Sparring is considered a form of martial arts, with many variations. It is basically a “free-fight,” where the people involved decide on rules that will keep either of them from getting seriously injured. A sparring partner of equal or near equal skill is a good thing for the best spar. Sparring with someone that is above your skill can get frustrating while someone below your skill can bore you or even dull your abilities. Thus, a sparring partner at your skill level will both be fun and supplementary to your abilities.
Your First Sparring Partner
Sparring has been a great past time of my own, and even up to this day, I still spar quite regularly. Having a sparring partner that is at the same skill level of your own is something that I learned when I first started sparring with my friends in middle/elementary school. My best friend, who was at the time 2 years older than me, had much more experience than I, resulting in me coming out of the spar with more bruises than him.
My first sparring partner taught me much about sparring. Though not directly, he taught me that alertness is the key to becoming good at sparring. This is mainly because his eyes were always locked onto my hands, every motion I made, he’d be able to counter. Every opening I left, he’d use. I learned from this that concentration and alertness is the most important technique alongside balance and agility. Going into high school, sadly enough, he moved away, leaving me without a sparring partner.
In general, your first sparring partner will help you learn the technique of sparring through determination. It may seem somewhat overly serious, but to become good at sparring, it takes focus on yourself and controlling your motions.
Girls Are Great Sparring Partners
My second sparring partner, who still spars with me quite often nowadays, was a girl by the name of Ashley. Of course at the time I was still the kind of guy that was under the impression that girls couldn’t possibly fight/spar. So it surprised me very much when she challenged me to a sparring match after school when I was bragging to my friends about my sparring skills, especially with the staff. My specialty was wooden swords and staffs, though I did have some skill with real swords, I had never actually sparred with real swords.
That afternoon, right when school got out, I quickly ran home to grab two of my staffs, and then quickly ran over to her house. For some reason I couldn’t stop thinking about my best friend (first sparring partner) from a year back who always told me never to underestimate your opponent. This made me somewhat laugh as I reached her backyard, thinking that I’d go easy on her and just tire her out and not actually hit her.
Once into her backyard, I saw that she had her own staff and all ready to go. The demeanor about her was different from what I always saw in school. While in school she was always shy, and hanging out with her friends all the time like anyone would. At that moment though, she seemed so real and vibrant as she swiftly came at me. I was lucky enough to jump off to the side and get into position.
At first, I went on to the defense soon realizing however that she kept gaining ground on me. At this point, I went into an offensive position pushing her back more and more. The determination in her eyes got me in the end. I couldn’t keep myself from watching her eyes and realized my mistake as she made a sweep for my legs. I could have easily blocked, but got locked into the determination that she had in her eyes. I went down hard and with a resounding thud onto the ground. At this time, I finally understood sparring. While my first sparring partner taught me the techniques and mind set it takes, Ashley taught me the passion of sparring and connecting with your sparring partner. Once you reach a point where you are well acclimated at sparring, and or have a new sparring partner, focusing on the other persons movements becomes important.
The Perfect Sparring Partner
The perfect sparring partner would be someone of the same skill level if not slightly more skilled. Someone that you can then connect with and understand is key to a good sparring partner. For beginners, the perfect sparring partner would be someone who spars somewhat well, and can get you determined to become good at sparring. Once you reach a point where sparring becomes natural, the perfect partner is someone that you can connect with.
In a way the perfect sparring partner is like a relationship, someone that you become one with and feel fully and completely apart of. With each blow, energy rushes into you seemingly from nowhere. This connection is indescribable, unlike any other. While a relationship is indescribable in its own way, the connection you get with your sparring partner is one of complete passion and understanding. The closest way I could possibly get to describing it would be loyalty along with passion intertwined.
Determination, passion and loyalty culminate the best people there can ever be. ~~~ cameron101