I have 2 guys sparring. One is turtled up in the corner and the other is throwing a 50 piece combination? I stopped them and asked what the point was (I used more colorful and explicit language than I am using now😊)? The reply from the bomb thrower was “I am working on my standup!” My reply was along the lines of “If you want to throw that many punches on an inanimate object – go hit the bag!”
OK, sometimes we have to push a person to break them out of their shell. If that is not what we are doing and you are just throwing mad punches against a person not fighting back; what is the point????? You can’t win sparring and beating people up to make yourself feel good about things is just a poor choice and horrible reflection of your character.
Sparring is where we test our skills and push each other to be better. This is not a solitary action. We have to find that balance where we are working, pushing, and making each other better – not beating our partner down for our own personal gain. Once you go down that road, your partners fall off, you don’t get the work, and you end up being the best guy in the room instead of the best guy in the sport.
Think about it – if all you do is try to win every round of sparring, you are limiting yourself to the narrow skillset you have relied upon to get you to where you are. Sparring is about perfecting what we know but more important – figuring out where we are going with our skills next. We are here to evolve our game, not maintain it.
In grappling, we stop at the point where someone is going to be broken or go to sleep. It is a checkmate position where we agree to stop or somebody is going to get hurt. Getting hurt at that point is a choice, not some involuntary action. If caught; tap, nap, or snap – simple.
If we take that mentality of checkmate to striking, we can chill and not lose brain cells taking the kill shot. When both guys are on a level to see the action and appreciate what could and could not happen, we can work together to not get killed and correct the problems. When only 1 guy sees it, we have to fire away for our own safety. You know that time you pulled your shot and your partner, having no clue that they have had their life spared, cracks you with a big stupid shot. Sometimes you have to pull it and fire to save your own rear end.
If you want to bang away, hit the bag. If you want to get better, spar – not fight. Go into it prepared to protect yourself, but more important – go into it looking to improve, not simply maintain. If you challenge your skills instead of trying to win, you will evolve and be more prepared to win when it matters most.
Lastly, don’t take this as an article designed to get everyone to lighten up. We at Killer B are known for going pretty hard. If you are trained to go hard, you can. Going hard to just go hard, without understanding what you are doing, simply leads to stitches.
Killer B Combat Sports Academy