Tag Archives for " sparring "

September 18, 2013

Are students required to spar?

Often times people who are thinking about joining a martial arts program wonder if they will be required to spar.  For a lot of people who have never trained in one of our styles this is a big question on their mind and today we will talk a bit about sparring at Scranton MMA. Many people are not quite sure what sparring is or how to do it.  They are worried that they might get injured or that the might accidentally injure someone else. Other new students are worried that they might not be in good enough shape to start sparring.

First to answer some of the more common questions that come up on this topic like:

  • Will I have to fight on my first day?
  • Do I have to spar with the instructor my first class?
  • Am I going to get punched in the face?

To make this simple the answer to all of the above questions are NO, NO and NO.  First we want you to realize that you will not spar your first day of class if you are a beginner and no one is going to punch you in the face.

After training hundreds and hundreds of new students we have a great system in place that helps beginners get started and ease them into the training process.  We have beginner only classes were the instructor(s) are focused solely on teaching the basic fundamental  techniques and skills.  There is no sparring in this class at all.  Students instead will first learn the basic positions that occur in self defense situations, competitions and sparring.  We go over all the positions and transitions from one position to another and then the most common submissions from each position.

This provides the student with the knowledge and ability to safely train from each of these positions and have an understanding of each position in a safe and controlled environment.  Then in a slow and deliberate manner we can start to increase the speed and intensity of the drills in the beginner class.  This slow steady increase is what sets up our beginner students for success.  With this gradual increase over time it is very easy for most of our beginner students to start sparring and when they do they normally have a great time as well.

Still some of our students prefer not to spar for one reason or another.  We have boxing students who will just drill and train and never do live sparring, we have Judo students who will learn the throws and practice them but not spar and we have Gracie Jiu Jitsu students who also prefer not to spar.  This is fine.  If that is what is best for the student then we will do everything we can to help them learn and progress as much as possible with out sparring.

If sparring or the fear of sparring is an issue for you please just talk to your instructor and we will work with you to create a plan that will work best for you.