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