't have to pull or redirect punches at that level. If I find myself doing so then my sparring partner needs to level up.

One reason advance students tell beginner students to hit harder if they like, is because the advance student knows they can block or evade much of what the beginner student do. If your sparing partner can't block the critical shots like that kick. Then the sparring intensity needs to be decreased or you need to find a more skilled sparring partner. Dazed from a punch or kick = Brain Trauma; KO = Brain Trauma. It's just not healthy to go through many of these.

If your sparring partner isn't training for competition or if your student's aren't training for competition, then you'll quickly lose students and training partners. Some people actually have to use their brains for work lol.
 

JowGaWolf

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Sort of.

He spars, but with guys he can work with.

So Joe Schilling is his major sparring parter. Do they go hard? Sort of. Do they spar for knock outs and K.O.s not so much.

It helps if you are in a position to choose your sparring partners. Or a gym culture that promotes this. Especially as you get on and are looking at longevity.

But say for example you are up and coming and have made it in to Tiger muay thai or something. You would just have to bite down on your mouth guard and put up with it.

So yeah. The best option is to own your own ranch and then just invite whoever you like to train with. That way you get quality guys without having to fight the occasional egomaniac.

ha ha ha. I just watched that video. That highlights a lot. of what I was saying before about older fighters teaching younger fighters to avoid the same training mistakes that they made. At first I thought he was going to go Zen on me. But what he says lines up what I've learned about myself and fighting.

The more I learn about fighting, the less it becomes about fighting.
 

angelariz

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Hey guys, Ive just been taking a summer break from studying and returned home to my parents new house (they moved while I was abroad). I immediately found some kickboxing classes and a gym and trained as hard as I could. I took part in the sparring, and I found myself to have improved great lengths since lockdown began - I hadnt sparred in a year and a half, but I spent all my time in lockdown focusing on drills, shadowboxing and polishing my techniques. I found myself to be cleaner and more polished and not nearly as scared as I used to. This was sparring at around 40-60%intensity depending on my partner.

I spoke to my coach there and told him that I was aiming to compete and he told me that I needed to get used to taking and receiving harder shots through hard sparring. Eventually I came down to a sparring session and I upped the ante to about 80%. The first round I wore headgear, but I found myself constantly getting hit and frustrated as I had to adjust my headgear way too much and it was obstructing my view. I took it off and switched partners.

Now keep in mind in this session, Inwas not using any kicks as I am attempting to heal them from Illiotal band syndrome, as per the instructions of my physio, so I was just boxing and I let my partners use their kicks: I know that I overestimated myself. I started sparring (again at around 80%) and at one point I slipped the wrong way and caught a shin sandwich to the face -roundhouse kick. It was a classic knockout. I slumped to the floor and I did my best not to cry in front of everyone, but it wasnt from the pain, rather it was frustration.

These two rounds of sparring made me feel like when I first started boxing and was thrown into the deep end of the sport by sparring. My flinch reflex came back, and I was not able to slip or block as many hits as I usually do. I am clearly not ready for competition, and I want advice on how to keep my technique in check and keeping my cool during harder sparring sessions, and eventually competitions.
Do I just keep doing hard sparring sessions like this until Im desensitised to it? Thanks.
Don't rush, go someplace where the sparring is light and technical. You cannot compete injured and with too many concussions, i know from personal experience, is bad for you. Hard sparring can happen once a month or and more leading up to a fight. But regular training, as in not a fight camp, shouldn't push hard. Sparring should teach both people as well as improve cardio.
There are a lot of camps that never spar hard and there are some with real knock around guys.
It is better for longevity to spar less intensely most of the time.
 
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paitingman

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Hey guys, Ive just been taking a summer break from studying and returned home to my parents new house (they moved while I was abroad). I immediately found some kickboxing classes and a gym and trained as hard as I could. I took part in the sparring, and I found myself to have improved great lengths since lockdown began - I hadnt sparred in a year and a half, but I spent all my time in lockdown focusing on drills, shadowboxing and polishing my techniques. I found myself to be cleaner and more polished and not nearly as scared as I used to. This was sparring at around 40-60%intensity depending on my partner.

I spoke to my coach there and told him that I was aiming to compete and he told me that I needed to get used to taking and receiving harder shots through hard sparring. Eventually I came down to a sparring session and I upped the ante to about 80%. The first round I wore headgear, but I found myself constantly getting hit and frustrated as I had to adjust my headgear way too much and it was obstructing my view. I took it off and switched partners.

Now keep in mind in this session, Inwas not using any kicks as I am attempting to heal them from Illiotal band syndrome, as per the instructions of my physio, so I was just boxing and I let my partners use their kicks: I know that I overestimated myself. I started sparring (again at around 80%) and at one point I slipped the wrong way and caught a shin sandwich to the face -roundhouse kick. It was a classic knockout. I slumped to the floor and I did my best not to cry in front of everyone, but it wasnt from the pain, rather it was frustration.

These two rounds of sparring made me feel like when I first started boxing and was thrown into the deep end of the sport by sparring. My flinch reflex came back, and I was not able to slip or block as many hits as I usually do. I am clearly not ready for competition, and I want advice on how to keep my technique in check and keeping my cool during harder sparring sessions, and eventually competitions.
Do I just keep doing hard sparring sessions like this until Im desensitised to it? Thanks.
@Ivan , hope you have healed up well! how many lighter sparring sessions have you had recently leading up to this incident?
 

jayoliver00

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A percentage of power or number of times? I'm not sure what you are asking..

Let me clarify since different people/gyms have different interpretation of "hard sparring".

For me & my gym:

touch sparring = 1-5% power, just touching
light = up to 20% power
medium = up to 50% power
hard = up to 100% power but generally kept at 70-80% power & up.

My questions are, what is your definition of "hard sparring"?

I hard spar about 20% of the time, so how often do you hard spar?
 

jayoliver00

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Do you really think it's the same across the board?
But hey, I'll give you a number. Zero. That's how much sparring Cowboy Cerrone does.
Perhaps you've somehow missed it, but it's been quite well established that repeatedly suffering head trauma (just as one example) is considered something to be avoided. Assuming you want to avoid effectively giving yourself Alzheimers.

(1) Cowboy Cerrone certainly does spar, and up to hard.

(2) What he states in interviews can mean different things, such as, he's playing mind games before a fight. Or it's prob. b/c he just had a fight an doesn't need the benefits of hard sparring. He used to spar hard a lot, but have toned it down due to his head being worn out & he's nearing the end of his career.

(3) You picked the wrong guy to use for your example b/c I have team mates that have trained at Jackson/Wink, where Cerrone used to train at; and Cerrone was trying to take their heads off. And we had a UFC fighter that trained at our gym when he's in town, that's from Jackson/Wink. He said that he sparred hard often vs. Overeem and Cerrone.

(4) You just realized that blunt force trauma to the head is not good for the brain? Head trauma is just apart of the sport and how high of a level you want to achieve. Some people just want to hit pads and tap spar all their life; others want to be real fighters. Ever been to a Boxing gym where champions are made; why do they spar hard and a lot more often than MMA; certainly way more than TMA? What about full contact football for kids as young as middle school (12 y/o)?
 
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jayoliver00

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Because he thinks drills are more important, and that the inevitable injuries from hard sparring are counter-productive.

You think that Cerrone, as a full time, high level Pro fighter; didn't do "drills" when he was beginning his career and up until now?

Every fighter does drills; then they spar, sometimes hard. He obviously do a lot more drills and spars hard, much less now b/c his head is nearing retirement and can't take the same abuse. This is just life for a fighter.
 

jayoliver00

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Sort of.

He spars, but with guys he can work with.

So Joe Schilling is his major sparring parter. Do they go hard? Sort of. Do they spar for knock outs and K.O.s not so much.

It helps if you are in a position to choose your sparring partners. Or a gym culture that promotes this. Especially as you get on and are looking at longevity.

But say for example you are up and coming and have made it in to Tiger muay thai or something. You would just have to bite down on your mouth guard and put up with it.

So yeah. The best option is to own your own ranch and then just invite whoever you like to train with. That way you get quality guys without having to fight the occasional egomaniac.



You clearly know what you're talking about b/c you actually train real fighters. Most TMA people don't understand the need for hard sparring. I'm sure some people can achieve worldwide greatness in fighting sports w/o ever needing to hard spar, but I don't know who has done it that way...and it certainly ain't Cerrone.
 

JowGaWolf

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Let me clarify since different people/gyms have different interpretation of "hard sparring".

For me & my gym:

touch sparring = 1-5% power, just touching
light = up to 20% power
medium = up to 50% power
hard = up to 100% power but generally kept at 70-80% power & up.

My questions are, what is your definition of "hard sparring"?

I hard spar about 20% of the time, so how often do you hard spar?
My percentages are about the same as your. Generally my medium sparring starts at 45% to 50% Hard sparring is anything above 51%

My power ranking is
Light sparring = None of the punches or kicks can daze you. Injuries rarely occur

Medium sparring = punches and kicks are thrown at a power that can daze you but not knock you out. Light to medium injury. Injuries take a week or less to completely heal

Hard sparring = Anything that can KO you or cause serious injury. Severe bruising, broken bones, Concussions and blackouts. Injuries take 2 weeks and longer to completely heal

Light sparring about 3 times or more a week (my power output is less than 21%) Controlled power
Intermediate sparring once a weak (my power output is less than 30% -51%) Relaxed power
Hard sparring - once or twice a year. (my power output is 51% - 100% and higher) Added power

The majority of my sparring was at that 30% This allowed students to pull power from punches and to take higher risks It's only when I start adding power to my punches that I don't try to pull or redirect anything as it causes an unhealthy strain on the body.
 

JowGaWolf

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. Most TMA people don't understand the need for hard sparring.
Most people who train TMA aren't training to be professional fighters. You can force them into that type of training but they won't be your customers for much longer.

Most TMA students understand that strikes to the head cause brain damage.



""Cowboy" said that there are rare exceptions where he'll spar, but it has to be with someone he trusts. The former lightweight title challenger says that he's far past the point of brutal gym battles. "
Source: Donald Cerrone Explains Why He's Stopped Sparring | Fightful News

"I'll get in there and move around with (Andrei Arlovski). Heavy takedowns and grappling, real light sparring." said Cerrone. "The days of putting on the big gloves and throwing down? Hell no. Well, I just did it with Joe Schilling the other day, so I can't say hell no, but we had a good tempo and it wasn't anything crazy. Very controlled. If I'm sparring with someone very controlled who doesn't try to kill me"
 

Oily Dragon

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Perhaps I am reading your intent incorrectly. If you are saying you should be sparring at 80% and throwing 'fight ending' techniques during a single session, this is not good advice for the average person. Firstly, no one goes to spar with the intent of being knocked out. Accidents happen and that is when many injuries occur. Good sparring partners will help you improve your game but that won't happen if they are trying to knock your block off all the time. All things created equal (weight, size, fitness and experience relatively equal) that would be one short session every few months. Not necessarily a great way to learn especially if you are talking about head shots.

We were talking about mindsets and intent. Fight ending vs. "winning", because I can't think of any technique that should be trained short of trying to subdue the opponent, even if during sparring this is somewhat simulated.

Your mindset in sparring should be fight ending with any technique regardless of the level of effort. That doesn't mean either partner is trying to knock the others block off at all, it means that the sparring should be balanced and defer to the weaker or less skillful partner, so if they can only go 50%, that sets the bar for the better partner. Even then, the better partner better not have a half-assed mindset.

As opposed to what we see in countless places where sparring is two people slap boxing and laughing and learning little.
 

Oily Dragon

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Name the gym(s) and or Martial Artist(s) that spar hard all the time.



Most of these TMA's don't even come close to what MMA gyms go through in terms of brutality and damage to bodies. We just go home and ice it.

I was referring to people who overtrain at sparring. That's been a thing since martial arts was coined. It could be any gym or Martial artist, without getting specific.

As far as TMAs, that depends on the school. Plenty of TMAs have full contact sparring and competitions, even if some like Wing Chun are so rare so as to be a laughing stock amongst the MMA crews and their fans.
 

Oily Dragon

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If you spar against me at 40% I can still guarantee that I can pull my strikes enough so that you aren't seriously injured

I generally agree with your approach and Ihink we're on the same page now.

You're still throwing those strikes properly, with the right intent, but not so much as "pulling" because I hate this term. You're talking about cooperative control. In your mind, you're still the dominant one. But your opponent even if they are the weaker partner, shouldn't have a less than dominant mindset. Otherwise, they can get stuck in that awful space where they never learn confidence in committing.

Defensively, anybody who's taken a good lick in the face knows how well they might take another, until they're good enough to slip with confidence. You probably know what I mean. But attacking confidence can only be learned by attacking without fear of missing, or retribution. This is what I think many non sparring or non competitive schools miss, and why their sparring sucks compared to competition geared schools.
 

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(1) Cowboy Cerrone certainly does spar, and up to hard.
Not any more. He stopped in 2016.
(3) You picked the wrong guy to use for your example b/c I have team mates that have trained at Jackson/Wink, where Cerrone used to train at; and Cerrone was trying to take their heads off. And we had a UFC fighter that trained at our gym when he's in town, that's from Jackson/Wink. He said that he sparred hard often vs. Overeem and Cerrone.
The past is past. He doesn't currently spar.
(4) You just realized that blunt force trauma to the head is not good for the brain? Head trauma is just apart of the sport and how high of a level you want to achieve. Some people just want to hit pads and tap spar all their life; others want to be real fighters. Ever been to a Boxing gym where champions are made; why do they spar hard and a lot more often than MMA; certainly way more than TMA? What about full contact football for kids as young as middle school (12 y/o)?
It's fine if you don't care about giving yourself the equivalent of Alzheimers, but it doesn't change the fact that it's a fairly stupid thing to do.
You think that Cerrone, as a full time, high level Pro fighter; didn't do "drills" when he was beginning his career and up until now?
Strawman. I never said that. Maybe you've already damaged your brain?
 

JowGaWolf

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Even then, the better partner better not have a half-assed mindset.
I agree 100%

If the better partner out skills his partner then this gives the better partner a chance to work on other skills that may not be as strong. For example, executing the same technique using weak side. If right hand is the strongest then do the same technique with the left hand.
 

JowGaWolf

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You're still throwing those strikes properly, with the right intent, but not so much as "pulling" because I hate this term. You're talking about cooperative control. In your mind, you're still the dominant one. But your opponent even if they are the weaker partner, shouldn't have a less than dominant mindset.
Yes. This I agree with because my sparring partner should be focused on landing techniques successfully. He /she cannot defeat me or anyone else if they cannot land techniques successfully. His dominant mindset should be focused on the fact that he /she can land techniques successfully even if it will take a while to do so consistently.

My sparring partner shouldn't have the mind set of "this technique doesn't work, because I'm not successful with it." It should be "this technique works, the more that I try to use the technique in sparring the better I'll become with the technique. The better I'll become, the more I'll be able to land this technique successfully."

But attacking confidence can only be learned by attacking without fear of missing, or retribution.
When I teaching students how to fight using Jow Ga techniques. I would always tell them and encourage them to get rid of their emotions completely. It's my believe that emotions get in the way. Emotions have a tendency to cloud judgement in fighting. Every once and a while I run into someone who is going to use anger to help them fight. Then I point out in their video of how they were walking into punches and kicks because that anger blinded them to that danger. I tell them that a stronger kicker or puncher would have made them pay dearly for that.

When I was a kid 10 years old. I had a street fight against someone else who knew karate. To this day I still dream of it and remember it. I was angry and because of that I walked into kicks and punches because all I cared about was trying to hit the kid I was fighting as hard as I could. He was older than I was and he wasn't angry. I didn't land 1 hit or kick. I had that winning mindset, but it didn't help. I had anger and it didn't help. My focus was reduced to try to hit or kick that guy as hard as I could. No strategy,

He didn't beat me up (aka fight me and beat me down.) He kept landing he land techniques successfully and left me feeling angry with the realization that my anger couldn't reach him. Ever since then. I just focus on the task at hand. I have to be focused on what must be done. I must have the confidence through experience, that I have the skills to accomplish the task. Now when I spar. I set a task to hand like, break ribs, break hand, exhaust my opponent, make my opponent's mind defeat him.

I guess you can saw that for me it's like basketball. When you play basketball, you really don't focus on winning as much as you do shoot the ball, block the ball, steal the ball, prevent your opponent from having successful attempts.
 
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