How to Stop an Out of Control Sparring Partner


Hey, Superstar. Ando here from Happy
Life Martial Arts. It might sound crazy but I get emails all the time from
martial arts students who’ve been beat up. Not on the street, in their martial
arts class. I recorded a podcast on how to deal with an out-of-control sparring
partner– I’ll put that link below, but right now, let me just give you three
tips to help you learn how to defend yourself while you’re in class learning
how to defend yourself. first of all if you’ve been battered or bruised in class
you’re not alone no matter what you study or where you study you’re always
gonna run into sparring partners who are out of control it might just be a
beginner who doesn’t know any better or it could be a sociopath who knows
exactly what they’re doing either way you’re challenged as a martial artist is
to figure out how to deal with both of them here are three tips that have
helped me tip number one talk talk to yourself and then talk to your partner
when you talk to yourself don’t call yourself a wimp or think that you’ve
done something wrong you haven’t you don’t have to hate your partner either
just say hey I’m being hurt here and I want it to stop take a breath clear your
head and see your partner as a puzzle that needs to be figured out not an
enemy who must be destroyed now talk to your partner that sounds
easy but it’s not giving someone criticism can feel uncomfortable but get
over it you don’t want to drive home upset or injured because you didn’t say
or do something you also don’t want to walk around the school carrying a secret
grudge against somebody you also don’t want to become the locker-room gossip
bad-mouthing people behind their backs if you have a problem with someone talk
to them directly you might say hey take it easy champ you’re hitting too hard or
you know every time I spar with you I get hurt I need you to lighten up a
little or look if you want to hit hard
I’ll hit hard – is that what you want it’s the golden rule of sparring hit as
hard as you want to be hit whatever you say calling out the problem
can change everything that’s because most people are not sociopaths they will
listen to you just like in a real life self-defense situation using your voice
to set boundaries and tell people what you want is a very powerful tool okay
tip number two if talking is fighting whoa whoa whoa wait a minute
what about talking to the teacher you didn’t mention that one and oh okay take
it easy yes you can try talking to your teacher
I just don’t think it’s very effective that’s because if your teacher is paying
attention at all they already know who’s out of control
which means if you still have a student in your class who’s repeatedly hurting
other students either the teacher doesn’t care that much about safety or
they’ve already talked to that student and it didn’t change anything
I see talking to the teacher like calling the police
I wish the police could prevent all crimes against me but that’s completely
unreasonable your safety is always your responsibility first okay so you talked
to your partner but they’re still hurting you now what well if talking is
fighting fire with water then hitting back is fighting fire with fire
that’s tip number two hit back now listen to me carefully my friend I’m not
telling you to injure someone on purpose that’s not cool
but either is letting someone injure you sometimes hitting back is the most
effective way to deliver the message that you are a person not a punching bag
if you decide it’s necessary to add a little hot sauce to your moves the time
to do that is right when your partner hurts you don’t wait for them in the
parking lot after class with a pipe as soon as they cross the line hit
back let them know right then and there that if they abuse you you will respond
in kind sometimes using your weapons speaks much louder than words please
notice I said sometimes sometimes hitting back will cool things off but
sometimes hitting back will only make things worse they’ll start hitting even
harder sometimes no matter what you do you will have a partner who refuses to
respect you which brings us to tip number three walk away no I don’t mean
quitting your class I mean refusing to work with the person
who is hurting you does that make you a chicken no unless chickens are smart and
good-looking remember your first priority is survival not looking cool on
the street if you can run from an attacker run in the gym or the dojo if
you can walk away from a bad sparring partner walk away but before you do let
me say one more thing look you’re practicing martial arts you’re supposed
to be learning how to protect yourself from someone who is out of control a
drunk guy in a bar pushing you around out of control a road rager running up
on you in a parking lot shaking his fist out of control a mugger or an attacker
pulling a knife out of control if you can’t handle a wild sparring partner on
the mats how do you think you’re gonna handle a wild attacker on the streets my
advice when you’re facing a sparring partner who is out of control
don’t walk away too soon they’re actually giving you a gift they’re
giving you a chance to practice with someone who’s a little dangerous and the
more danger you face in practice the better prepared you’ll be to face danger
in real life when you think about sparring that way
wild students clumsy students beginners and yeah even sociopaths are
actually the best training partners they’re giving you a chance to face your
fears summon up your courage and take action to protect yourself I’ll say it
again I’m not telling you to injure anyone or to let anyone injure you I’m
only recommending that you treat a bad sparring partner as an opportunity an
opportunity to take control of a bad situation
using your words and your weapons don’t let a bad sparring partner stop you from
learning and growing instead welcome them as a test a test of your
self-defense skills because if you can handle an out-of-control sparring
partner there’s a good chance you can handle everybody else if you like this
video thanks for giving it a thumbs up and sharing with a friend. Until next
time, take control and keep fighting for a happy life.

47 thoughts on “How to Stop an Out of Control Sparring Partner

  1. i do ju jitsu, blue belt, and there's another blue belt that goes in for the kill every time with everyone, don't know how he got a blue belt lol

  2. Thank u my wish will granted now
    On how to stop an out of control sparring thank u Ando

    And thank u for teaching us on how to take a heavy punch to wall

    Plzz teach me a Wing Chun Kung Fu!!!!!!

  3. Thanks for making this video. You cover many aspects of being a martial artist, that often don’t get attention. I appreciate your work and outreach. Thank you!

  4. I had this before the man did not know how hard he was hitting me as I was only going for speed hits and we ended up have a 1min full fight then we looked at each other and had a hug he did not like being hit back hard lol

  5. How to defend yourself when you’re in class learning how to defend yourself 😂😂😂😂😂 that statement got me lol

  6. Maybe this is how close we are to each other in my dojo but there is a guy in my dojo who I spar with that always hits way too hard in sparring, especially when he talks about an injury that he has and to go easy on him. I finally had a talk with him two weeks ago about it and he apologized and said he'll try to be more aware of it. I just sparred with him yesterday and he hit me with a overly hard low roundhouse that made it hard to continue. He asked if I was okay. I said Osu and we finished the round. Afterward I told him yeah that one kick was kinda too much. He apologized again saying that he's trying to control his strength. I said it's cool I'm also typing to learn to take harder hits in time. We went for sake after and joke about it and other things. So we're cool and trying to learn from each other.

  7. So I got my green belt. During a class a few weeks ago, I sparred with a black belt who has always been good at playing nice, teaching me and not pounding me. The sensei doesn’t let me spar much because he thinks I’m going to get hurt (I have had a number of serious sports injuries) but I’ve never been hurt in this class. I usually spar with the kids and I always hold back (of course). This one class, the black belt came at me hard as soon as we tapped gloves- 7 or 8 good kicks and then a good one right in my face(cracked my neck). I was so mad and embarrassed because the entire class was watching. I am the only girl. I got upset, hung in til the sensei called it and then cried in the change room for the rest of the class. I talked to the sensei and I refuse to spar with this guy. How do I defend myself against that? I am not proud of my emotional reaction either. I looked foolish and weak on all levels.

  8. I'm kinda lanky so all the big guys at the gym bully me around in sparring and I usually resort to winging overhands 😅 I refuse too spar anyone too big nowadays that seems to work

  9. As an instructor sometimes I will let a (supervised) mis-matched match continue as it provides a learning opportunity to both partners, one needs to learn control the other to step it up or speak out. A measured amount of adversity might be exactly what the person needs to grow.

  10. Sir , i have strong muscles but my heart start doing 'dhak dhak ' in very high speed and i am stuck in trying to control my heart and gone bitten please help me to get rid of this please sir 🙏

  11. Hey Ando, wow good timing. Just this week I had to deal several times with aggressive sparing partners. In my Taekwondo class, sometimes we have to spar also against boxers or kick-boxers. These do not really understand light contact. But tip no 1 helps a lot in this case. In most cases, everything is easy then.

  12. Daimond video that should've been made thousands of years ago, from now on i will watch it every time before sparring in order to remind myself how to react in the best type of way

  13. An opportunity, absolutely. It's not just students who have to deal with this, but full time fighters as well. There was a story I heard on podcast about Carlos Condit (the UFC fighter) when he went with members of his team to train with the USMC. A couple of the marines were joking around about how cool they would be if they could KO him. One of Condits UFC buddies overheard this, & let him know. He wasn't worried, he decided to spar with them anyway. He warned the Marine " I'll give as much as I get". The Marine went for a hard KO, and Condit floored him with a high kick. The whole tent went quiet. (They were on the field). Condits' buddy made the comment; "oh shit, I thought, if this goes sideways people are going to die! " Condit helped the marine up, and they all ended up laughing it off.

  14. We all work with one of these guys. One of mine gets into this state where HAS to force his way and get you down. I just don't take him too seriously, but at the same time must take him as a real life lesson. Nothing personal taken. Ando, I don't know if you've read Josh Waitzkin's The Art of Learning, but I think you would like it a lot. In it, there's a part about sparring with partners such as these. Basically, he says to improve your skill so that their attack becomes ineffective…

  15. Thanks Ando! There are a couple of people at my gym…. Any advice on what to say once you've come to the point that you've decided not to work with someone any more?

  16. Great talk. I've had many sparring partners who were deliberate in hitting too hard, the usual justification being "this is martial arts, deal with it!".

    My feedback: it's not worth being injured. Follow this advise first. But if that doesn't work then give feedback to your instructor that you're not going to spar someone who deliberately injures you. I had a fellow student that had his arm broken during sparring after many injuries, which led him to quit. Try all other options, but at the end of the day, it's your money and your health. (When he tried the same with me, I had to gently axe kick his head a few times as he was not listening to me)

    There are 2 people I refuse to spar in my school because they get angry and hurt people. I was respectful yet direct with my master what was going on. It was fine, they didn't pair me with them anymore.

    This is tough though. If you're new it's hard to know what is acceptable and what is just to painful. If you talk with your instructor/master, I would approach it by asking them, "could you help me learn how to better defend myself when sparring? I'm getting injured every time." At least with that approach you are asking to learn, not just complain.

  17. By the way, I really appreciate you leaving your script in the description. You always talk really clearly, but for someone with a hearing impairment it really helps to be able to read any words I may have missed or misheard.

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