I've been (kick)boxing on and off for around 2 years. During this time I did 3x hard sparring and numerous times light - medium sparring sessions. Whenever I'm sparring with someone better than me - or during the hard sparrings (these guys where the same level) - I feel a nice mix of being scared and excited. During the sparring itself a similar emotion stays. My emotions definitely have an effect on how I'm fighting, but I can still think basic things, like keep your guard up, don't flinch etc. At the gym I'm training there's a new coach who sometimes participates in training as well. He's about 15-20 kg heavier than me and obviously much more skilled. A couple of weeks ago I kickboxed with him. He gave me a lowkick and I could feel it for 3 weeks after. During sparring he says he's using open glove but his punches feel like a truck - because of his skill level, they also land flush. Last time we did sparring boxing rules and he was just pressuring me into the ropes. Whenever I try to punch him he counters. Usually with much more skilled opponents they at least give me a chance to come forward and try some stuff, he didn't. This resulted in me being scared, shelling up, and not being able to think straight and just trying to survive. How I experienced this session is that he was just beating me up while I was figuratively on the floor begging for him to stop. During the session I told him 3x to go lighter, he kept telling me he's using open gloves. After the session I was just completely demotivated and didn't feel like I learned anything at all... I can take a beating if it teaches me to become a better fighter - I wasn't fighting though, I was just shelling up. Is there any merit to keep sparring with this guy to get rid of my fear or should I avoid him? I never disrespected him or went hard on him, so it's not a vengeance thing. I've heard a couple of more guys complaining he goes too hard, some of them are actively avoiding sparring with him.