Sparring and my Atitude

ahhh the push kick, LOL! sweeps are a problem too especially since we spar open class and guess who's the little guy.

builds character, as they say ;)

one person I trained with didnt let any of his newer students even place a foot in the ring untill that person had the basics down. it is pretty dangerous for both people in the ring if one dosnt have a clue. Learn your basic technics before stepping into the ring. Do blocking drills, kicking drill, punching, etc...

jkd guy, how long did you train in JKD? it seems weird that you've never sparred, unless you were just taking it for a short while.

"Learn your basic technics before stepping into the ring. Do blocking drills, kicking drill, punching, etc... "

dude, trust me, I dont want to'm not looking to be a tough guy, I just like the art.

yusul - I trained jkd, 3-4 hours a day, 5-6 days a week for about 8 months. I know not THAT long, but my school wasnt the best school, but it was good for me at the time


Hi Tony:

Following your stories as situations similiar - new guy getting started again. You mentioned that all you wanted to learn were the kicks and it sounds like you prefer non-contact training. This may or may not be realized by your instructor so you better bring it up before you get into situations you don't want/like etc. and possibly giving up prematurely. By stepping through the doors to train you show you are not a quitter so that is not the answer.

Now you have your first experience though. Everyone levels up over time, gets acclimated, etc. it the process of continual improvement and conditioning. Find your own pace and type of training sessions (basics, conditioning etc. vs. fighter training, sparring, competition) with your instructor, there must be open dialog IMO but you must also be up to the challenges before you.

FWIW I usually get my butt handed to me by everyone. Each opponent presents a unique challenge and opportunity to work techniques. The mountain seems so high but just keep striving to someday look back and be amazed. Of course injury is part and parcel of the full contact game so there are risks.

You know there is a world of difference between taebo and martial arts training (and who said you can't do both!). Where you want to be now and in the future only you can answer.

Best regards!!!

I recently sparred for the first time ever (in Muay Thai, I did TKD before), and it was not what I expected at all. Defense was so much harder than I thought it would be. We were sparring light contact, but fast. I was able to land punching/kicking combos on people, but man, they could just light me up at will as soon as I slacked off. I also started off kicking too much (my tkd showing through), and kept getting push-kicked onto my ass. The way punches felt also surprised me. Now I know why people just stand there sometimes when they get hit, instead of evading the next blow. When I would get popped good (even with headgear), it was like my brain went off for a second. I wasn't thinking of hitting back, or evading, or anything. I am definitely going to have to work on evasion/blocking before anything else, cuz I would get KILLED full contact.

Hi everyone,Last week I posted asking if I had the wrong atitude toward MT.Well I just got back from class, in the last 10 min, the instructor had me and this other guy spar.We were only supposed to I NEVER sparred before, I told the guy, "I never sparred before"So I didnt even know what to do...all I ended up doing was throwing a right I threw the roundhouse the guy blocked it, then did a roundhouse, roundhouse, front kick to me.So the whole sparring match was: Me backing up, then throw a ugly kick, the other guy blocking it, then throwing a 5 hit combo on me.Now he wasnt hitting me hard, but....shouldnt he had let me do somethings also? Like he could throw a kick and let me do some moves, or give me I could also improve.Or am I looking at it wrong?It was bad, when he threw his roundhouse, I kept trying to block with my arm, because I dont know how to block with my legs well...the instructor told me not to block with the arms, but I .....well suck.So instead of hitting me with 3 kicks in a row, let me get some blocks in...I mean I couldnt even block 1 kick, let alone 3.-Tony

He didn't kick you hard. He took into account where you were at. However, he is not the instructor and is there to be learning also. Possibly he's trying to work something he can't get away with against opponents better than him. I always expect my opponents who know they are more skilled I than to treat me with enough respect to come at me harder than I can go at them. That is how you get better.

Also, personalities play into this. Maybe he was nervous and didn't want to look bad, you've done JKD before I'm assuming? He is feeling you out.

Drills are for exchanges. Getting into the habit of trading shots when sparring is not good.

Also, the first few times you spar can be quite unnerving emotionally. You'll get used to it. Watch others spar closely and realise your going through the same thing.

You don't know if you suck yet. You've sparred once!!!! checking kicks does not come naturally. Now, after you've done it for a couple of years like I have..then you can say with some degree of confidence you suck.


True he didnt hit me hard...I dont know, my main sport is handball and when I play people who arent as good as me, I dont try too hard, I point out their mistakes etc...I just imagine sparring to be like that.

I did JKD before, but never sparred at our school, in fact this is the first time training in about 4 years.

Like I said in my other post...maybe I'll join Carmen Electra in the Tae Bo classes



Hey Tony,

Everyone gets rusty. If you put as much time in JKD as in handball and the shoe was on the other foot you wouldn't quit handball would you? Not everyone will react to situations the way you would or would want them too.

If JKD is something you want to do, keep doing it. More expeirienced people will have that edge where they can hit you and you feel your not learning. You are learning a lot and don't know it. You may never out match this guy but sometimes it's not about that it's about you comming into your own and acclimating yourself in harsher and harsher condidtions, acting appropriatly in the face of those who don't want you to succeed. Draw your own line. Explination.

A famous parrable is a master draws a line on the ground and tells his student to make it smaller without erasing it. The student keeps trying to attack that line the master keeps telling him "thats not the way" until the student gives up. The master tells the student to stop attacking that line and to draw his own line and make it longer then his. remember to develop youself and don't let others sway you away from your goals.

DAMN that is a nice story!!

I never heard of that one before, so the student was "swayed by others (the line)" very interesting.

I like MT, I guess I wasnt prepared for the physical aspect of it. I thought it would be like my old JKD school, where our thai class was just thai rounds, no contact, so I was used to it.

Thanks for the reply


When I was getting ready to go into instructor training, I had to test..go through basics and more advanced techniques, corner drills...that sort of thing. I also had to spar, I think it was three 3 minute rounds against 3 different people. No rest between guys. So basically, I was always sparring for the round, but against a new person each minute or something. The more advanced guys there, one I had never sparred with or even seen practicing Muay Thai (he only did the CQB classes) freakin kicked my butt technically. The hardest guy though, was the huge one that was 6'5" or so...weighed probably 250. I'm 5'8" and weighed 165. I remember making him mad, he was basically just pounding on me, and I got him with a nice up kick to the ribs...he kicked me so hard, I made the mistake of thinking I could block it, rather than evade it...his kick knocked my blocking leg into my planted leg, sent them and my body into the air and deposited my ass on the ground. He just smiled.
Sparring is fun when you relax and learn from it, but when someone is pounding on you, you really learn a lesson. I've never made that blocking mistake again.

Yah, he should have given you a chance to do something. I usually instruct guys that I totally outclass. If a guy is close to my level, I like to discuss what happened after the sparring session. I don't give pointers to good opponent 'til after the session is over. :-)



I still stand by what I said to you before... You will adjust. That's what is happening now. You joined this class with the intent of picking up a few techniques to complement what you already know and what you think you want to learn from Muay Thai, but I'll tell you, it's not that simple.

I started off the same way. As I have stated in the past, I started studying martial arts in Moo Duk Kwan and Tang Soo Do, which progressed to Shotokan, a bit of Tai Chi, and then Ninjitsu.

When I started Muay Thai, I just wanted to learn "the art". I had no interest in fighting.

I had my first fight after 6 months training and there's been no turning back.

I had trouble adjusting at first too. In my first month Master K, my instructor, did some boxing sparring with me and F***ing knocked my block off! I was 6'0" and 190lbs. He was 5'4" (tops!) and about 130lbs. And in his fifties!

I was not used to full-contact drills. I was used to light contact (touch) sparring where you stopped after someone "scored" a point. (my Ninjitsu training was NOT like that, but then, we didn't really do free sparring either)

When we used to trade mid-body kicks, I could have sworn that my f***ing arms were going to break! We would trade kicks for many rounds. Each kick I blocked felt like the kick that was going to break me. I had to fight the urge to just walk out and quit because it was fucking hard, man! That shit HURT!!!

Now, I don't know if you will have the same love-affair with Muay Thai that I have had. Everyone is different and I can tell you beyond a doubt that Muay Thai is NOT for everyone!

Also, what you have described of your sparring experiences sounds different from the way I was trained. We didn't "free spar" very often at all. We usually did pre-arranged sparring drills where we would trade blows. Free sparring came much later. The only free-sparring we did for the longest time was boxing.

BUT, each gym is different.

One thing I agree with is that a few people have said, essentially, that you need to OPEN YOUR MOUTH! For instance, the kick sparring that you did the other day. Its good that you told the guy that it was your first sparring experience. And he sounds to have adjusted his power appropriately. But, did he try to assist in correcting you when you made mistakes? Did he try to give you any pointers?


He may not have had a lot of experience himself, so therefore not be in the position to really help you out. Did you stop and ask him to work things out so that you got a chance to try some stuff? And, as other were suggesting, he may have been working with an agenda. Perhaps there was something very specific he was working on like a multiple kicking combo, and you unfortunately were the defender.

You have to talk to your sparring partner. Just telling him, "It's my first time, be gentle." isn't enough (THAT was a quote for the OG, don't you think?) You have to take it further and ask him to let you try something out. If he isn't correcting you or giving suggestions or hints, stop and ask him for advice or tips on what to do. Just make sure you don't stand and gab when you are supposed to be working.

For instance, when he is kicking you multiple times and you find yourself just being a walking, talking, and breathing kicking bag, stop for a moment and ask him how to defend or "break" the combo so that you don't stand there like a lump and eat all of the kicks.

Or, when he keeps blocking your kicks/combos easily or countering you easily, you can stop and ask him briefly what to do to improve so that he doesn't keep "shrugging you off".

Remember what the other guy said about drawing a line? YOU have to take charge of YOUR workout. If you feel confused/lost during a drill, stop and ASK a quick question or two, or ask for a tip or advice on how to improve.

You may get blown off during the drills themselves, but if you ask after the drill is over, or after class, I am willing to bet you money that your fellow students or your instructors will gladly take some extra time to work with you and help you.

YOU have to take charge! YOU have to ask questions! Don't always wait for the instructor or classmate to ask how you are doing or to see that you are confused.

To be honest, that's how we weed out serious students from the "warm bodies". If someone comes to class and simply goes through the motions without showing initiative or asking questions, we will just let them keep doing what they are doing and that's that. Students who take a proactive interest in learning more and asking questions and asking for tips and advice, now THAT'S the student we're going to take aside and work with privately and take special interest in.

Well, sorry for the rambling answer to your questions. I hope my advice helps. I think that you are taking steps in the right direction and showing genuine interest by posting questions here, but how about asking these same questions of your fellow students and instructors?

Khun Kao Charuad; SuriyaSak/SitSuriya Muay Thai

thanks, Khun Kao---i'm a reformed bujinkan stylist myself...i have never been happier (nor TOUGHER) since branching out to MMA

Khun Kao,

Thanks for responding...what is your opinion of that kind of prearranged drilling now that you have Muay Thai experience?

Surprisingly, I still think those drills are good. They are not quite as effective for fighting as what I have been learning since in Muay Thai, but those drills helped prepare me for what was to come when I switched arts.

I still use full contact sparring drills in Muay Thai. Our gym does not do "free-sparring" very often outside of boxing only, but we do lots of sparring drills.

Khun Kao

Khun Kao, I for one would like to hear more about your Ninjitsu training! If you didn't do free sparring, what DID you do?

As far as my Ninjitsu training went, we did a lot of full-contact drills (sparring drills) without pads, but they were prearranged to a certain degree. This was years and years ago, so my memory on "exactly" what we did is a bit shaky.

The closest we got to free sparring was when our instructor would make us use one technique, or set of techniques to defend yourself against another student attacker.

Khun Kao