What’s the quickest way to become the pariah of an entire gym? Being a terrible sparring partner.
If you’re training Muay Thai, you should be in it for the long haul. Every fighter knows that their time in the sport, like with any athlete, can be limited. And the time you spend in Muay Thai or any sport that involves head trauma can be even further limited if you train it poorly. You do not want to be that guy at the gym who everyone hates.
Think about how the Thais spar. There is no possible way Thais could have hundreds of fights if they sparred hard regularly (though there is a place for hard sparring). And if you’re somehow worried that avoiding hard sparring makes you less tough, remember that you’re in a sport where your job is to step into the ring with another person and try to knock each other out. That’s tough enough already.
However, even if you are sensible, it can still be difficult to figure out exactly how to spar with someone correctly, especially when sparring with the fairer sex: women.
What Makes A Good Sparring Partner?
The unwritten rules of sparring are the same across the board, whether you’re sparring with a male or female.
Firstly, like any relationship, you need communication. You are there to help each other get better, so you must understand what your sparring partner requires and accommodate them so they will try and accommodate you. This way, you will also understand for a certainty what your partner needs from you rather than trying to guess.
You must also adjust your power accordingly, and I do mean adjust it accordingly. Do not dial it up like you’re in a fight or dial it down like you’re shadowboxing with them. Change up your power and speed so it would fit to around their power and speed they’re fighting at or slightly above where they’re fighting at.
But having to make all these adjustments can be tricky. Is it not best just to train with people your size? No. When you train with people of varying sizes, you are also learning how to deal with a variety of power, speed, and techniques.
There are benefits to dealing with variety. If you’re small but can deal with the power of a heavyweight, would that not give you a massive boost in confidence? The same thing could be said if you’re a heavyweight dealing with the speed of a lightweight. By figuring out how to deal with the speed of a lightweight or power of a heavyweight, you’re figuring out how to deal with speed and power in general. And that is an invaluable asset to have whenever you’re going into a fight.
There you have it. Be a good sparring partner and your sparring partners will be good to you. And remember, whether you’re sparring guys or girls, be careful with your inside leg kicks.
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