This was a boxing session run by Rocky and there were only six of us today. It was a much more structured session than normal but I think I liked it that way. Instead of just being full sparring rounds, sometimes we mixed in rounds where we could only jab or one person was only attacking and one person was only defending.
I can’t quite remember what the jab-only rounds allowed us to focus on at this point (2 days later). The attack-and-defense-only rounds allowed us to focus on finding openings and landing precise hits if we were attacking. Defending obviously allowed us to focus entirely on making sure we could not be hit cleanly while encouraging us to think of creative ways to prevent our opponent from hitting us.
Some noteworthy methods of defense were the following:
- dodging + moving (bread and butter what we are taught)
- moving into the pocket, grappling and “throwing”
- a long guard, where your arms are outstretched and your aim is to control your opponents hands
- standard parrying with an emphasis on blocking with the elbows
Creative attacking wasn’t touched on much, or rather I did not absorb much there.
Plugging this here, but also if I get rocked by an attack then I need to step back and recalibrate instead of going back in immediately.
The other thing that Rocky emphasized to me was that I need to focus on staying calm. I’ve got too much nervous energy and the habits I had when I began kickboxing came back in full force during sparring. Those are:
- jumping around too much
- shoulders high and tight
- not breathing while punching
I need to focus on staying calm and remember that I come out to have fun. The last piece was strange to hear at the time, since I do have fun when I come out. I guess it also means that being a nervous, jumpy wreck gives off the impression that that’s how I’m feeling and not that it’s just something happening involuntarily.
Denis and I talked a little after the session. Apparently it’s normal to have these nervous bouts. I’ll get over it with time and it’s not something to be discouraged about. I believe him, and will continue to attend the sparring sessions. However, I did pass on today’s (2021-01-03) kickboxing sparring session because I felt I had too much to think about and I wouldn’t have had fun there while stressing about other life stuff.
- I need to focus on staying calm during the rounds
- When the opponent gets good hits in, focus on safe recovery first before stepping back in to hit back
- the long guard is a cool defensive stance
- it’s normal to be nervous at first, and it’ll go away with accumulated sparring time.