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Old 07-12-2010, 01:08 PM   #7
Big & Slow
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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Default Re: Big Daddy's Boxing Log - The making of a legend.

Had my first sparring session yesterday.

Wasn't sure what to expect, but it wound up being a lot of fun. I was glad I had the chance to get in there. But, I was disappointed that in the heat of the moment I made fundamental mistakes.

The guy I was supposed to spar was a no show so I sparred another coach (Larry) and another new guy. Both guys were smaller, faster and in better condition. The other coach is obviously much more skilled than I am.

Larry said he would get in and work with me, but if I hit him hard he would hit me back...he seemed to be half joking. I told him I was looking to just feel it out, and I wouldn't try to blast anyone out of there. Larry is 50 yrs, about 170 and 5'10 and in great condition. I'm 36 yrs, 6ft, 280lbs, overweight but I run about 10 miles a week, do 40 situps & 20 push ups a day. I train on the bags about twice a week. I can do about 20 rounds on the bags and mitts before I'm dead tired, but wasn't sure how I would hold up condition wise sparring.

My coach told me repeatedly to pull my punches. DO NOT unload on Larry. Use the jab, no right hands or hooks, and practice catching his jab. Larry will do the same.

We got in the ring for a 3min rounds and I realized that Larry didn't get the memo about just using the jab. He was popping me with right hand counters over my jab and wiffed a few hooks and body shots at me. I broke the rules and thew a few right hands back, just to keep him from swarming in on me.

Lessons learned from round 1 of my boxing career:
1. Getting hit sucks.
2. Don't look down or away when you get hit or you will surely get hit more than once.
3. Don't count on the the other guy sticking to the "playing nice" and just "working" instead of hard sparring". Things change after you get punched in the head a couple times.

Round 2 I sat out while Larry boxed his new pupil (his first time in the ring also).

Round 3 I boxed the New Guy. He was about 6'1 and 185. It was much more competitive. I tried to pull punches and just land more than I was taking. He got me with a few shots, and when I got tired he landed quite a few in a row. I realized he had my timing down, and I was throwing the 1+2 over and over. I mixed it up and was able to land a wild overhand right that he wasn't expecting and it rearranged his headgear a little. Everyone asked and he said he was OK, so we kept on. By the middle of the round I was sucking wind, TIRED! We were both hacking and wheezing but finished the round. I wasn't sure that I got the better of him, but felt good.

Lessons learned:
1. Keep moving. The only time you are not getting hit is if you are throwing punches or moving, and I don't have the stamina yet to throw 1000 jabs a round.
2. Don't throw 1+2's repeatedly unless you want to get countered repeatedly. Mix up the punches.
3. Fighting someone faster can be demoralizing.

Round 3 everyone sat out and took a breather.

Round 4 I got back in with Larry. He was much more skilled and was toying with me a bit. He also had my timing down and threw a counter right over top of all of my jabs. He was much quicker than I was. I started mixing up my punches and was settling down a little. I landed a couple jabs, a straight right or two and a surprise uppercut. At one point Larry fell into the ropes. He said he slipped but I suspect I was roughing him a little.

Lessons learned:
1. I am seriously out of shape.

2. Larry is in great shape.

3. An in shape, well trained old guy can kick my ass in the ring if I'm not allowed to try to blast him out of there.

Overall, my coach said that in his 40 years of coaching that I did a fantastic job for a first day. I made some mistakes, but we will work on correcting them before the next sparring session.

The good:
1. My balance was excellent until about the last minute of the last round, when I was dog ass tired.

2. I adapted well to changes. Seeing mistakes, trying to correct them on the fly.

3. I can take a punch.

4. I didn't quit even when I was tired tired tired.

The bad:
1. Don't look away or down during a barrage of punches will get you hit over and over.

2. Sucker for the right hand counter over the jab.

3. Circle more and don't come straight in.

4. Settle down, choose your shots. Don't get wild or chase the opponent after taking a shot, it wastes energy and opens you up.

5. Recover your fist immediately after throwing. Don't let them hang out there.

6. Don't crack the old guys too hard, even if they are beating your ass.
I got yelled at a few times to "slow it down" and "take it easy".
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