T Nation

Bridging the Gap from Sparring to Fighting


Well I haven't posted on here in a while, but I've been checking in every now and then.

I've had some trouble lately in my boxing endeavors...

Let me start by saying that I've always been proud that my boxing gym encourages quite hard sparring. Proud in the sense that I believe the more realistic training is, the better the results are. Obviously however, there's a huge difference between the 70-80% in training and the 100% full pelt on fight night, as I have learned.

The problem I'm having is, in sparring, I'm doing extremely well, especially recently, I improved drastically overnight. However when it came to fight night, I didn't do quite so well. I won the fight, but my coach and a sort of assistant coach pointed out to me that I should've done much much better.

I didn't get that nervous on the night, I controlled that quite well I thought, But I did notice in the ring I had a lack of focus, and I was all over the shop as a result.

What am I doing wrong? Or am I just overthinking this?


I find this is usually when you are too scared of taking chances.
Like if you wrestle and always hesitate to do a takedown or in boxing or karate you hesitate to get up in and close.
You are scared of being overwhelmed and losing control of the situation (lack of energy or opponent decides to go 100 percent), so you tone it down a bit.
This is how it is for me. It might be the same for you.
I fight much much better if i don't overthink the risks in a fight but rather rely on my instinct and fight with reckless abandon.


I suggest you have some smokers man. Literally if you can go to another gym..and get 100% full out..do this 5-6 times should shake that right off of you.
When was the last time you had an actual fight prior to the one you just had?


Good advice...probably the best advice considering the internet anonymity and no true insight into a person's training/sparring/etc.


I agree with catmando lol experience is experience ya know bust some heads of some random mofos then when it comes time to woop ass for keepsies...well youll keep woopin ass!


Agreed with above posts, and I think mental conditioning is a must for combat athletes. You have to teach yourself to think, and to keep your head in the game. Just like every other sport. When I started doing this in jits and mt I started doing much better.


Ill go on a limb and agree with most of the posters... wrath fight needs work I did say most :wink:

This is something I struggled with- allot.
not leaving it in the training room being distracted, nervous, hesitant and really lacking in confidence.

matches, sparring or fights are like getting your reps in.
You need to get the reps in - to do it relaxed, and to tap into that muscle memory your body has been working on.

I spent the better parts of my early HS, and college wrestling- being anxious, nervouse, yes afraid.
It too me a while to learn to relax to be confident and do so intelligently.
Further along it paid dividends- in spades, I got to play at a pretty high level, face some of the best competition in the country, get my feet wet in the international club and american club scenes-
of Greco Roman and later ( and locally) Judo.

It took me longer then others to figure it out- what worked was lots and lots of matches,
off season work is where it really took off, somehow with out the "team" pressure, to start,
to competer, to win, it got allot better much faster, the sooner you can work on being comfortable the better.



Cheers for the replies guys. I think I will see about doing some smokers. I think my biggest problem was just too much hesitation, looking back, I saw the openings, knew what I had to do, but I just hesitated.