Sparring is an essential aspect of martial arts training that provides a range of benefits to practitioners. Through sparring, martial artists can refine their techniques, improve their timing and distance control, and develop their mental and physical stamina. Moreover, sparring is a fun and challenging way to apply the techniques learned in training, and it prepares martial artists for real-world self-defense situations. In this essay, I will discuss the importance of sparring in martial arts and provide examples of striking combinations that can be used during sparring. Read more
Hi so congratulations if you’re reading this then you have taken the first step in your martial arts journey (or your continuation) and you’re coming down to a class!
Each session we generally follow the same format. Some more traditional clubs you might spend a lot of time in training before you make any contact (potentially even years!) but we like our members to start training with contact as early as possible and this will begin on your first class as people don’t have always have time to spend months in prep before we learn to defend ourselves.
In our classes you will immediately begin learning how to throw punches, kicks and how to grapple and will learn how to defend against the most common attacks based on UK statistics.
Each class starts with a warm up and joint mobilisation/active stretch followed by 6 or 7 minutes of conditioning exercises.
Here is an example – this one based purely on bodyweight exercises – although often these warm ups will also use some element of striking.
30 seconds of burpees
30 seconds of situps
Repeated for 6 minutes
Now because this is time based, it means if you are new to fitness maybe you can only do 5 burpees and 10 situps in each 30 second period. Thats fine, someone fitter may be doing double that, but because its time based it means different fitness levels can train at the same time 🙂
Following this we always work on our striking. It is very rare you will see an assault or street fight where no one throws a punch or kick. In recent research we found this as high as 100% in fact we struggled to find fights where there weren’t any! So every class begins with striking. This will be a mix of Muay Thai, Boxing and MMA Striking but also working on street specific striking which includes strikes illegal in sports such as headbutts and groin kicks and ground and pound. Striking will include how to defend against these strikes as well as how to use them to defend yourself. This section will often be pad or gloved based and will include sparring for intermediate and advanced students.
After this we will often work an aspect of grappling, or weapons or a specific scenario. Or a combination of all of the above.
Grappling will for example, cover what to do if someone has mounted you in a fight. This is a very common position, one of the 12 most common things likely to happen to you in a fight. An attacker mounted on your chest trying to punch you, how to reverse this and also how to do this yourself in a fight should you need to.
How to defend yourself against common weapons used in fights. For example, your partner in this class may be armed with a foam bat. You will learn how to defend against an attack with a baseball bat and will then take it in turns attacking and defending against your partner with this defence. Of course as with everything we encourage beginners to go light and to build up to a pace where you feel confident but our aim is always to be able to do this against full power and aggression as this will be what you will be up against in real life!
In most classes we will perform some sort of pressure test against a non compliant partner so you can see how well you perform under pressure. This may be sparring, grappling, or in the form of an adrenalised test against multiple attackers using striking shields so you can start getting used to performing under duress. These can last anywhere from 60 seconds to several minutes.
Our aim is to prepare you for a real world attack, to get fitter and develop appropriate muscle memory and technique so that you have the skills to defend yourself or your family should you need to. This is not necessarily an easy thing to do but we find it is very enjoyable and rewarding. A great way to vent after a long day and a great way to develop fitness and positive attitudes and confidence.
Everyone in the class is friendly and approachable and you can sit out of anything you don’t feel comfortable doing until your skill and confidence grow. We are here to help you with that and please feel free to ask any questions before, during or after your class.
See you in training!
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