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9 Ways To Tell That You’re Ready For Your First Sparring Class

By Felisha M. Mina
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Within program structures of martial arts academies, certain boxes need to be ticked in order for students to jump from “beginner” to “advanced” classes. Coaches keep an eye on 
maturity and technical knowledge before making such promotions. If you’ve been training solid for at least three months and you’ve mastered a good range of combos, it may be your time to step up. But aside from having a good range of skills and maintaining correct posture, there are a few more indicators show you’ve started to embrace a fighter’s lifestyle…

1. You spend as much time on the mats as you do home
The gym’s become your second family. In fact, you train so much, that you see your training partners more frequently than your own friends. The staff and a majority of the students also know your name, and vice versa. When you miss more than three days of training, people start worrying and check up on you to see if everything’s okay.

2. Your last five major expenses have gone towards funding your fitness addiction
From workout tees, sports tape, boxing DVDs, supplements and sports massages, you find that a chunk of your pay cheque always finds its way into your training addiction. You like brands such as Under Armour and Sting Sports, and your diet’s getting expensive because you’re living off specialist health shops. Oh, and let’s not forget that upcoming fight show – you’ve got some cash ready for that, too.

3. You hang around long after your session to watch the more advanced students
It’s home time and you’ve finished your class. You’re burnt out and hungry, but you’re in no rush to to leave the building because you like observing how the senior students do their thing. Plus, there’s something soothing about the sounds of those kick shields and punching bags.

4. The last handful of people you’ve added on Facebook are all from the gym
Not to mention your newsfeed’s flooded with Rhonda Rousey videos.

5. The idea of competing doesn’t scare you
Actually, the thought of preparing for a fight is somewhat appealing. You’ve put the next amateur boxing show in your event calendar, so you can do a bit of research and get an idea of the kind of competition you’ll be up against when it’s your turn to jump in the ring. 

6. During training, you’re happy to partner up with anyone
Regardless of whether you’re paired up with a newbie or an experienced fighter, you have the confidence to work alongside pretty much everyone. Coach gets you to assist the first-timers, because you’re good at making them feel welcome and you’re at a level where you can teach the basics. Most importantly, you know how to match your intensity with the skill level of others.

7. You leave your equipment in your car, even though you know you probably shouldn’t
When you work out almost every day, it makes sense to keep your thongs and gloves in our boot (even if it smells funky in there).

8. You rarely have big nights out on Fridays, because you’ve made commitments to train the following morning
Unless it’s a friend’s birthday, you like keep your Friday nights pretty chill. After all, there’s no better way to start the weekend than to wake up fresh for a Saturday morning session. You place high value on your health and acknowledge that sleep and rest play a big role when it comes to performing at your peak.

9. You’re the kind of person who’s always testing yourself and likes a challenge
As someone who’s not easily content, you’re always looking for ways to excel. Even though you’re pretty satisfied with how much has already been learnt, you’re eager to reap more results. Lastly, you see martial arts as a long term thing, because even in the short amount of time you’ve done it, you’ve experienced noticeable improvements.

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