In martial arts, students and practitioners practice more than just punching bags or kicking kick pads. Sometimes, it’s hard to be in the field while “sparring” with your partner because it’s entirely different from technique, mainly because of how many strikes you’re taking. When you “spar” with someone, either your friend or partner, you are pretty much practicing technique on an actual person. It’s a simulator for a real fight, without landing serious blows. At times, your punches will gain momentum, which is usually harder and faster than a regular hook or jab. It’s very hard to counter these even for myself.
During my career and experiences for kick boxing, I learned several important factors for sparring. I’m still adapting but these are some very basic techniques that can help improve sparring rounds.
Knowing where your opponent will strike you and reaction time is very important. Always keep your hands up. Even now, I tend to forget to put my hands up every time I go in for a jab, hook, or a body shot. When I engage, I get hit in the face for not covering it. This is key for reaction and knowing where your opponent will hit. If you have quick reaction time and you do not cover your face, your partner can high or middle kick the area that isn’t covered. It takes time to understand how your sparring partner will hit. Over a series of adept training, you will adapt to knowing where he or she will hit. It all comes to instincts to build up on technique.
Push kicks: You would want to push kick every time your partner will charge at you. Make sure you do not do it constantly and predictably because they might lock your push kick and trip you. Another technique to counter a charge could be pivoting your body to avoid it. You could finish off with a hook and a kick as well.
Keeping your distance: When you keep your distance, you can set up yourself for strong elbows, overhead punches, or kicks. Keeping your distance can provide more space in between your opponent and better timing within your strikes.