Today I talk about how to get rid of the fear of being punched in the face so you can start sparring properly.
Here are 4 drills to help you overcome the fear of punches:
1. Punches in front of the face
The partner will lower his hands and chin down. The other partner will punch in front of his face and body. First slowly and then fast. The point of this drill is to reduce the flinch reflex and get used to the idea od something flying to our face. So try not to blink every time the punch gets close to your face.
2. Touch the face and body with punches
This drill is almost identical to the last one, but this time you will not just punch in front of the face but touch the face and body lightly. Not only is the partner that is receiving the punches practicing not to flinch, but the other partner is also practicing control.
Use proper form when punching and aim to touch the nose, chin, eye level, body and use all types of punches. Start slow first and then do it fast.
3. Block hard punches
Both partners will agree on which combination will be thrown. In this case, the attacker will use the basic 1, 2, 3 combo while the defender will use elbow covers. First start with medium hard punches and then do it hard.
This drill will desensitize you to stress and will slowly prepare you for sparring.
4. Flow boxing
Flow boxing or flow sparing is a great exercise to do before you start sparring, but it can also be utilized if you are an experienced martial artist. The goal here is not to outbox your partner or to utilize tactics against him. You just want to move around and trade punches without the intention of hurting him. It’s like pretending to spar or like sparring slowly.
Besides punching you can also evade and block, but don’t do it at all costs. This should be an enjoyably experience for both of you.
You can also do fast flow boxing which is not the same as sparring, but fist start slow.
Important note: these drills are designed to help you conquer your fear of getting punched in the face and start sparring. If you still haven’t mastered the basics of striking, than you are not ready for this step. Before you can spar you must know how to throw basic punches, how to move and how to defend – at least some of the defenses. Once you know these things it is time to gradually start preparing for sparring and these exercises will help you.