Second Time Sparring. Almost got KO'd

Discussion in 'Boxing' started by u6s68, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. u6s68

    u6s68 Valued Member

    I have been training for about 10 months now and was invited to spar after showing some interest in it during my first couple of weeks.

    I fought 3 2 minute rounds with two dudes and felt, I held my own, and didn't get too badly beaten and even gave them some problems.

    Now there's this huge dude they call protein shake. I fought him and was at one point pressing the action. He seemed to get a little irate and took a few wild swings which I managed to dodge. I managed to jab him in reply but he then side stepped one and I walked into a huge right hook and the power of it send me crashing to the woodwork. For a second I think I blanked out.

    They coach who knows protein shake from work and is a good friend of his dad's asked me if I was okay and I continued to fight. I tried to reply with some big shots of my own despite being a little shaken from the knockdown. But this guy kept on coming at me with big shots despite me asking to do light sparring.

    I shook his hand after and had a laugh, said I was a little embarrassed but the coach just said if you hit him he will hit back. Fair enough but I don't think I was throwing bombs as he didn't have a mark on him. Another dude said I didn't do too badly but I think he was just sugaring the bitter pill of embarrassment.

    I am wondering if I am being soft, or is it normal to be shaken up after a near knockout? This is the second time I have nearly been knocked out. I got kicked in the face at kung fu as a youngster.

    I am sitting here with a fat blood lip, dry blood in my nose and a cloudy head.
  2. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    Where are you boxing?
  3. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    People who havnt sparred much shouldnt be getting knocked down in sparring, either you were throwing bombs or the other guy is an idiot, either way the coach in charge shouldnt be allowing that as a regular occurance.
  4. FunnyBadger

    FunnyBadger I love food :)

    Where I box if a guy goes down during sparring that's usualy his sparring over for that day (unless it's just a slip). With some of the more experienced guys there's some leeway with that but certainly for sparring first timers that would be it.

    Guys shouldn't be getting KOd in training especialy as relative new comers to the amature scene. It was frankly irresponsible for your instructor to let you carry on. If you were asking for him to lighten up and he didn't and the coach didnt stop it then . . . Plenty of warning signs here mate.

    You instructor may well be a great coach and a decent guy but it sounds like he's playing fast and loose with regards to safety and that worries me.

    All that said though fair play for carrying on and trying to bomb him back, takes heart to get up and keep swinging :)
  5. Kave

    Kave Lunatic

    Your coach should have pulled you out of sparring after a knockdown. Unfortunately knockdowns will happen in sparring, but they shouldn't be happening with regularity, and not to beginners. I would be too scared to KO a newbie, my coach would probably teach me a lesson in sparring if I did that.

    It doesn't have to be a huge shot to knock you down, particularly if you walked into it. That being said, as a beginner people should be taking it easy on you. It's important to note that in sparring most people tend to let the less experienced person set the level of contact. If you are throwing punches with speed and intent you should expect your partner to reciprocate.

    When I spar with newbies I always work my b game and also don't hit too hard (and often let them get a few shots in), but honestly some newbies are a real nuisance. Some people get into a sparring situation and try to make up for their lack of skill by using a lot of power. If someone is chucking bombs at you then it affects how you can fight back, and can put both people in a dangerous situation.

    As a newbie you should be focusing on basic footwork, your guard, and your jab. Focusing on staying tight and keeping yourself protected. As you get more experienced you can start to loosen up, but as a beginner you should be focused mainly on learning to keep yourself safe. Don't worry about smashing your opponent, just focus on trying to get into positions where you can hit your opponent while keeping yourself safe.
  6. u6s68

    u6s68 Valued Member

    I think the fact that my momentum walking into the hook made it look like I slipped but I thought the fat lip would have evidenced it had progressed beyond light sparring. I pulled all of my punches and never once loaded up. The other guy didn't load up with this hook to be fair.

    My previous experience of almost being KO'd has made me wonder if I have a poor chin that doesn't hold up to harder shots.

    I think the fact that I was hitting him with a few combos was irritating him and he turned up his power. These things happen I guess but I totally agree with you guys who don't spar or fight regularly should not be getting knocked down.
  7. u6s68

    u6s68 Valued Member

    I was making a conscious effort not to land shots too hard. I was moving in and out quickly and trying to throw lots of light shots quickly. It all felt very awkward and my technique must have been poor to watch. On the plus side I think at distance I was able to block the jab well. But I have always watched boxers and I know this guy's technique is not the best. He sometimes drops his hands and comes in straight without working the angles.

    Head is now clear.
  8. Kave

    Kave Lunatic

    Fat lips are fairly expected, as is a bit of blood in the nose, neither of which would be considered indicative of anything above a reasonable level of contact. To be honest, a light slap with a boxing glove can make your nose bleed if it hits you right. Getting knocked down is much less acceptable. I had to spar a guy from another gym who fought like he had something to prove and he rocked me a few times, although he didn't knock me down my coach forced me to sit out the rest of the sparring that day. If you get accidentally KOed in training then you get stood down from sparring for a while. I wouldn't worry about getting used to the taste of your own blood, but if knockdowns are a regular and acceptable part of sparring in your gym then I would be concerned.
  9. u6s68

    u6s68 Valued Member

    Good advice guys. Cheers.
  10. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    It was your second time sparring. I'm willing to bet you were hitting harder than you thought you were. Most inexperienced students don't think their punches are doing anything because they can't feel anything through the gloves, so they tend to hit harder.

    It's hard to judge a scenario like this without being there to see it but I doubt any good coach would just let a big guy knock a newbie to sparring down and not reprimand him in some way without a really good reason for it.

    Maybe you should ask him what that reason was so that you can either learn his motives or learn from your mistakes.
  11. u6s68

    u6s68 Valued Member

    That is possible though I didn't feel like I was putting anything into my punches and I usually gas very quickly if I do. It also crossed my mind to punch a lot harder when I got up but I knew things would get ugly so I stuck with my quick touches and concentrated on movement. The coach never said I was going in too aggressively. He did tell the other guy 'steady' a few times.

    I would like to learn from my mistakes but I got no feedback.
  12. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    That's the thing when sparring with decent gloves. You don't tend to feel like you are putting enough behind them punches because gloves cushion the feeling of the impact of the blow.

    On that note, what gloves are you wearing and what weight?

    If there's no feedback for you then just notch it up as one of those things that happens and carry on. Sometimes a coach may just want to see how you react to stuff like this. It is, after all, a full contact sport. If it happens again, then have words but don't let it get to you if it's just a one off.

    It is worth noting however you did state that after he hit you you did try and hit back harder. So obviously the guy isn't going to go light on you if you're ramping it up too. The right thing to do would have been to ask him to tone his power down on the spot if you were uncomfortable with it rather than try and punch at his weight.

    Not trying to justify anyone's actions, just leaving food for thought as I think most people who have sparred full contact will have different experiences that can help you to look at this in a variety of ways.
  13. u6s68

    u6s68 Valued Member

    Well I felt I had to notch it up just to stop an onslaught/reply to going down because of the statement that made. There was a fitness class being taught when I went down and everyone stopped what they were doing and looked quite unnerved because I went through the ropes.

    Anyhow. I may be wrong, but I felt I was scoring more than this guy at times and he was frustrated because he is sort of the most well-respected member of the club because of his closeness to the coach. I don't mean to be disrespectful but his technique isn't the best he come in straight and throws big. Like I say I may well be wrong and as you mention I could have been landing bigger shots than I thought.

    Hypothetically, if a seasoned guy is getting lightly dusted with quick touches from a rookie, and not having much joy themselves, do you think it is acceptable for them to throw a big hook out of frustration?
  14. Dave76

    Dave76 Valued Member

    If a beginner is punching hard the coach and/or partners should be telling them to ease up. For exactly the reasons Unreal is giving, it is hard to tell sometimes how hard you are hitting. Especially while wearing the larger gloves.
  15. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    Frustration, and learning how to deal with it, is a big part of sparring. I can honestly say I have experienced this myself, from both angles. It happens and, under general circumstances, it's not usually a massive issue when it does if both parties can handle it.

    The problem by the sound of it, with both of you, is that you are using your sparring more as a way to get one up on each other. Sparring is not a fight, it is a learning tool. If you treat it as a lesson, instead of trying to make it some form of competition in your head, you will get so much more out of sparring. You both might throw the odd hard shot every now and then, and be aware not every hard shot you receive is necessarily intentional as sometimes you can just walk right into them (people do this a lot with me when I fight out of southpaw then switch into orthodox with a straight jab), but neither of you should be there to smash each others heads in or knock each other out. That totally defeats the object of sparring in the first place.

    I think this is something you will both learn as you both mature a little as fighters. It isn't something that comes to everyone straight away.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  16. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Its quite possible the OP went into the session feeling very good - had a great nights sleep - was in the zone mentally - and provided his sparring opponent, who may've been off that night, with more of a challenge with respects to footwork, timing and so forth than anyone expected.

    "Roid Shake" or whoever sounds a bit of a wind-up. I've seen these types. Big Bad John with the heart of a little boy. Step on their little toes and their big egos don't like that.

    What I hate is when you see these types getting the nod by the coach. A coach that acts like these people one sees who verbally call down their aggressive dog who is menacingly growling and snapping their jaws when the owner should be walking over and putting a stop to it via firm command and choker if necessary.

    I despise that; absolutely despise it. Loose cannon balls allowed to stay in the programme uncorrected are a red flag, very much so.

    A word of caution: KO's can happen, so be mindful of your situation and the dynamics you see inter-playing between the coach and his students.

    They brought in a new coach at my previous gym in an attempt to have the school producing fighters again. I don't know what was asked and agreed to behind the scenes between the owners and the new coach but it was the freaking wild west after that.

    I loved our new coach - I really liked him; great motivation, knew how to win a fight, taught the fellows a lot about fighting inside the ring that I don't think one learns about until they've been fighting ammy/semi-pro for a bit - but with respects to safety protocols and the like - the gloves came off.

    I've recounted a couple of times on the board, I think, about one of the schools oldest students - with respects to age and time with the school - get KO'd by a newb - just a day or two in the boxing programme - seriously KO'd. I was off that night but my two son's were there with one of our teammates da's...they freaked out seeing the fellow going into partial-limb convulsions. He had long term health problems afterwhich, I'm told.

    Though there warn't enough checks and balances with respects to safety on many fronts - no headgear required, the level of contact was far too intense for some of us, etc., - letting newbs spar was really the undoing of the programme, unfortunately. Newb implies a less experienced person with respects to knowledge of boxing - but that is not always the case.

    One can be a 'newb' in your school but have experience at others schools. Perhaps even have been thrown out of another gym for having been warned about heavy hands one too many times - the coach not realising the mistake until someone else is lying on the floor twitching and jerking as if they'd just had a 45 blast through their temporal lobe at close range!

    It was the seasoned boxers in the programme that were safest to spar with. They understood the dynamics of things very well, knew the differences between light contact and heavy, knew how to tone things down if they threatened to go over the top. They had no ego if you managed to tag 'em - in fact they'd smile and try to encourage you.

    Overall, the people that'd been around the programme, should have been around the programme and no one that proved they shouldn't be there was there - if that makes sense.

    That's what makes the op's post so worrisome. This 'roid shake' shows signs that he's some emotional maturity issues, yet he's one of the mainstays at the OP's school.
  17. u6s68

    u6s68 Valued Member

    Thanks for this reply. I have experience in Kung Fu which is a far cry from boxing but it certainly has helped my, speed, reactions, and balance.

    The guys that spar are big and there are only 4 of them. They come in straight and hit each other with heavy shots. The coach said I would only need a gum shield because we were going light. I refused to go in without headgear though as the others all had it.

    It began with us both throwing light shots. Both of us were landing and blocking some but I was a bit quicker of the mark.

    I was landing more shots but also taking more damage because I am not hardened to the blows. It was what you'd expect to get from sparring: I got a thick lip and a light cut on it (looked more like a sore/scab and no blood running from it). There was dry blood in my nose too which was squashed and very red. Pretty normal I guess.

    What I thought was abnormal was the headache and cloudiness I only noticed after the class. I wasn't dazed but I felt off. I came home to have tea and my jaw was aching as I chewed. The headache was worse when I lay down.

    Usually people stay behind and have a chat while they pack up but everyone went straight away. One guy said he never knew I had that much energy which was a compliment I think.

    Before I got knocked down he was using the jab and three times in a row I parried and returned the jab. This seemed to be the impetus for the big hook.

    I just wondered if it was justifiable for him to take the level of contact right up because he wasn't getting the success at light contact/quickish pace. If it is acceptable I won't be sparring there again let alone someone 20lbs heavier than me.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  18. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Sounds like you were tag flicky sparring, he baited you and hit you harder.

    "I didnt know you had so much energy" isnt a massive compliment, it means you were pushing the pace when you should of just relaxed.
  19. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    mmm...did your classmates seem a bit distant from you? When you're first in a foreign culture, its very easy to misinterpret things. Boxing is a culture with its own language, spoken and unspoken rules - things that one learns, can only learn by being part of it day in day out over time.

    Its quite possible that you inadvertently hit your sparring opponent harder than you realise. You see a large bloke, big, heavy and think that it'd take a whopper to phase him - not necessarily.

    I remember from time to time, they'd let the better students from the youth boxing programme come in and spar with the adult class. Funny thing is, when the kids would spar each other, they tended to take it easy, but when they'd spar with adults, particularly adults they knew, they'd go at it very aggressive - my bairn in particular. They had this idea somewhere in the back of their heads that it'd take a lot of force to be noticed by an adult, lol.

    I wouldn't quit, man. You need to stick 'round long enough to find out how things are. You'll see after a bit if there is a problem there. I woulna take one bad session and read too much into it.

    One thing that I did when we sparred was if I thought that things were heavy - or had the potential to get heavy, I'd go in just the opposite direction - lighten up to virtually a nothing tap, being sure to keep my hands up until the message got through - which it always did, eventually.

    You did mention that you kept things light on your end after you were knocked down - thats good!

    Headaches?...have to learn to relax your neck. You're probably also clenching your teeth tight and not realising it.

    Slip that jab, mate! lol.
  20. Kave

    Kave Lunatic

    Either that or the opposite. Judging by the sore jaw he might have been caught with an open mouth, which is a good way to get rocked and hurt your jaw (even if he only got hit with a moderate shot). Walking into a hook while sucking air through an open mouth is a good way to ruin your week. I got caught like that once (but with an uppercut), I couldn't chew without pain for 3 days.

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