Originally Posted by RichC
Every club is different, however I like to put lads in the ring as soon as possible. Usually within a couple of weeks.
I wouldn't class it as "sparring" though. I put them in with one of the more experienced lads (or I get in with them myself) who I know for sure won't hurt the new guy. I like to think of it more as an experience that give the new lad a point of reference for future training. For example, the new guy gets to see first hand the importance of range, not telegraphing punches, ensuring the feet are correct, balance etc. The main idea is to let them enjoy it, whilst giving them a feel for being in the ring and improving confidence.
They can then go away and think about the session and direct their own training around getting round some of the "problems" they had during these "sparring" sessions. I feel this just helps the new guy understand what we are trying to teach a little better.
It's usually 3-6 months before I am happy to let 2 evenly matched novices open spar properly using a bit of power (depending on the person / how often they have been training etc). Only when I know both lads have some understanding of how to defend themselves. Before this stage, they will have usually done plenty of "condition" sparring with other novices i.e. Jabs only, Left hand only, Left hand to head or body and right hands to body only etc with no power.
That is dead on. Once you get in the ring and move around a bit, you'll know what you are trying to learn while you are hitting the heavy bag. It gives purpose to everything that you wouldn't have otherwise.