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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.
_________________________
My Politically Incorrect Blog www.KickPunchSlap.com

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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
_________________________
do not try to spork the post, for that is impossible, only realize there is no post to spork

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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.
_________________________
"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: 10813
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.
_________________________
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da
Vinci

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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: 10813
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...
_________________________
its not supposed to make sense

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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?
_________________________
My Politically Incorrect Blog www.KickPunchSlap.com

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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!
Prolific

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.
_________________________
"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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