Self Training for Sparring Classes or Change Clubs?

Discussion in 'Boxing' started by liero, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. liero

    liero Valued Member

    About 10 months ago I joined a boxing club. I've been coaching TKD at a high level for the past 2-3 years but due to injuries had not trained. I picked boxing as it was a striking style which wouldn't aggravate my injuries.

    Due to work commitments I trained inconsistently for 6 months but learnt the foundation skills reasonably well and built up my cardio conditioning. In the last 4 months I was able to up my training to 3-5 times per week and felt ready to get into some sparring (there are 2 nights per week of sparring classes).

    Previously I liked the classes, the coaches were active fighters in the state or national teams or active pro's and the training and instruction was of a high calibre. Even the skills sessions involved a lot of mitt/pad work and focussed on developing sparring skills.

    About 2 months ago the crop of coaches left, and a new group from the same gym (at different locations) have taken over. The sparring classes are still reasonable. We drill and learn useful things, and there seems to be somewhat of a skill progression week to week. Though the training is not as high quality as previously. Also, in the free sparring there is less focus on skill/strategy development and the coach is happy for students to go hard, he rarely pulls people up on excessive contact (e.g. a student training for fights going too hard on a this case I am the noob).

    My bigger issue is with the Skills/Conditioning Classes. A massive number of people from the other gym have come across and there is a much larger "conditioning boxing" focus. We only do heavy bag work for rounds with some bodyweight calisthenics thrown in. There's very little technical correction, and in the 2-3 months since the new coaches took over I have never done any mitt/pad work outside of the sparring classes.

    My motivation to attend the conditioning/skills classes has waned and I now only go to 1 skills/conditioning class per week. Though I have been trying to make the sparring classes (1 or 2 a week). inevitably my conditioning and skills have suffered and I feel like I'm moving backwards in my progression. In the last few sessions I am getting (minor) injures in sparring as my skill set is not helping me fend of "fighters" who are looking to take my head off in sparring.

    I am of a few minds right now.
    1. Just suck it up and do the boxfit style classes on the heavy bag so I have lungs for sparring. Ignore my coaching and training background in TKD which says the skills are not transferable to sparring.
    2. Try and do my own 3+ training sessions using the gym on my own time, focussing on slip line, shadow boxing and some bag work (using online coaching tools as well). This will at least mean I can practice fundamentals and apply them in the sparring classes.
    3. Just keep doing what I'm doing, which will likely just lead to me leaving boxing all together due to low motivation and potentially injury.
    4. Try and find another club.

    Hoping to get some advice from the MAP forum!
  2. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Nice to hear from you liero :)

    Personally I think the main thing you pay for is instruction. The facilities are part of it, but the quality of the coaches is more important. As a result, I'd be looking for another club.

    Where did all the former coaches go?
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    Grond and axelb like this.
  3. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    If the sparring isn't safe, and the skills arnt being taught, find another gym.
    axelb likes this.
  4. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    It sounds like it isn't getting any better, have a look around at other clubs, you're clearly not enjoying it, and that's going to prevent you from training long term.
  5. liero

    liero Valued Member

    Thanks for the replies. It just echoes what I had thought. Boxing gyms i have found have a different culture to many other martial arts and I wanted to make sure I wasn't overlooking things.
    Mitch, in answer to your query I did some digging a while ago. The old coaching team started up a program not much further than the current club. I just wasn't sure I could make the more limited sessions there. At this point I am leaning towards making the commitment to that or looking for another club/martial art.
    I paid up front for my membership so have a few weeks left at the current gym. I'll post an update at some point and let you all know how it goes.
    Mitch and Dead_pool like this.
  6. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    This sets off my alarm bells. It should yours too but perhaps pride is not letting you seenstraight.

    It looks like the new regime are more interesting in heavy conditioning and heavy unrestricted sparring, rather than the actual 'craft' of boxing which reading from your post and from your background other martial arts is what you were enjoying about the previous set up. However if your current instructors are not pairing you up in sparring matches where your skill set is not sufficient for defend yourself with any regularity then I would leave. A good boxing instructor has his charges ultimate safety in mind first and foremost, especially if you are new.

    Do get me wrong: Its a sport where you may well develop injuries and concussions as a matter of course, and it can be rough on the body. As your skill progresses you will eventually have to decide what level of violence you are willing engage in/put up with and your instructor will facilitate opponents who will meet this, perhaps slightly out of your comfort zone but not too much. Your instructor should be able to see this and talk to you frankly about this rather than letting your head get beat off.

    But if you are getting injuries because your instructor is willfully putting you out of your depth, rather than sparring and making technical mistakes just slightly out of your comfort zone, then perhaps its best to leave. Its a great sport but brain damage is not worth it if your instructor hasn't got your duty of care in mind.
    Grond likes this.
  7. Susan11

    Susan11 New Member

    Hi for everyone!
    I need your expert opinion. My friends recently advised me to start training with one of a stretching machine (link to article of multiple machines deleted). I wonder how much it really helps?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2019
  8. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Mod note: Susan11 - links like that are not allowed. If you want to discuss stretching machines. Please post the name of the one you want to discuss here, not as a link to multiple ones. Also, please keep on track with the thread discussion topic or start a new thread. I am sure you aren't wanting to give the appearance of being one of those sneaky advertisers. Thanks!
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019

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