If you’re into Muay Thai simply to burn calories and get a good workout, then sparring may not be all too necessary for you. If so, feel free to skip away and read something else.
If, however, you long to fight in the ring as much as you love and enjoy Muay Thai, these 7 sparring tips will go a long way in helping you improve.
- Don’t go 100%. Your goal is to improve, not to knock your opponent out. As a beginner, you’ll want to start things slow and make sure that you work together with your sparring partner.
- Surrender Your Ego. Remember, Muay Thai is a full contact sport and in sparring, you’re bound to get kicked or punched. Because of this, you will get hit, A LOT. Stay ready and lose your ego. More importantly, respect everyone in the gym, whether it’s your trainer or your sparring partner, and stay humble.
- Observe and Respond. Don’t just kick because you feel like it. Everything that you do should be something that you thought of doing, or a reaction to how your opponent moves. By observing, you will be able to find your opponent’s weakness and respond accordingly. While this is still during a sparring match, this can go a long way in helping you develop a keen eye for openings and timing.
- Throw combination. A jab-jab-low kick is better than just a low kick. It’s best that you remember this bit. You’ll also want to remember that the best way to drill that sort of combination, or any other combination in that regard, into your instincts and develop proper muscle memory is to throw them in bunches during a sparring match. Doing so can also help you figure out what works and what doesn’t.
- Learn To Ask. After sparring with someone, don’t be afraid to ask for tips and advices. Who more than the guy you just fought at half-speed with would know what you need to improve on? Do the same for your partner. The more knowledge you can gain from sparring, the better and the closer you’ll get to improving your skills as a fighter.
- Change Partners. Chances are, there’s going to be a lot of fighters in your gym and while it’s nice to develop a friendship with your frequent sparring partner, it wouldn’t hurt to spar with others as well. Sparring with different people can give you a different perspective on different fighting styles and tendencies. This can help you improve your reflexes and react accordingly to different kinds of scenarios.
- Have Fun. In sparring, there’s no winners or losers, only knowledge gained. So, why be sad? Have fun, enjoy it and chalk everything up to experience!
Sparring is the best way to help you get used to what it would feel like to be inside the ring against a real Muay Thai fighter. The more you practice and keep these tips in mind, the more successful you’ll be when sparring and ultimately, the better your chances of improving as a fighter.