How to control anger during sparring?

Discussion in 'Taekwondo Sparring' started by Dluu22, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. Dluu22

    Dluu22 New Member

    Hey guys,

    I've been noticing that every time I spar and my opponent gets in a good shot at me then I get extremely aggressive and angry until the point where my technique goes out the window and all I wanted to do is knock the person out. Unfortunately this results in me losing the fight even if I were winning at the beginning.
    For example today, I was sparring with my friend whose the same rank as me and his front lead side kick was very annoying because i couldn't get to him so I went all barbaric and tried to knock him out with wild swings and huge turning kicks.
    Even my instructor was watching and counting the points, and after I lost I felt very embarrassed and angry that I let my emotions go like that, especially in front of my master.
    This happens every time I spar, and I know that I can win if I remain calm and strategic but I just can't seem to do that.

    So, does anyone have any advice on controlling my anger during sparring?

    P.S - I have my very first tournament in 1 week and I would be devastated if I were disqualified due to too much aggressiveness and force. (it's not full contact)

  2. canadiankyosa

    canadiankyosa Active Member

    It may be simplistic, but all emotions are controlled by one thing: what you think. In a nutshell, have happier thoughts and you actions will be as you choose. As I said, it may come across as simplistic, but is very difficult to do.

    How about lowering the expectation on winning to just doing your best? Most times, the lofty goal of winning brings more of a loss. Martial arts takes adapting to many people, including yourself. "It is not a shame to get knocked down by people. What is a shame is to get knocked down and wonder why." Ponder your methods and such. Then change them for you and each opponent.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
  3. Mario Ray Mahardhika

    Mario Ray Mahardhika Active Member

    Think positive, be happy, make it fun like a game, remember your sparring partner is not your enemy, err...what else?
  4. Raymond

    Raymond Active Member

    Breath deeply, and remember that there is no wining or losing in gym sparring, only learning.

    Make sure your ego is in check. I'm not trying to be judgmental as it is common, but you seem to definitely be thinking of it as "winning and losing" and this is the wrong mindset to have in the gym. And because your ego takes the hit harder than your body does, this is why you react the way you do.

    Also, when sparring in the gym, each partner should be going at an easy and agreeable intensity level for both of them. If someone is throwing shots much harder (as if they were in a competition or fight) then ask them to bring it down. At my club, we call it throwing dinner rolls. I can throw a dinner roll at you with all the same technique as a baseball, but the dinner roll shouldn't hurt you but my technique is still right. Especially at lower ranks people have the tendency to go too hard as they have no idea how to control their own body and technique yet. Hard sparring is good, but not all the time. Maybe this is what is happening as well, but a good instructor should be able to tell when folks need to scale back the pressure and intensity to really focus on technique.
  5. Master Fahy

    Master Fahy Active Member

    Controlling your anger by thinking of it as being joyful, meaning you should try saying to yourself that... that was a good shot or technique.... but thinking, what can I do to make my shot or technique better than their's? Anger is your worst enemy because once it takes control of your mind, you lose sight of everything needed to attain victory. You then get sloppy with your technique and set yourself for failure! Bottom line, try replacing your anger with a more positive thought. Master Fahy
  6. canadiankyosa

    canadiankyosa Active Member

    Exactly. Annihilate your friend, but in a nice way and with a smile on your face.
    akisbat likes this.
  7. canadiankyosa

    canadiankyosa Active Member

    In our sparring, we have a rule for most: come on too aggressive, you get two warnings, 3 from a more easy-going person. If it keep up after 2 (or 3), the receiver is allowed to be as aggressive back and someone may get hurt.

    RTKDCMB Active Member

    The be perfectly blunt your you're looking at things the wrong way. No matter if you are sparring in class for self defence or competition you're not there to kill each other, you are there to learn. If your opponent gets a good shot in there then it is because you did not defend it properly and that's something you need to work on. I would suggest that either you get your anger under control or maybe train in another art where aggression is encouraged. Try meditation, deep breathing, stress reduction (punching bags are good for this) and concentrate on improving your skills. Anger usually comes from frustration and the best way to beat frustration is to think your way out of it.
  9. Finlay

    Finlay Active Member

    Get to the root of your anger

    Are you angry becasue someone is hitting you and your ego is telling you that it shouldn't be happening?

    or are you losing it because you are scared and it is the only response you have to enable you to be active?

    or is it something else?

    whatever it is it is ok it is a natural response to confrontation, be honest with yourself and you can get over it.

    spar lots, find the root, then spar mindfully. Go into sparring with the mind set of "what ever happens i won;t get angry." if you have a good partner let them know what is going on and every time you are going to get angry or they see you losing it either one of you can call time and let things cool down a little. when this happens, again go and try to find out why you are angry then you can work on it.
    canadiankyosa likes this.
  10. canadiankyosa

    canadiankyosa Active Member

    "It is not a shame to get knocked down by people what is a shame is to get knocked down by people and wonder why."

    Bruce Lee

    It applies in all aspects of life

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