- The Dojo Staff
Why is Sparring an Important Part of Training?
Updated: Oct 29, 2021
Sparring is the lifeblood of many martial arts programs. Not only is it your chance to apply what you've learned in practice, but it can also track your progress and pinpoint the areas you need to improve.
To be a better martial artist, you need courage, practice, and discipline. As long as you aren't giving up, your techniques will get better and better each day. Sparring in an appropriate way is an effective tool to assure that progress.
Apply and Actualize
During practice and training sessions, you will make mistakes, and that requires an adjustment that leads to improvement. But during sparring, you get to apply and experience the lessons you learn in other aspects of training. For some, the experience that comes from sparring helps solidify what they learn, and for others, it's the difference between understanding and not.
Sparring is intended to teach both you and your partner. It forces you to use all of your skills and practice things like control, focus, speed, agility, and much more.
Familiarize and Spot your Weaknesses
Sparring helps you familiarize the unique situation of the fight you are in. You are also training your mental well-being as you focus and act strategically. This allows you to observe what your weaknesses are and skills that should be practiced more.
Since sparring can be with anyone or with different partners, you get to observe other skills they have that you don’t and learn about your strengths that should be refined.
Be Mentally Prepared
Perhaps you already have a good idea of how to defend yourself, but you're not sure if you'll be able to use your skills when it matters the most.
You might be an awesome martial artist during practices and outside training but are you 100% sure that you’ll be able to apply those skills during an actual match? Hesitancy is mental, and sparring can help with this. This can help you prepare for competition or combat by immersing yourself in a variety of scenarios. Practice focus, apply techniques, and prepare your mind to set a game plan during the fight.
Conditioning your Body
Just like any sport, exercising beforehand is key to prep your body before doing something. In martial arts, conditioning your body helps you prepare for a fight or competition. Strength and conditioning help support muscles, evening out muscle imbalances, increase mobility, correct posture, stabilize joints, and so much more.
After you've spent countless hours in the gym honing your technique and skills, prepared your mind and body, and familiarized your strengths and weakness, you are now ready to take your martial arts training to the next level.
“If you want to learn to swim jump into the water. On dry land, no frame of mind is ever going to help you.” - Bruce Lee