Have you found yourself wondering how often you should be sparring? Maybe your trainer has suggested some sparring and you want to know more about it and how often you should do it?
Or are you curious and want to know more? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you!
We know that sparring can be a tricky topic to tackle! Many of us can find ourselves overwhelmed by the thought of it, unsure how often we should be sparring or if there are any real benefits to it.
And with so much conflicting information out there, you can find yourself unsure where to turn!
Well, no more! Today we are here with the answers for you. Just keep reading to find out how often you should spar and everything else you need to know about it!
What Is Sparring?
Before we dive into today’s article, let’s have a quick recap for those in the room that need it! Sparring is a part of training that we see in most combat sports.
Sparring has a few variations, but we can essentially consider it as free-form fighting, where there are rules put in place to minimize injuries to both parties.
Sparring is a great way for you and your opponent to test and refine any techniques you have been learning during your recent training. It is also a good way to practice these moves in a safe and controlled setting.
Although there isn’t a routine to follow, you can practice techniques before your next fight, or use sparring as a way to run through unsuccessful plays to see what went wrong and how you can improve them ahead of your next flight.
Sparring has a slightly different purpose for each fighter, but you can bet every professional or successful fighter spars regularly to keep their game fresh!
It also helps you get some fitness into your training too, and can be incorporated into any cardio training too!
Are There Benefits To Sparring?
Now that we have established what sparring is, you might be wondering what its benefits are, or even if there are any benefits! So let’s quickly take a look at some benefits of sparring today!
We’ve compiled a quick list of its benefits below, so check them out now!
Sparring Improves Your Confidence
Whether you are sparring for an upcoming competition or learning some self-defense moves, sparring can help to boost your confidence!
It provides you with access to one-on-one combat, helping you feel less nervous or freeze when you find yourself in a one-on-one situation next!
Sparring regularly will help your confidence with your moves grow so that when you take your actions into the ring or defend yourself, you will feel more confident!
Not only will you know what you are doing, but the sparring will have taught you how to better react to an opponent, reducing your worries surrounding the uncertainty of a fight and what your opponent might do.
It Provides You With Real-World Experience
Sparring is the closest thing you will get to a real-world experience of a fight, without being in one! It’s an excellent way to prepare for your first fight, or just to practice in between fights!
For many people that have never fought before, sparring can be an eye-opening experience, showing them what to expect when they step into the ring. Imagine how blind-sided you would be if you didn’t spar before a fight!
Sparring also provides a safe environment for you to experience a real-world fight without putting you in any danger.
Your sparring partner isn’t going to hurt you or let you hurt yourself, and is far more likely to pause the spar than your opponent would in a fight if you need a break.
Sparring Makes You Better
Sparring gives you a fantastic experience in your chosen martial art and helps you to hone your technique. And the more you do it, the better you will be! We all know that practice makes perfect, and sparring is no exception!
The more time you spend practicing your technique, the more refined it will be.
And with sparring, you can expect immediate feedback from your sparring partner too! They can offer any feedback or tips that you might need to improve your technique, ensuring that you are the best you can be before you enter the ring!
Regular sparring also teaches you how to react to an opponent. You will have a controlled environment where you can put the techniques you have learned into practice and learn when to use them!
Often, you won’t know how to react to a situation until you are thrown into it. Sparring does this, but without the pressure of an actual fight. You can learn how to deal with situations in a controlled way that is only going to improve your technique!
How Often Should I Spar?
So how often should you spar? Well, this will all depend on your training schedule and what you need to get from sparring.
So if you have a fight coming up, you might spar a few times a week beforehand, to practice your technique and hone any new skills you have picked up.
If you don’t have a fight coming up and are training simply to keep your fitness up, you might only spar once to twice a week to engage in some real-world experience or to practice some self-defense.
We think a good rule of thumb to follow is to consider how often you train every week. At least one of these sessions should include sparring, but if there is a fight coming up, you should increase this to two or three sparring sessions.
So, if you are training three times a week, one of these sessions should include some sparring.
Now, everyone is different, so you will want to speak to your trainer and come up with a sparring routine that works best for you. You must be sparring often enough to practice your techniques, especially if you have a fight coming up.
And there you have it! How often you should spar will depend on how often you train and if you have a fight coming up that you want to prepare for!
The more sparring you do, the more experience you have that is sure to help you in a fight. Whether you are training for a fight or to learn some self-defense techniques, sparring is an excellent tool and one everyone should utilize!