Since the purpose of sparring is to provide you with some time to utilize what you’ve learned in practice, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll need to step in the ring with someone else. You also might be wondering, “Do I have to spar to learn how to box if I don’t plan on fighting professionally?” As you’ll see in the sections below, learning how to spar perhaps the only way to know for sure that you’ve actually internalized what you’ve learned during training.
Why Participate in Sparring Sessions?
The purpose is to stimulate a real fight. That’s it. It is going to be your time to focus on your technique, as well as develop better reflexes and reaction time. If you never participate in sparring sessions then it would be the equivalent to reading every cook book in the world but never stepping foot in the kitchen – you need to apply what you’ve learned! Fortunately, most coaches understand the potential dangers associated with sparring, and will make it as safe as possible for both fighters (considering that it’s only practice).
Portland Boxing: Technical Sparring
As its name might imply, technical sparring is all about working on your technique. This isn’t the time to go crazy or throw wild haymakers just for the sake of beating your training partner. Instead, really focus on what every area of your technique. Is your footwork up to par? Are you constantly getting hit in a particular area of the body?
If you take a look at professional fighters who partake in technical sparring, you’ll see that they aren’t going all out or attempting to knockout the other opponent. They are doing the exact opposite in fact. They are simply working on their technique, and aren’t necessarily worried about whether they are losing on points. If you want to get better at boxing, you need to participate in technical rounds at the very least.
All-out sparring is designed to focus on your conditioning. To put it more simply, it’s designed to simulate a real fight, which can be beneficial if you’ve never stepped in the ring before. Since emotions can flare up quickly in all-out sparring, it’s always a good idea to have a coach nearby who can break up the action if need be. To answer the question, “Do I have to spar to learn how to box?” the answer is most certainly, “Yes”.