Sparring A Girl

Discussion in 'Boxing' started by paulbrec, Jan 9, 2012.

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  1. paulbrec

    paulbrec Valued Member

    This weekend, the coach asked me to spar a girl.
    That bothers me a bit.
    In my opinion, I don't like women in combative sports. Its OK for exercise or non-contact, but I find it unattractive to see women compete in full contact.
    This is in no way intended to be blatantly sexist, but is purely my opinion.
    It also does not feel right to put male vs. female. That is not fair in any sport.
    The coach asked me not to hit her with my right, so I don't hurt her, but I did not feel right hitting her at all.
    In addition, she was a beginner. I feel that it is usually better sparring someone better, so you learn more. I like sparring the coach. I find that I learn the most.
    Sorry, it is just one of my "things".
  2. NightSky

    NightSky Valued Member

    Probably trainer expected from you that you will sparr moderately instead of smashing her full contact. It wouldn't be ok from him to ask you to fight full contact with any beginner!

    I was quite good beaten sometimes in sparring with female, broken arcade once. She was world champ but i also underestimated her power. And my girl kicked me very well in the nose once..i guess i didn't wash the dishes good :eek:
  3. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter


    just so you know, you're going to get ripped by most people here.

    regardless of whether you're comfortable with it or not, gender has no bearing at all on anything having to do with martial arts. your lack of comfort is purely due to arbitrary social traditions, and is nothing but detrimental both to your training and to hers.

    as far as your last point, have you considered hat they put her against you so that SHE could spar with someone better than her?
  4. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Not intended to be sexist, but is completely sexist.

    It was sparring, not a competition. Sparring is about learning, or in this case teaching. The coach picked you for a reason, maybe because he/she thought (wrongly it turns out) you had something to offer your sparring partner.

    Im sure you do like sparring the coach. How easy do you think he is going on you? Maybe your sparring partner as a beginner was expecting the same from you.
    Your actions are selfish in addition to sexist. Sparring is a two way thing. it is not all me, me, me.
    This would have been a perfect opportunity to explore your technique without the pressure of having to spar the coach. A chance to offer instruction to a beginner, which in turn aids your own understanding.

    What are you scared of?

    Put yourself in her shoes now.

    What does your coach think of you now?

    Will you be given this opportunity again?
  5. -MartialArtist-

    -MartialArtist- New Member

    You basically hit the nail on the head there.
    In MA, gender should not be an issue and i know alot of female's who are either just as good or even better than the male's.
    Sometimes i tend to hold back a bit when i am sparring but that's to both male and female and when i go all out, gender doesn't matter, if anything i would be disrespecting the girl if i held back because she was female.
  6. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Wait till you box a professional or amateur female Boxer in your weight class. You will have a pretty good idea then how well a gifted female boxer can hold her own in the ring. You shouldn't feel uncomfortable if you're sparring at her pace.

    Sparring in a club enviroment is about learning and having fun, its not about beating the crap out of each other. How do you know if your coach isn't going easy on you when you spar him? Sparring the coach is well and all, but you're not going to learn anything new from sparring the same individuals day in and day out.

    I think its pretty obvious the lesson thats being taught here. Its called humility.

    You should be honored that your coach trusted you with a beginner, even more so with a female (who usually struggle finding common ground in terms of equality with their male peers). I wouldn't take it as an insult. Female Boxers are rare gems. Take the opportunity to celebrate the fact that you are working with a female who wants to test herself in one of the hardest martial arts on the block, and that your coach has given you the opportunity to help in the process of refining and building her up.

    Give her a chance, she might just surprise you after a bit of time and experience under her belt.
  7. CrowZer0

    CrowZer0 Assume formlessness.

    I spar with my sister, she is freakishly strong.
  8. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

  9. Oddsbodskins

    Oddsbodskins Troll hunter 2nd Class

    As another point, 'cos yes, you are going to get ripped, you don't find it attractive? What do you think she's training to look attractive? You think she's got nothing better to do with her time then try and attract a self-centered misogynist?
  10. Seventh

    Seventh Super Sexy Sushi Time

    The last guy who didn't want to spar a girl got a punch in the stomach and a kick to the face for his trouble.

    Gender has no influence on ability, and when sparring someone you shouldn't "hold back" when it isn't warranted, because it's just insulting at times.
  11. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    My sympathies are for those that struggle to fight women based on factors such as enlarged chest size and a more petite build, that I get because I've dealt with it in real life with my male peers (however I am neither big chested nor pettily built as you can see from my avatar).

    But if the idea makes you uncomfortable then I suggest focusing on body shots, bobbing, slipping and weaving. If she is wearing a helmet and a mouth guard, throw a couple of light jabs to the face now and then (but first show her how to block and parry them). Set up some rules, you on defensive, her on the attack. Its a good way to test where she is at, and it will test how well you can get out of the way and counter attack.

    I often use this strategy when I'm working with other adults (women and men) and kids new to the sport. Both parties benefit.
  12. Atre

    Atre Valued Member

    You're dividing people purely on gender, and placing your personal morals above another human's self-determination. She's decided to pursue a full contact sport and you've decided she shouldn't.

    I'll admit I care fairly little for the philosophical niceties of personal freedoms and asserting morals - but this is clearly sexist (which I'm not meaning in as a insult; just that it's, by definition, sexism)

    But don't worry, most MA people have to get over the cultural "don't hit girls" when they realise is BS and frankly insulting when you refuse to compete when they want you to.

    Would you say you "don't hit girls" if a girlfriend wanted to try out spanking :p?
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  13. Chimpcheng

    Chimpcheng Yup... Giant cow head... Supporter

    Not wanting to jump on the bandwagon, but I'm going to anyway as every now and then I like to be a git, but that's a pretty disgraceful attitude to have in general OP, nevermind for a martial artist.

    At the MMA school I used to train at, there was a lone lady who came by herself to train. No one, not one person battered an eyelid, that school features some fine amateur and semi pro fighters, n00bs such as myself, and the stereotypical "meathead" doorman type, amongst others.

    Every single one of us afforded her the respect she and everyone else deserves, and best of all, she could throw down and then some. She came away with cuts and scrapes like everyone else, outpaced most of us during the horrible, horrible conditioning classes and damn near mauled one of my mates when rolling - and he's a muscle bound gym bunny.

    Ok, sure, it's your opinion and you're entitled to it, of course you are, but I hope you wake up one day, realise she's there to train and that you should just get on with it.
  14. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Theres no way you shouldn't spar against a female. Trust me they WILL surprise you.
  15. Chimpcheng

    Chimpcheng Yup... Giant cow head... Supporter

    Plus, you have to remember, there's nobody above a butt kicking...
  16. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    On the flip note based off my observation in Boxing, I've noticed that females are less likely to give away their strategies and telegraph their movements. Just like in real life, females are hard to read in the ring also, my male peers have often commented on our sparring matches afterwards with remarks such as 's**t you move fast'. Though in reality I was moving at the same or at a slower pace then them, the difference was in the way I was setting up my punches and overall body language. Females work a bit differently psychologically then their male peers in combat situations.

    You should use this to your advantage and see whether or not you can learn a thing or two from seasoned female Boxers.
  17. paulbrec

    paulbrec Valued Member

    Wow. I did not expect this much response.
    I am honored to spar with beginners. I know the coach trusts me, and the coach and sparring partner both thanked me for it.
    I don't mind doing it. The whole idea is to learn, and we did.
    Like I said, it is just one of my "things".
    The whole idea of a forum is for people to exchange ideas and opinions, and that is what I am doing. It is not to offend.
  18. Chimpcheng

    Chimpcheng Yup... Giant cow head... Supporter

    I don't think you've offended anyone per se, so I wouldn't worry about that, it's just that a lot of us are a bit surprised that anyone training in the present day would still, rightly or wrongly, have this "attitude". I've trained martial arts some 20+ years - namely CLF, MT and MMA, and I'm having difficulty thinking of a time where anyone refused to train/spar with a girl...

    Sure, like you said, it's your "thing" and something you're either going to work on or not, but, it's just surprising is all...
  19. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Yet it is an offensive opinion to hold. It's sexism, there's no two ways around it. You can try to justify it however you like but at the end of the day you're discriminating against her on no basis other than the fact she has breasts. The fact you mentioned you "don't find it attractive" pretty much confirmed that for me.

    Also I think the replies so far have been pretty polite. Politer than I am to people who say they don't like rolling with women to my face.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  20. Seventh

    Seventh Super Sexy Sushi Time

    I'm not agree with your opinion per se, but more really about how undated it is. We already have several females competing in UFC, and I'm pretty sure a good chunk of them could some of the MAP male members, including me, a run for our money.

    Anyone, regardless of gender, could give one a nasty surprise.

    Just my train of thought anyways.
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