When I tell people I’m a fighter the first thing they normally say “doesn’t it hurt getting punched in the face?” During a fight I don’t really feel any hits to the face unless its an elbow, punches generally don’t hurt unless they are straight in to your nose which has only happened in a couple of my fights. A good flush punch to the nose is harder to land with power than people think. I know I have come out of a lot of my fights thinking I didn’t even get punched in the face once until I watch the video and I get punched quite a few times they just didn’t bother me enough to take any notice of them.
When you first start out training it’s really hard to look straight on at someone while they throw a punch to your face. Instead of blocking I would always turn my head, my hands would come down and not even realise I was doing it until it was too late. I have seen so many beginners do this same thing while trying to spar. It’s just a natural instinct and pretty much everyone will do it to begin with. If you deal with it as soon as you start to do it you will be able to break the habit and learn to trust your guard. Trusting your guard is one of the most important things during sparing or a fight it is what can save you from bad situations. My husband (DANE SKY) is a great example of someone with a really good guard and he uses it well because he trusts it and this is what wins him fights against opponents who come out swing for the hills. He trusts his guard lets them punch all they like as he just watches through his gloves without panicking until they tire out or the time is right for him to throw. He knows he’s not going to get hurt he has confidence in his ability to block and come back. I get a lot of messages from people and see posts saying that they get freaked out about getting hit in the face. So I thought I would tell you a drill that I practiced until I could stare straight through my gloves without flinching while someone punched my repeatedly in the face. You will need a partner to help you with it as you will need someone to just throw punches at you continuously. Put your guard up so you can still see the other person through your gloves but not wide enough to let a punch go through. Get the person to start throwing punches really slowly and light straight in to you face. Try to keep your head straight and try not to close your eyes. When you can stare straight through the gloves without moving or turning your head get them to step it up a bit faster and harder. Each time you get used to it and can guard without panicking then step it up again until you are at the power and pace you need to be at for sparring. Do this every day for about 10 or 15 min and it will really help you to get used to trusting your guard and having punches thrown at your face. Once you get that under control you can start punching the other person back as well. They throw 4 punches at you, you guard then as soon as they stop punching you throw 4 punches back vs versa. This will not only help you to react fast, guard and throw back as soon as you can but it will give you confidents that you can take punches and come back and you are ok. These drill don’t sound like much but they really do help a lot they helped me and I still do them one in a while to keep on top of it. I have done these with so many beginners and seen so much improvement just after one time. So if you are finding it hard to trust your guard or spar give it a try and let me know how you go.
Follow My Muay Thai Journey On my Facebook Athlete Page (HERE)
Natasha Sky- Professional Muay Thai Fighter