fall into the habit of martial arts training with the same sparring partner for every class. You may great at beating this opponent week after week. However even if you think they are the toughest competitor in your class or gym this is a dangerous pitfall you need to change. The problem is that you become far to used to how the same opponents react and what moves they use.
It is crucial to constantly change up partners to pit yourself against all sizes of competitors and all styles. You must get used to adapting your fighting style for all types of attackers, short, tall, fat, skinny, fast and slow. You never know who is going to attack you in the street and even if you are fighting in the UFC, opponents can be changed at the last minute due to injuries or other issues leaving you little time to prepare against a different style.
You also always want to try and take on the best there is when it comes to sparring to make sure you are constantly challenged. Take on the best in your martial arts classes and if possible spar with your instructors. They may be reluctant to do this for fear of being embarrassed, so if necessary sign up for some private classes.
If you run out of new opponents and training partners in your regular training classes then visit other schools, particularly those with completely different styles to yours. If you have been practicing Tae Kwon Do, then go to a Brazilian JiuJitsu or wrestling school and see if you can get a free month pass to try it out. Beyond this, challenge all of your friends and co-workers to come to your class and show what they are made of. Alternatively when ever you go on vacation or are traveling, stop by a local gym or training center and get in a couple sessions that can put you up against a whole new school of new opponents.
Competitions are another great way to prepare yourself to be thrown against other opponents without any preparation. Enter as many events as you can to be constantly challenged and keep up your competitive edge. Always make sure you are wear the proper mma gear.
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