Sparring Tips

By Greg Shraiman

Sparring is “practice fighting” to improve your skills and techniques as a martial artist. Sparring should always be supervised to avoid getting hurt. Protective gear is highly recommended at all times. Protective gear includes: headgear, mouth guard, gloves, chest protectors (female), groin protector (male), shin guards, and foot guards. If you are a beginner, here are some tips to help you get better at sparring:

Just Relax

It’s important to relax. The more relaxed you are the faster your strikes and kicks will be. If your body is tense during sparring, your body will get tired quicker and your response time will be slower.


Mobility is one of the best ways not to get hit and it tire out your opponent. The more you move the harder the target you will become. Be light on your feet, change your movement constantly and try not to use the same pattern.

3 Important Things To Change

use line or circle movements depending on the situation. Attack from different angles. Defending and attacking in the same direction makes you predictable.


change your speed between strikes. By changing the pattern of the attack and any little hesitations before striking, you will force your opponent to move to the position you want them to be.


consistently striking to the same target over and over will make it easy for your opponent to predict your next move. By changing the level of your attacks you can set up your opponent for you next combination.

Sparring is like a chess game. You have to think a few steps ahead.

Inhale and Exhale

It’s easy to forget to breathe while sparring. You’re thinking about your moves, blocking a kick, evading a punch, but what you don’t think about is breathing. You probably remembered to inhale before dodging your opponent’s attacks, but what about breathing out? Oxygen to your brain is crucial for your brain to function. Therefore, learning breathing techniques will help you think better during sparring.

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