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MMA Sparring Tips for Beginners – Striking

Updated on June 16, 2012

Always protect yourself during MMA sparring by always covering your head and hands up

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MMA Sparring Ideas for Beginner – Striking

Sparring for some could be scary especially if it’s your first time to do MMA sparring . It is actually like what I felt during my first time to spar . I remember I was actually doing nothing and I really don’t know what do.

I found myself standing with a boxing stance waiting for my opponent to make a move and unluckily my rib is open and the fight was over. This could happen to you if this is your first experience and if you are clueless. This is the reason why I write this article to share my practical tips for MMA sparring especially for beginners just like you.

Prepare your cardio first

MMA sparring requires more of your lung capacity more than the MMA drills that you have been doing. In MMA sparring you are continuously in motion, do quick movement, throw punches and basically you need a lot of cardio to do that.

For you to maximize your MMA sparring , make sure that your lungs are more than ready. MMA sparring will all be useless if you don’t have enough cardio. You wouldn’t even last 2 or 3 minutes and you end up being beaten up.

If you want to really learn to spar, prepare your cardio first.

Be relax

Relax your shoulder and arms and don’t be stiff. The more relax you are the more dangerous you are in the striking part. Loosen up a bit and go with the flow. Rhythm and timing is very important in striking and you can only achieve that if you are calm. This MMA sparring tip should be the first thing that you should always put in mind.

Face your fears

Sparring is always a part of training in all martial arts. If you really want to learn to fight, MMA sparring is the missing puzzle. Training with drills is not enough if you are serious to improve your fighting skills. Sparring is like the actual thing the only difference is that you’re protected but sometimes you could get hurt.

I think this is the one that make a person nervous, they think that they could get hurt or beaten up. That’s a part of any martial arts and you should face this reality. Just do it. Once you are there doing MMA sparring , you will begin to gain confidence that is for sure and you will eventually enjoy it afterwards and it is not that scary after all.

Focus on speed not on power

Once you are actually doing MMA sparring , throw punches with faster combos than throwing bombs. This will teach you to effectively apply what you have learned in doing the mitts and with bags the only difference is that you are doing it with a moving target, a real target.

Just apply the relaxation technique that was mentioned above and you will do well. Remember that the more relax you are the more dangerous you are in striking. When you are loosen up the more accurate and the more precise your punches are. This mental technique really works for me. This is a practical yet effective technique.

Don’t look and wait for openings just throw your combos

Waiting for the right opening may not come. The best way to create and opening is just to throw combinations. Start with a jab and two jabs would do. Jab is one of the effective punching techniques to open up the defence of your opponent.

When you begin to see some opening then start throwing combinations after the jab. Just make sure after you punch to cover yourself, move back or move to the side. Throw punches and avoid to get hit by moving. That should be your goal.

If you are in trouble cover and move

When you are in the situation wherein you are under attack cover your gloves on your temple, tuck your chin like you have a tennis ball between your chin and chest and move. Avoid to being cornered and be a hard target. Stay away in front of your opponent and don’t let him/her give the opportunity to hit you.

Be unpredictable

If you want to hit your opponent, be unpredictable and mixed up your attacks. Throw different combinations don’t let your opponent know what you will attack. You can go to the head then to the body. Be creative in your punches and let your opponent guess your tactics are.


Don’t attack too much. This will tire you immediately. Strategize when you need to be on the defensive or in the attacking mode. If you need to back up then go for it. Just manage your energy and feel the right time to go for your combinations again.

Always be on the proper stance

Proper fighting stance means balance and power. As a beginner it is easy to use the boxing stance then change or revise if you have learned additional stance.If you are in your proper stance you will move swiftly and effectively without losing your power when you need to punch. Proper stance is also important for you not to trip especially when your opponent is on the attack.

Never give up

If you are beaten up it’s all part of the game. MMA sparring is not only physical but could be mental as well. Learn from it and it is just the part of the learning process.


Breath naturally through your nose with a close mouth and never hold never your breath during your mma sparring. Some fighter exhales every punch they throw but this could be a factor that could tire you immediately. If you are in top condition breathing is not problem when you do MMA sparring .

These are just the basics that I have learned from my MMA sparring . I hope that this will help you along the way when you begin to do MMA sparring in striking. Good luck and enjoy your sparring session.


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    • profile image

      brenda titi 3 years ago

      Tito not titi no malaki .

    • pinoymmafan profile image

      pinoymmafan 5 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you jaybird..I added a link for the stance.Thank you so much for your wisdom.

    • jaybird22 profile image

      jaybird22 5 years ago from New York

      Pretty good tips on sparring. I would have enjoyed it if you went into more details with subjects such as stance.

      Whereas you mention that a good stance is important, you do not mention how to take up a good MMA fighting stance.

      Good job and I look forward to reading more of your hubs. Welcome to HUBPAGES ;-)