Don't Like Sparring?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Sackett, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Sackett

    Sackett Valued Member

    I am asking if some of the folk who don't like sparring would take a few moments and write a bit on their experience of it.

    I'm not looking to debate whether sparring is good or bad, or whether or not a person ought to enjoy sparring.

    I ask because, generally, I'd like to develop my understanding of how people's feelings vary around this aspect of the arts. I spar with folk who really really like it and folk who really really don't and folk somewhere in the middle.

    I think people at the like-it end of the spectrum tend to speak up a bit more, so I'm trying to get together some words and understanding around the other end.

  2. rsobrien

    rsobrien Valued Member

    Personally, I only like sparring when I am winning or landing really fancy moves. Cartwheel guard passes and spinning back kicks are all I care about.

    I don't like getting pwned, either by painful submissions or getting punched in the face.
  3. I generally like it. In fact I like most chances to compete. I'm not saying I'm any good though - it's just the adrenaline of competing and giving it a go.
  4. tomass911

    tomass911 Valued Member

    I enjoy the control that it brings, when im sparring i tend to find it hard to land techniques that aren't what some people define as "too hard" as my view of a normal kick is other people's view of too much contact. It is also necessary imo to helping your self defence as it helps to train you on how to react to someone coming at you trying to hit you.

    Plus i love landing fancy spinning kicks ofc ^^
  5. Su lin

    Su lin Gone away

    I don't really understand why anyone would be doing an MA if they didn't enjoy sparring in some form. :confused: Yeah it scares me regularly but I enjoy it! :)
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2007
  6. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I'm not a massive fan of sparring. I'm just not a violent or aggressive person.
    However I also know that you can't learn to swim without getting wet.
    And so you can't learn to fight without sparring.
    I also know that it's exactly the things we find hard, uncomfortable or fear that enable us to make the most growth.
    So I throw myself into it as much as I can. :)

    I still have to make a mental "step" to get into sparring but my rational brain tells me to do it for my own good and so I'd basically spar with anyone.
    It's the only way forward.
  7. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Getting punched in the face repeatedly can be a big wake up call for many people. Sparring is for a great many people the first time they've ever had to deal with someone being aggressive towards them.

    It's not easy to rationalize 'losing' when it comes to sparring. If you've been punched in the gob during sparring... then you've been punched in the gob during sparring. You have to deal with it. It's hard on peoples egos.

    As humans we get attached to the idea of 'winning'. When we don't achieve that even in the minor levels of sparring it's hard for humans to deal with it. It takes some changes to your approach to not setting sparring on a 'win/lose' dynamic. Maybe that dynamic can't ever entirely be done away with... but it is important to not let the ego be so brittle when sparring.

    People don't like to be scared... and they don't like to get hurt... both of which can happen in sparring. So a healthy mindset is a good thing to have in your approach to sparring.
  8. Lily

    Lily Valued Member

    I hate being punched in the face, head shots I can take...but please not my face!!!!!!!!!

    Just because I don't enjoy something where I tend to always be at a disadvantage (shortest at my dojo) doesn't mean I don't see the value of it. I throw myself in and at least try to learn.

    As a girl I also found it hard to initially understand how realistic sparring was for self-defence situations. I assumed that women tend to get attacked from behind etc. thus I 'didn't need' to learn how to spar. So untrue! :D

    I wish we sparred more at my dojo but it isn't a big part of my style and that's something I'm looking to improve in the next year through a different school.
  9. byebison

    byebison New Member

    i love sparring. so many of the moves taught i've seen 100 times already so i need to practice what i learn.
  10. Yohan

    Yohan In the Spirit of Yohan Supporter

    Maybe I don't have the same definition of sparring, but I've never sparred at my school and I take MMA. I've never the "MMA gloves, take downs, groundwork, punches, kicks, knees,etc.". On the other hand I've done plenty of boxing and kick boxing, clinch work and rolling.

    I love it. It's my favorite part of training. I love the competitive and technical aspect of it. It's lots of fun.
  11. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    I like it. It's not that I enjoy the violence, it's that physical exertion in a combat setting with a partner is a physically pleasant sensation. Problem is, I have no training partners at the moment and even when I finally do get my anus to this shotokan class after getting back into shape, sparring probably won't be a big element. But we'll see.
  12. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    And this is the big crux of it, you can't 'win' at sparring! It's a training tool, with inbuilt safety mechanisms (tempo, intensity, etc).

    Once we lose this idea of winning/losing, we can get onto the notion of 'learning' ;)
  13. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    I absolutely agree. But it seems it's very rare (amongst males anyhow) that sparring is perceived to be about 'learning'... well I mean I can't say that for all gyms. But recently one of the gyms I've been training at... it's definitely ego driven. It's not all that fun to train and to my mind just comes down to brawling. Which has it's upsides I suppose... but I just have trouble remembering what they are.

    But yes... I absolutely agree that is should be about learning.
  14. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    I think everybody has trouble keeping sparring in perspective. On the other hand, maybe you have to 'want to win'? If you're just standing there throwing techniques at the other guy, do you lose a valuable part of the learning experience?
  15. Yohan

    Yohan In the Spirit of Yohan Supporter

    You have to look at sparring as a different light. "Winning" at sparring involves getting the most skill increase for the time you put in. It doesn't mean you were able to hit the other guy more than he hit you and blocked more of his punches than he did yours. Same with grappling.
  16. shotokangirl

    shotokangirl Valued Member

    the only time i don't like sparing is when i am sparing with someone who has no control over their techniques, i have never been to found of being hit in the face. :) on a whole i enjoy sparing, it has taught me that winning isn't everything. i have learned more form losing ( being hit ) than i have ever with winning. ( but winning is always more fun. :p )
  17. Sackett

    Sackett Valued Member

    So, simplified, I think I've heard the main reasons for people not liking sparring have to do with getting hurt (I also hate getting hit or kicked in the face!) and having to compete. I think there is also a more general fear thing, maybe not being used to having a person coming at you like that.

    The competition thing is not something I'd thought about before. I wonder if it has to do with my school or my gender. We hardly ever kept score or anything like that, though I always felt I knew who'd won the match.

    I'm thinking, too, it has to do with always sparring people I know. If I lose to someone who is just better than I am, I'm okay with that because they're better. If I lose to someone I'm matched with, I may win next time and will likely have a chance next week to avenge myself. If I lose to someone not so good, I have to think about it. I guess I feel like we all know our places in the hierarchy, so that's what we're fighting about. I can only imagine that if that weren't the case, if I felt like I had to prove myself every time I was out there, it would not be so much fun.
  18. watts

    watts Valued Member

    Through sparring I learn to control my emotions and that is just as much about controlled release of aggression as reigning in anger.
  19. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    Sparring is generally my favourite part of training but only when I'm training with someone of roughly my size and ability. Anyone so much bigger/better than me that I just get a kicking is simply frustrating and anyone so much smaller/worse than me that it isn't a challenge loses some of the excitement. The exception to the bigger/better argument is when you get a kicking from someone who's bigger/better but is genuinely going out of their way to challenge you just beyond your abilities but not utterly murder you.
  20. mai tai

    mai tai Valued Member

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2007

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