When it comes to Martial Arts (not just in Muay Thai, sparring isn’t exactly that much of a necessity. In fact, it’s more of a choice than an obligation. Anyone is free to choose whether or not they’d like to participate in the sparring sessions. But, if you’re smart, you should know what’s good for you.
Sparring is one of the most important aspects of training in any combat sport. And, for those who want to improve their skills and technique even further, sparring is highly recommended!
In Muay Thai, regularly sparring with different parts helps improve an individual’s personal conditioning, timing, and technical development.
Unfortunately, before you think of sparring anytime soon, there are a few things that you’ll want to keep in mind first.
Namely, the following:
- Sparring should only be done by individuals who’ve had months of training, or if possible, even longer.
- Beginners who want to try their hands in sparring sessions should always be supervised by a coach or instructor until such a time when they no longer need such supervision.
If you were to incorporate sparring sessions often into your training regimen, you’d have a clear assessment of where you are with your Muay Thai. This is partly because of the difference between you and your partner, as well as how different practicing with a real person is as opposed to shadow boxing, or doing various drills.
An important thing that fighters can pick up during sparring is how different techniques can work for them, and more importantly, how to executive such techniques. While shadow boxing still does help in that regard, again, the presence of a real person helps make it easier to decide which combinations are much more plausible and which are not.
Timing is also something that one can continuously work on during sparring sessions. Even if it’s done at half speed, it is still encouraged to “fight” with each other with the intent of trying to take the other down.
With such emphasis, it’s easier to practice how to time strikes right and more importantly, how to time one’s breathing, which is an important part of developing some sort of rhythm while in an actual fight.
Remember, though, that sparring wasn’t built so that fighters can find out who the best in the gym is. No, rather, sparring is for those who are training together in a gym can “bond” and develop their own abilities with the help of each other.
Accomplished fighters know the importance of sparring and try to spar as often as is allowed by their training regimen.
If you plan on taking up Muay Thai seriously, you should prepare yourself for sparring sessions. Sure, it may take quite some time to adjust to the slowed pace of it all, and how you’re not supposed to aim to take the other guy down, but it will help you prepare for the real thing.
If you spar often and spar properly, you won’t have to adjust as much in real matches and that is where you’ll notice how vastly you’ve improved thanks to all your sparring sessions.