This might sound a little crazy, but I firmly believe that it is really important to get beat up in sparring. I’m not saying it’s ok to get so beat up that you end up knocked out or injured. (That is not ok.) What I mean is that it is important to take your lumps because each time you get hit it is an opportunity to learn and improve. I understand that getting hit is often times uncomfortable and painful, but if we never felt that discomfort and pain, then we would never know how we take it, how we react to it, or what mistake was made causing us to get hit in the first place. Although in class we do learn numerous techniques, sometimes the drills and practice just aren’t the best teacher and we have to learn the hard way to really get it. There is absolutely no shame in that. If you compete then sparring is the BEST time to put your ego away and get hit because that’s when it doesn’t count. I like to get hit as much as possible in sparring. That way, I feel like I’m way less likely to get as much in a fight because I’ve learned from my “beatings” and am able to adjust and improve on my mistakes. Because it is ok to get hit, sparring is the perfect time to practice techniques you are not as comfortable with. It is when you will use trial and error to find your distance and timing and really fine tune your technique. If these things are off, you’ll most likely get hit. That is when you adjust and try again until you figure it out. In a way, you owe your sparring partners a thank you for letting you know where you can improve. So next time you get hit, improve, then pay it forward and return the favor! (With control of course). If you are not getting hit in sparring, then you’re not pushing yourself to get better. When you spar with someone better than you, you are voluntarily putting yourself in a position to have your weaknesses exposed to you. How you react, learn, and grow from that is completely up to you. Next time you feel like you got beat up after a sparring session, just remember: there’s so such thing as having a bad day in sparring. It just means you learned a lot.
-Tiffany Van Soest
Elite Training Center
1628 South Pacific Coast Highway,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277