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OhioMike's picture
Body hardening and mental "hardening"

I have noticed an issue in my sparring, when I close the range it is fairly normal to take a couple of knocks on my way in. Normally that is not an issue but when I am fighting some of the larger guys in my class I end up flinching when I get hit that slows me and gives them time to circle and avoid my advance. I am working on standard body hardening as well as slowly increasing my amount of "high" contact sparring.  

Is their anything you would recommend for training out the pause that comes from getting hit? I think most of it is mental from anticipating the pain since I am able to soak the punches without that much physical effect (other than brusing that makes my wife laugh at me when I hobble home), especially since I am closing and so frequently have robbed them of a lot of room to swing.

Any help or suggestions are apprecaited. 



Barry O'Sullivan
Barry O'Sullivan's picture

Hi Mike One of the best things I took from my boxing background into karate is the ability to "learn to get hit". A lot of people tend to turn away from the punch or flinch which is quite a natural reaction. For me it's the realisation that in sparring and even in a real confrontation due to the adrenaline rush you will be experiencing you will very rarely get hurt when moving in. I tend to be a counter puncher by nature anyway so always look to capitalise on an opponents mistake before striking myself. Lots and lots of reaction work, parrying and beating the opponent to the attack seems to work for me and I've just got more effective the more I've done it. There's always somebody quicker, smarter and more skillful though so with them people I tend to try and stick to them like glue and not give them room to breathe! All the best Barry O