How does Sparring Improve fighting skills?

When you are training for mixed martial arts or boxing, a term called slow sparring is often discussed. For those who don’t know about slow sparring and its benefits, this article will give you all the details. As the name suggests, it’s like normal sparring but at a slower pace. This kind of sparring is extremely useful for beginners as it helps them improve their reflexes, develop skills, speed, rhythm and much more.

Better Reflexes

When you start out MMA training you have poor reflexes and people complain about not seeing the incoming punches and kicks of their opponents. This is where sparring at slow pace can help you get better in all phases of martial arts training. You get used to seeing and anticipate movements during load, release, extension and impact of opponent’s kicks and punches. Once you get used to them at slow speeds and able to see them all comfortably, it won’t be that much of a problem at regular speed. We’re not suggesting that you will be able to evade every strike but you will be able to evade most of them.

Freestyle Skill Development

Slow sparring can also develop your freestyle skills. When you are just starting out you are not sure whether to use your right hand more or left hand. You can also improve upon your defense techniques, because the pace is slow and you are not punished for the mistakes you make. During slow sparring you are able to calm your nerves and see where you are making mistakes. You are able to fix those mistakes after repeated slow movements unless you get used to it in real time.

Relaxed Coordination

When you are inside the ring, the most important thing for you to do is to stay relaxed, however this doesn’t come naturally. You can learn this skill by going slow during training. After some time you will be able to feel your opponent breathing. With that comes along the ability to predict their movement, when they will strike or when they are going to slip. Knowing all that really relaxes your nerves as you are now in a position to counter those moves. Imagine it like a song which you know by heart, you know what’s coming next. This is one of the reason why great fighters in the game can actually predict the outcomes of their upcoming fights.

Mismatched Sparring Partners

One of the biggest problems for MMA fighters is that they can’t find an exact matching sparring partner in smaller gyms. Most of the time the height, Weight, and physique is totally unmatched to your opponent’s. Even the skills are entirely different to the ones you are supposed to fight, which makes it even harder for you to prepare well for your fight. Nevertheless, with slow sparring you can easily remove this disparity of height, weight and style.


So put on your sparring gloves and get ready to spar slowly!