Definition of a Leader: A guiding or directing head, as of an army, movement, or political group.

Definition of a Ring Leader: A person who leads others, especially in opposition to authority, law etc. 

Who is leading the team and are they being a Leader or Ring Leader? There is many things that can cause injuries when sparring, and the most important part to safe sparring is have the sparring sessions observed by a coach. It is up to the coach to observe the sparring sessions to help their athletes prepare the safest and most effective way possible to perform at their best. There is so many times in my career that I have been to schools where there is no one watching the sparring sessions or the coach is calling the rounds but also sparring with the team. Very dangerous in my opinion.

Why is it important to have someone observing the Sparring?

  • To oversee that there is no foul play going on, or injury causing techniques being used.
  • To make sure everyone has the correct protective equipment on.
  • To make sure the correct partners are being matched up by size and experience, and if even if they are allowed to be matched up the coach can pull the more experienced or bigger athlete back.
  • The coach can see if the athlete is taking to much damage and pull them out of the session so serious injuries can be prevented.
  • If an injury does happen the coach can asses whether it was caused from foul play and if so can take action. If the injury was not caused from foul play the coach can asses theories on how it could have been avoided for future experiences. Again in some cases injuries can not be avoided but at least you will know.

Get the most out of your sparring and longevity to your career, or your athletes career.