Sparring: Everything you need to know about sparring


If you are a boxer or practice other martial arts, it is not uncommon to want to test your fighting skills in sparring. But what exactly is sparring and what does an athlete need for sparring? In the following lines, we will tell you the most important things you need to know about sparring.

Sparring is a form of training to practice skills close to combat.

What is Sparring?

Sparring in boxing is a fight similar to a competition. However, the boxer does not usually go all out here, as it is only for training purposes. So sparring is not about someone winning or losing. It is more about training and improving general boxing skills.

In addition to boxing gloves, head protection is often used during sparring.

How to start sparring?

Before you start your sparring boxing training, you should first check if the necessary boxing equipment is available.

To start sparring, the following training equipment is recommended:

  • Head protection
  • Groin protector
  • Chest protector for women
  • ROOQs
  • Boxing gloves 16Oz (well padded)
  • Bandages.

Boxing equipment can of course differ depending on a boxer’s level of experience. Experienced boxers who have been sparring for a long time often train with head protection and groin protection. This is especially recommended for inexperienced fighters. Even if the sparring does not seem so close to competition, injuries can be prevented.


Find a sparring partner who is at about the same level of training as you to ensure a fair exchange of punches.

In addition to the equipment, you will of course also need a sparring partner with whom you can train. If the two of you have not been sparring for a long time, it is advisable to bring in a third person to observe the situation from the outside. Ideally, this person is your coach. This person can give you tips during the sparring and has the right eye to make sure you don’t hurt yourself.

Tip: To get an even better overview of your punching behavior during sparring, you can use your ROOQs. These measure every single punch and show you the punches that you have thrown.

When sparring, the athlete does not go all out, as the risk of injury should be kept as low as possible.

How do I get better at sparring?

How do I get better at sparring? This is a question that ambitious boxers in particular ask themselves. There is no concrete answer to this question. You should always keep in mind that sparring is not a competition, but a form of training to improve your athletic skills.

Here you will find the most important tips for your sparring partner and for you: 

  1. Try not to knock your sparring partner out.
  2. Give your sparring partner the opportunity to move with you.
  3. Take your TIME.
After sparring, exchange ideas with your coach or sparring partner.

From the tips, you can see that sparring is, of course, an exchange of punches and you can also test out new techniques on your sparring partner.

If your sparring partner overdoes it and is in a state of rage, stop the training. The purpose of a session is to improve fighting skills. It is not about someone leaving the ring with a broken nose or getting knocked out during sparring.