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Old 05-11-2017, 12:00 AM #1
mkmona04 mkmona04 is offline
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Default First Time Sparring-Totally Humiliated

OK- i am an idiot for even trying this at age 52, but i did it. started training at the gym about 7 or 8 months ago. mostly from youtube videos cus the owner of the gym isn't really interested with investing his time with a 52 year old man. so i got my jab and cross down OK on the heavy bag. learned how to parry in the ring. HTEHN TODAY - I sparred for the first time. Totally humiliating. Felt like the only thing i could do to block the punches was clam up by holding my gloves in front of my face as i tried to unsuccessfully back away. could barely get any connects on my jabs and was physically exhausted very quickly despite being able to run and jump rope with no problems. this experience of performing so poorly is really messing with my head.

I realllly want to learn how to defend myself but just do not know if i can do this again given my utter incompetence and humiliation.
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:59 AM #2
jaded jaded is online now
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It's humiliating for everyone the first time...and you are not at all prepared for it but kudos for trying...but if you want to take it any further you need a trainer who will work with you otherwise just try to have fun with it . Any exercise is better than no exercise...but you need to be brought along like a child if you really want to make any progress. It's really hard and demanding when your young...and when you're not so young...well.
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Old 05-11-2017, 02:45 AM #3
Richard P Richard P is offline
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It is normal, everyone looks slick on the bag and then in the ring it's different.
You got so tired because you are tense, completely normal, it saps energy in the muscles, try to relax, drop your shoulders, then your punches will be faster and with better technique.

It is also mentally exhausting, hitting the bag or pads and your brain doesn't need to work as fast as when the punches are coming back. A lot of pad work and you already know the drill or combo as your trainer has called it out so you are sort of on auto pilot

With some other guys in your gym work on some sparring games, for newbies we we often do...
Straights only
4 for 4 so one side can not throw until the other side has thrown 4 (vice versa)
Straights with 3 rear hands (basically jabbing and you only have 3 big power punches in the round) once you use all 3 you can only jab - use it when you mean it

The more you spa the better and more relaxed it feels, remember sparring isn't about being top boy and landing every punch. I often say to myself mid round 'OK, slip, shoulder roll everything for next 20 secs' or (despite temptation and an open shot) 'counter and pull only for my next 3 punches' it gives us time to practice what we can.

Sometimes we get roughed up in sparring, if your facing a bit of a brawler sometimes you fight fire with fire and brawl bag

Don't worry
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:55 AM #4
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You need perseverance to become competent at boxing.

Just learn something from the experience and try to get better for next time. That's a process you will have to repeat over and over again if you ever hope to get good.

It's a basic law of the gym. And of life, if you think about it.

Last edited by ShoulderRoll; 05-11-2017 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 05-11-2017, 09:59 AM #5
AaronJW AaronJW is offline
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I just got humiliated too. But I'll do better next time - I know what my mistakes were!
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Old 05-11-2017, 03:47 PM #6
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What happens to everyone the very first few times sparring is that they're not in a controlled environment and/or they're super nervous. They tense up and with heavy breathing, getting tired quickly is bound to happen in the very first round.

You cannot imagine how mental boxing really is. Being calm makes a huge difference, and that calmness and confidence comes with time.

I hate when gyms throw guys in there and just let them box with no purpose other than to survive. In my gym we always do controlled sparring with new people. We like teaching along the way, like stopping after someone land something good to explain what happened and how to avoid it or how to react if it does happen again. That way their first experiences aren't horrible. They will eventually get into some good exchanges in rounds with no interruptions but only after a few sessions when we know they're ready for the next step.

Beginners must approach sparring as a way to help each other out, not to beat the sh*t out of each other senseless, there's no pride in beating on a beginner.
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Old 05-11-2017, 03:59 PM #7
Ray Corso Ray Corso is offline
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Spar someone with alot of experience and someone with none!
If your trainer isn't an accomplished "teacher" you won't be a good student! Garbage teachers produce weak students.

With the experience boxer you work on your offense, balance, footwork, combinations, moving while jabbing the basics!

With the novice guy you work on your defense. Footwork, head movement, perring, covering etc..............

Go slowly and make it controlled and purposeful.
Any one who throws novice guys in the ring without a plan is a fool and a garbage trainer.
i trained boxers for 50 years, I was taught by some of the greatest fighters that ever lived. I know what I'm talking about!

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Old 05-11-2017, 05:58 PM #8
b morph b morph is offline
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Everyone's first time out is rough. I know mine was. Most guys who get embarrassed or outclassed their first time out end up quitting on the spot and never coming back. Don't be that guy. I want you to go back. That shows perseverance.

Age doesn't matter as much as you think. I've seen several guys in their 40's and 50's go hard in the gym. It's a mindset more than anything really.
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:26 AM #9
Rovi Rovi is offline
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Mister it's totally normal, otherwise I would think you were daydreaming.
Everyone gets humiliated and considers quitting the sport after their early sparring sessions and most of them quit right after it. You must've felt like everything you practiced was wrong, like everyone. And stress and not breathing when punching tires us in a minute and brings fatigue. (i used to run for 40 mins, 5 rounds rope but still get breathless in 3 mins). Relax like B. Hopkins.
Keep sparring but try it: tell him, 1st round only jabs are allowed, 2nd round jabs and low jabs allowed, 3rd add the rights.
Sparr like that bcz a drowning one cannot learn how to swim. When only jabs are allowed you know what to expect and practice it, it's a perfect method they taught me.
And make sure your stance is OK, otherwise the right wont land.

Last edited by Rovi; 05-12-2017 at 01:28 AM.
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