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#416952 - 03/12/09 04:54 PM What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like?
Nasri Offline
Stranger

Registered: 03/12/09
Posts: 4
I posted this on my blog

I was 11. A fresh orange belt (that's the second belt btw, just after white). In fact it was the very day i received my orange belt. I got at an 'A-' for my grading, top of the class. Of course, i was feeling awesome.

I felt even more awesome when my instructor started a sparring session at the end of the class.
He asked for volunteers, and needless to say, i was waving my hand in the sky as if he just asked if anyone wanted a million bucks. But of course, smiling, he purposely ignored my frantic waves a few times as he let a few of the other guys go first. He was making me wait longer. Making me more excited and impatient, and he did it deliberately. The sick b*st*rd. =P When i finally got chosen, i tell you i was smiling so hard my cheeks still hurt today. Then he chose my opponent.

I remember him clearly. His name was Rahman. Slim build, dark skin. He was a white belt. But - i think he was 18, and he was about 3-4 heads taller than me. I didn't care. I just wanted to spar. Wanted to prove myself. Wanted to kick and punch. And that's what i did.

I kicked and punched. A lot. I was really trying to hit him, but i was so much smaller i barely hit him at all and he just kept evading my attacks. I got frustrated and attacked even more aggressively, closing in ever so slightly. A few weak hits here and there, but nothing significant. I kept getting more and more aggressive with every failed attempt.

Until he punched me.

I tried to stay standing for a few seconds, tried to fight the pain, but i dropped to the floor on all fours (understand that at that point in my martial arts training, i was full of pride, so i had the mentality that i wouldn't go down unless i was dead - and man did it feel like i was dying) I couldn't breathe, my body felt limp and weak, and the core of my torso hurt like hell. Immediately my instructor got someone ta help me up and lifted me up, off the ground, back to back, expanding my chest. It felt weird, being carried like that. But i wasn't complaining cos it was really helping with the pain.

He had punched me in the solar plexus. I don't know if it was intentional or just a fluke, because as far as i can remember, that was the only strike he executed during the bout. All i know is that it happened. And up till then, although i had read martial arts books and articles about how the solar plexus was a weak spot, i never knew just how weak. Now i got it.

When the pain had dissipated slightly, and i could breathe a lil bit more, i immediately took my place on the floor again, facing him in my stance. I wanted to keep going. But instead my instructor gave the command for the bout to end. My pleas of "i want to keep going" and "i'm ok" didn't work. I was extremely frustrated, like watching the first quarter of a Bruce Lee movie and being rudely interrupted by someone else changing the channel. I felt like exceedingly restless, like there was a job to do and i hadn't completed it. And i never got to complete it.

Rahman never came back for training. Did he feel guilty for hurting me? Or was he just caught up with school or work? I can't help but feel that it was guilt. And i can't help but feel sorry for that young man who stopped training because his heart was so big that he couldn't stand the thought that he had knocked an 11-year-old down.

I trained even harder from that day onwards, because i wanted to win, and to never be knocked down like that again.

I train even harder - in honour of Rahman, his sense of honour, love and duty, and all the other martial artists i've been blessed enough to know thus far.
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#416953 - 03/12/09 06:44 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: Nasri]
karl314285 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 326
Loc: The Matrix, Serif is Teacher
Hi,
sorry for off topic, I'll give you fuzzy memories of 1st later as I dont want to take up too much space

He may have been a kyu ranked student from another school who was polite and wore a white belt in your school.

Your instructor may well have known this and expected good control from such a student.

Stopping the fight was probably wise as he showed a lack of control and this person then was asked not to return in private.

This was not on topic to your question of 'what my first sparring session like', just wanted to point out what the Sensei sees is not what the student sees, or does, sometimes recalcitrant students asked to leave show up to spar and the dojo student may see what I can only call 'sanction w/ prejudice' (not understanding the head of school assigned this task )

-Karl
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#416954 - 03/12/09 07:07 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: karl314285]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
My first sparring session?

My first sparring session came at the end of my very first class of martial arts training. While I would like to think of it as a hard-fought chess match featuring raw physicality that only the young have, in reality, it was more like a couple of school-girls slapping at each other. A lot of ferocious charging followed by the abject terror that comes from "OH SH1T! HE DIDN'T MOVE! WHAT DO I DO NOW?!?!" and "OW! HE HIT ME! I DIDN'T SEE IT! RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!!" .

This was in between long periods of utter stillness, sizing up the valiant opponent ie; underwear-filling fear.

So, my first sparring session can best be described in two words:

Train Wreck.
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"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#416955 - 03/12/09 08:09 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: MattJ]
Glockmeister Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 255
Loc: Lancaster, Pa
I can understand what you are saying Matt, my first sparring session was in full contact kickboxing and I remember both me and my opponent were very nervous. ( he threw up at the end of the round) but I remember getting winded really quick ( I still smoked then) and at one point when he was backing up, he threw a roundhouse kick that hit me square in the nose and I started bleeding like hell. At the end of the first round I was bloody, exhausted, sucking wind, and yep, I felt like a train wreck.

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#416956 - 03/12/09 08:52 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: Glockmeister]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
I was 13 and got kicked in the boys.

So Matt's two words summarize my experience as well.

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#416957 - 03/12/09 10:18 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: JKogas]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
Hmm my first sparring class came after probably 2 weeks of training. Once my brother and I had our complete sparring set which consisted of head, forearm, hands, shins, foot, cup, mouth, and body shield guard. Then we were allowed to spar.

My brother and I stepped out on the floor and basically put on our best wannabe Jean Claude Van Dam demo we could pull off. I would kick, then he would kick, I'd do a combination and he would back away, then vise versa. Quite the show.
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#416958 - 03/13/09 06:49 AM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: TeK9]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
What I remember about early sparring experiences seem to be somewhat universal (at least from what I hear) here my area, anyway. And that was, a tremendous emphasis on kicking with an equally tremendous neglect for punching.

Everyone stayed well out in long range and traded kicks, which is so far removed from reality it's almost shameful.

But that was commonplace in those days, in American martial arts. Judging by what I see in many places local to me...it's changed very little.

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#416959 - 03/14/09 01:56 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: JKogas]
student_of_life Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
i got kicked in the junk and went down like a bad habbit. oh memories...
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#416960 - 03/15/09 03:30 AM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: JKogas]
Nasri Offline
Stranger

Registered: 03/12/09
Posts: 4
Quote:

What I remember about early sparring experiences seem to be somewhat universal (at least from what I hear) here my area, anyway. And that was, a tremendous emphasis on kicking with an equally tremendous neglect for punching.

Everyone stayed well out in long range and traded kicks, which is so far removed from reality it's almost shameful.

But that was commonplace in those days, in American martial arts. Judging by what I see in many places local to me...it's changed very little.




Totally agreed. I feel most students (juniors and seniors) use wayyy too little of their hands. Think it's because they feel safer because of the distance. Punching range = "AAARGH HE'S GONNA KILL ME AND I CAN'T RUN!!!!"

But i also think it's largely because plenty of instructors over-emphasize kick training and too little training in punching..

Any thoughts?
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#416961 - 03/15/09 09:37 AM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: Nasri]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
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Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
I think that's true, but I don't think that it's because people neglect punching per se. People neglect clinch-range, which allows everyone to remain at kicking distance, as opposed to punching distance.
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#416962 - 03/15/09 10:24 AM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: Nasri]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
I think that a majority of people feel intuitively that the closer in they get to an opponent, the more dangerous it becomes. And with good reason. The closer in you get, the more tools your opponent has to hit you with.

Many traditional martial arts instructors like the idea of using the more powerful legs from a distance. But this is one dimensional. It's extremely difficult to maintain this distance in a fight.

Don't get me wrong though, some great counter fighters love to play out in that distance. But committed grapplers with good evasive head movement WILL close that gap and move right into the clinch.

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#416963 - 03/19/09 10:21 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like [Re: JKogas]
Ilove2Hit Offline
Member

Registered: 10/02/08
Posts: 264
Loc: Athens, Greece
the guy thought i am form another dojo and well experienced. i thought "wow this is harsh, but ok, if this is the way it should be..."

still got the scar above my left eye. damn hooks!
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#416964 - 03/24/09 11:41 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like [Re: Ilove2Hit]
clmibb Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 1035
Loc: South Texas, US
My first sparring experience.....hmmmmmm. I was 11 and had been training for about a month (at the time we went only 1X a week so I had maybe 4 classes under my belt) and sparred my instructor (he does this to judge your aggression and to make sure he doesn't pair a very timid kid with an overly aggressive one). It wasn't a bad experience, wasn't hit hard but was popped a few times (not hard) just to get my reaction. Come to think of it, it was pretty uneventful. Typical timid white belt with all the normal fears and awkwardness sparring her instructor for about a minute (seemed like an hour!)

Casey
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#416965 - 04/02/09 11:24 AM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: Nasri]
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
After about 3 weeks training they had me and another guy about the same size/age and inexperience go at it. I "beat" him, but he did split my lip (this was in the bare knuckle days) and blood was trickling down my gi.

So I stayed in and they put a brown belt in with me. But he took me too lightly and I knocked him out with a back kick.

So sensei figures I'm due some kind of lesson and matches me up with an even better fighter who's also 6'5". Intuitively I figure being close to him is safer than at a range where he can kick the snot out of me while being out of reach, so I crowd him. Sensei says to my uke "Knock him down - he doesn't respect you". I'm thinking "Are you kidding? This guy scares the %$*& out of me!". But he didn't hurt me...that time.
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#416966 - 04/03/09 05:28 AM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: Ironfoot]
matt_mcg Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 113
Mine was boxing. I'd been going to the club for a few months - this was a university club - and they put about 10 of us together for our first sparring session. Headguards on, etc.

Literally the first 2 or 3 seconds into my first round my opponent smacked me with what it still one of the hardest hooks I've ever felt, so I backed off a tad dazed and he did it again. I got belted about 6 times with full power shots before the coach stopped the round. I don't remember it being especially painful [although I did have a bruised nose for a few days afterwards] but what I do remember is completely losing the ability to think and move propely after that first shot, and just repeatedly walking into hits.

Also, in retrospect, having done quite a lot of sparring since, the guy wasn't really sparring in the usual sense. He was trying to knock me out and I don't think I was prepared for it.

That sparring session also left me with a bit of a dislike for headguards.

By contrast, my first karate sparring was fairly full-on -- bare knuckles and lots of bruises -- but because there was no head-contact I didn't find it difficult or intimidating.

Savate sparring under assaut rules varies a lot depending who you are sparring. Some people go super-super-light, others pretty heavy [and not always the ones you'd expect]. I've had bruising that's lasted for three weeks from 'light contact' sparring.

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#416967 - 04/03/09 10:26 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: Nasri]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Nasri:

Cannot say, it was too long ago.

Would never have been until I was at least a blue belt (ie beginning-intermediate ranking). Though warm up kicking back and forth certainly felt spooky-scary... (they were all much bigger, far more "worldly", and by far more agressive than I ever became...)

My first session, like I said am certain I got struck cleanly a whole bunch I am sure. Have to think on it maybe I'll remember, but for now guess I've been hit one time too many

My "chin blocks" are P-E-R-F-E-C-T-I-O-N incarnate
Jeff

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#416968 - 04/06/09 08:12 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: Ronin1966]
MattyChi Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 177
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
mine was very similar to matt_mcg's. It was at a university boxing club sparring session with head guards. I was trying to practice good blocking form and footwork with medium counter punches and jabs, but the guy I was up against was clearly out to prove something and was trying to knock me out. He kept smothering me and hitting me with all he had (with little to no form or composure) and I was getting quite battered and bruised, but the hits weren't really bothering me at first. Eventually, though, he punched me hard twice in the nose quite intentionally (since he was trying to hit me anywhere there wasn't the headguard), and I lost my temper and form and pretty much street brawled him into the corner. The coach stopped it pretty quickly. The rest of my times sparring I avoided the kid and boxed against guys I knew were professional and were actually trying to learn something.

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#416969 - 04/06/09 09:03 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: MattyChi]
journeyoflife Offline
Newbie

Registered: 02/26/09
Posts: 8
I played a lot of defense when I first started sparring. I don't know why but I wasn't too confident in striking. I was a really skinny kid so I didn't really think I had much power. Instead, my first spars were mainly me blocking kicks and punches, dodging and evading. If I was grabbed or brought to the ground, I was slippery enough to often get out of holds, but many times that's when I'd also be forced to strike back. I won some and lost some, but I usually ended up a lot less winded than my opponent...because he would be the one doing all of the attacking.

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#416970 - 05/15/09 10:15 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: journeyoflife]
Taison Offline
The Forum Dragon
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 3629
Loc: BKK, Thailand
If I recall from the top of my head, my first sparring in Muay Thai.

Although I'd love to recall it as two world-class champions duking it out much like a Rocky movie with kicks and all but recent conversations with my master has proven me quite wrong. In his own words;

Quote:

You sucked. You didn't do ANYTHING, you just stood there and held your hands near your face and took all the blows. It's a wonder how you could last the first round.




Then I remember vomitting between round 1 and 2 because of nervosity, and then I got knocked out clean in round 2.

To be honest, it was a disaster. MattJ's two words says pretty much it all..

~Donnie
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#416971 - 05/16/09 07:12 AM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: Taison]
Urban_Samurai Offline
Stranger

Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 4
Loc: N.Ireland
I did pretty good on my first sparring session. I was a natural kicker so that got me by, that and a lot of nervous energy. I loved sparring. Still do.
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#416972 - 05/20/09 10:29 AM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: Urban_Samurai]
TheCrab Offline
Scum
Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 467
Loc: QLD Australia
my first proper sparring session in muay thai I went into thinking I was a total badass.

I kept jabbing thinking i was the [censored], got kicked in the leg then uppercutted, took me 30 seconds to let go of my head haha

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#416973 - 05/22/09 06:07 AM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: TheCrab]
Taison Offline
The Forum Dragon
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 3629
Loc: BKK, Thailand
Hahaha

I got knocked out in the same fashion. A leg kick followed with an uppercut.

~Donnie
_________________________
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#416974 - 05/23/09 03:42 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: Taison]
IExcalibui2 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 961
Loc: New York City
my first was something like 4,5 years ago?

one day my Sifu decided to not supervise us and left us to the usual routine. Since he wasnt there I brought up the idea of sparring. So me and my kungfu brotha went at it.

Lots of bridging happening. At the time, I knew a little bit of Muay Thai so I tried to mix it in with my Mantis. Didnt work so well. But his set up moves were always the same so I just caught on and used it against him, landing some light hits to the body (we werent striking the face).

Then somehow he had my back and pushed him against the wall. I tried to pry his hands out and struggled a little. I got a bit wild to loosen up his grip and then I ended up landing a back elbow to his face, which did the trick. But it was accidental and we stopped there haha
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#420802 - 07/12/09 02:40 AM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: IExcalibui2]
ThunderinJoe Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/09
Posts: 33
My first was in boxing. I weighed about 165lbs and got in the ring with my trainer who was 220lbs. To make a long story short I learned I don't like the taste of my own blood. I don't enjoy the ringing in my ears. I needed to move more. I needed to punch more. I need to control my breathing. Generally it was a wake up call. I don't know squat.

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#421031 - 07/23/09 01:37 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: ThunderinJoe]
TheCrab Offline
Scum
Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 467
Loc: QLD Australia
Yeah, whenever you start to think your half decent, hop in the ring with someone a bit bigger than you. instant buzz kill haha

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#427315 - 05/22/10 03:36 AM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: MattJ]
thirdwheel Offline
Stranger

Registered: 05/22/10
Posts: 4
depends what you count when i was young me and my freinds had little fightclubs during recess those where good no one ever really got hurt. then when i was 11 or 12 i tried taekwondo for about a year didnt spar once it was more like a dance class than anything. so ive never spared in a dojo type enviornment but ive been in a couple fights where we where both looking to [censored] the other guy up that ended in us laughing our asses off

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#428175 - 07/08/10 07:45 AM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: thirdwheel]
Phenix_Rider Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/03/10
Posts: 9
My first sparring would have been as a yellow belt (2nd rank), about 6 years ago. The group would have been me, two guys my height, but more muscled, a shorter guy our age (all three a rank or two higher than me), and an older, rounder guy several ranks higher.

I got popped in the face a few times- lots of teering up and head shaking, but no bloody nose. I nailed one of the taller guys in the ear with a hook. The shorter guy stayed well out of range, and the older guy had a nasty side kick which he would shoot straight into my ribs. Overall though, us younger guys did a lot of clean techniques into the air, and dancing away.

I've only been back a month or so- after nearly 4 years off, but I haven't lost too much in sparring or technique from when I left. (much improved from that first night!) I cornered and pummeled several clasmates yesterday LOL. (Light contact and very limited target area) Forms are horrible though...

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#428246 - 07/12/10 12:01 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: MattJ]
VoltMan Offline
Stranger

Registered: 07/12/10
Posts: 1
I started going to boxing with my cousin to lose weight. I was 14 at the time and I had enjoyed the 3 or 4 classes I had attended. On my second week of going i was surprised to hear it was sparring day. Coach decided to put me up against a 30 year old triathlete for 2 minutes.

First 30 seconds were pretty bad but not terrible. He wasn't really coming at me hard and only threw a couple of hits. I got a bit cocky and threw as many one-twos my poor stamina could bear. Landed about 2 proper hits to the guy. Before I knew it I was drained. At 30 seconds I stopped fighting. At 45 seconds I stopped moving. At 1 minute I stopped guarding. The guy ended up throwing everything he knew at me which surprisingly was alot more then my one-twos. Ended up in the corner for the rest of the fight. Can't say it was a pleasant first time but I learned alot from it.

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#428277 - 07/13/10 08:20 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: VoltMan]
SocratesTheBeast Offline
The Powerlifting Beast
Newbie

Registered: 07/13/10
Posts: 10
Loc: Brooklyn (Fort Greene)
To be honest the guys in my class at least, aren't really a challenge, one is out of shape and slow (both physically/mentally), one is old (60+?) and one is a "large" woman, the only one whose a challenge is this Mexican who's just as quick and agressive as me, I do have a story though:

I sparred against the overweight kid, beat him, the old dude kicked me in my nuts...TWICE (by that time I was ready to kick him in his face), but I beat him, then I sparred against a black belt and beat him too, so by that time I'm feeling like the ish till I got matched with ANOTHER black belt, Idk if he did it to show me who was boss or being a dickhead but he kicked me RIGHT in the throat and it hurt like HELL I was coughing and gagging, ever since then I wanted to punch him in his face.

As for real sparring, I came first in my regional tourney, couldn't attend nationals because it was on my sabbath (Saturday).

Here's round 1:

Sparring Round 1

Waiting for my instructor to upload round 2...Been 4 months now...

Learned to humble myself and my pride and to not underestimate everyone since then.


Edited by SocratesTheBeast (07/13/10 09:25 PM)
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#428353 - 07/16/10 04:04 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: SocratesTheBeast]
MadPanda Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/02/10
Posts: 23
Loc: Raleigh, NC
I was scared for sure...I was young and new to taekwondo, they went easy on me luckily and unlike some other posters in this thread I did NOT get kicked in the boys so that was very very good lol
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~ Mohandas Gandhi

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#432336 - 05/08/11 08:11 AM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: MadPanda]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
In my first sparring class we had about 20 people show up, and the instructor had us spar for 90 seconds, then change partners, spar for 90 seconds, change partners, ect...
Every now and then he would have us do 20 pushups or jumping jacks between partners, then back at it.
We were sucking wind.
It was good because switching partners made me have to re-think my strategy on the fly. Even though 90 seconds is a short amount of time, 90 seconds takes a long time when you're sparring.
I did pretty well, and didn't feel intimidated. The higher ranking students that I sparred with pointed out some of my mistakes and took the time to give me pointers, so even though I got clipped a few times, it was a good experience for me.
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#432348 - 05/09/11 12:04 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: choonbee]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Missouri
My first sparring session goes way back to my first week in TKD. I was lucky enough to be matched up with a yellow stripe who thought he was Chuck Norris. He kept telling me he didn't want to hurt me while my pathetic front kicks were pushing him out of the area."Didn't want to hurt me?" He would have to get his kicks above my knees to do any damage.
It was at this point that I learned an important lesson. You're probably not as good as you think you are. Keeping it real is key in progressing in the arts.
That yellow stripe was the first in a long line of fellow students who came and went in my martial journey. If we view our training as "I'm gonna be a bad dude" we probably will lose interest.
That yellow stripe didn't have the proper attitude to stay the course in his training.

Mark

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#432389 - 05/15/11 06:08 PM Re: What Was Your First Ever Sparring Session Like? [Re: gojuman59]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
Originally Posted By: gojuman59
If we view our training as "I'm gonna be a bad dude" we probably will lose interest.


I agree.
That attitude will only get you so far in traditional martial arts, and if someone is training in a traditional program with that goal in mind, then they're training for the wrong reasons.
It seems that the younger students exhibit that attitude more often than the older ones, and they don't stick around very long for the most part.
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