Sunday, August 10, 2008

My first MMA sparring

I finally got a taste of the what MMA sparring is like on Wed. And it was nothing like what I imagined it would be!

After another class featuring more takedowns from the clinch, we move on to some light sparring covering standup, clinch and ground aka MMA. I've done sparring before during my Karate days and Boxing lessons but none in a proper MMA format.

Things I learned from my first MMA sparring:

1. You can tire easily especially when you clinch or grapple too much. OK I admit, I'm as fit as pig trying to do horse jumping.

2. Be careful when kicking because it compromise your balance. Don't let your opponent trap or catch your leg. Anderson Silva vs James Irvin comes to mind.

3. Keep the defense tight. Do not neglect defense in favour of an offensive game. Do not engage openly if you are exhausted. Slither away to catch your breath. I failed to learn this the umpteenth time and guess I need some hard knocks to be reminded of this.

4. Setup for kicks or takedowns. Do not blindly rush in or you'll eat many nasty shots.

5. It's real hard to defend strikes when you are in the bottom. See my post on Ground and Pound.

6. Focus on my strengths and do not try too many things at once. This is probably more applicable in a real match because it's only through sparring you can discover what works best for you. So it's ok to try out whatever you've learned. Sparring is also the best way to discover one's strengths and weaknesses.

7. Despite learning maybe 4-5 throws/takedowns from the clinch, I didn't get to make it work during sparring. Guess I just need to put in more mat time.

Looking forward to the next sparring sessions.

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