How do you REALLY spar?

Which best matches your approach to sparring?

a) Win every match?

b) Try out new techniques?

c) Try a new "game"?

d) Put yourself in bad positions to see if you can escape?

e) Just survive?

f) Always try to make the right move regardless of the position so that you dont rely on strength or speed, even if it means losing?

A, B, C, right now. I try and 'win' every match, but I've been toying with
Butterfly and X-guard a lot recently, and I'm starting to really like

I train D,E, and F, too. There are two black belts, a brown, and one
purple who is both bigger and better than me. I rely on those guys for
the 'D-F' type of training. I train with one of the black belts a lot, and
get plenty of time to work out of bad spots. Although maybe not so
much D, because it's those guys that put me in bad positions.

But I try and balance all of them. Last night, I was rolling with one of
my favorite training partners, who I'm really even with, and I was trying
out some new half guard against him, and still 'trying to win.'


progression of B which often puts me in D and then I do anything i can so i can A.

id say right now i am doing a bit of all of that just not accomplishing anything. :)


Depends on who I'm going against. Usually it's c, sometimes a.

When it's against my instructor, it is decidedly e. In fact, I'd call it eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Right now it's F - trying to sharpen my game and really make it tight.

Usually C unless I'm going with one of the brown or blacks then it's usually E. 

Slowly and steadily. I try to use good technique at all times, and am working on refining my timing right now (mostly with escapes, but all around).

I rarely go for the tap unless my partner exposes something grievous (I want them to know they did so). I also am playing a lot with half guard lately (I don't know why.....I just seem to be winding up there)

I think you have to have all of those to improve, so I try to get in some of all. Obviously you need different skill levels of training partners to achieve all of those types of sparring.

All of the above but currently c as I want a better open guard game.

I always try to pick one move ahead of time, and do that move as much as possible, without telling anyone about it. Then when I actually start sparring I forget to do it and just try to win.

One thing that I usually do successfully is try to stay very calm and relaxed the whole time, and use very little energy.

Well ... while i WOULD say i do try to win every roll in the way that i rarely put myself in bad positions on purpose (i do a nice job of that without trying lol), i never go all out just to win if it's someone i know i'm better then, but i do not let them win either although i might let them work on something.

I'm TRYING to work on a few things i want to get better at (sweeps right now), but usually i forget that once i'm on the mat and just go with the flow and do whatever comes to me in a given situation.

Sounds like i roll pretty much like Yao :) I also manage to stay relaxed on the mat, although some guys do make me more intense, i kinda seem to go at whatever pace the other guy is going, if he's trying to smash me with strength i usually just get slow and methodical, but if i got someone who rolls really fast i usually start doing the same.

I like to test myself an see if I can get out of bad positions and also work my weak points when I spar. But I must say that when someone new comes into the club, I do go hard to see where they are at!! I guess ego is always a factor, but at 41 I'm starting to learn to pace myself!

F. Sometimes C.

g) pick on someone with no experience

what about you, andre?

B D and F.

Of course, I'm just startinig out.

Btw it also really depends on who i'm rolling with. If i am rolling with someone new or less skilled then me, i really don't get much out of just tapping away and doing stuff i can already pull off on guys at my own level. I usually feel out the guy first and if i feel pretty confident that i can make things work on him and recover from a bad position i'll work my riskier moves and "in progress" lol, kinda like to get the timing/technique of the moves i don't feel comfortable with yet on the guys i can control, because if i go for it and i'm not confident in the move on someone at my own level, i propably won't even get the first 2 moves in, let alone get close to finishing it. But of course gradually once i get moves to work on those guys, i'll start moving it up the skill rank :)

But i find it quite hard to try a "new game" or position on someone good since they will usually shut it down quickly and i won't get much out of it if i try it on them first.

I think perhaps some hybrid of 'f,' otherwise something not up there.

I am working on developing what i beleive "my" game is. So im not sure i'm working on a "new" game, just developing the one i have to work better. Developing the subtle aspects of the techniques that i do. It sort of fits a bit into several categories, but not wholly into any i guess.


I usually try c because I dont have the discipline for f. I will see a position on a video or in class that I havent explored, and I will start trying to add it to my game. It is frustrating because while I am learning it, I am basically a white belt in that position and it leads to bad positions quite often.

Depending on my shape and opponent, sometimes it is just "e". Also, if it is someone really tough I will go foor "a" and just try to win. That usually happens the first few times I roll with that person, then I resort to a more experimental game.