My Sparring Diary 12/10/11

Posted: December 12, 2011 in Boxing, Fighting 50 in and out of the ring, The Duffy Dombrowski Fight Club
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This makes four straight weeks of getting good sparring in. it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that.

Today I wanted to build on the fundamentals I’ve been focusing on, namely keeping my vision, bringing my jab hand back and keeping my guard in so I don’t get caught with the uppercut. My goal today was to stay off the ropes, move side to side instead of back and not reflexively give up ground.

My trainer is smaller than me and he perpetually comes in, never taking a backward step. My first reaction is to backpedal which is wrong, puts me in a position to do nothing offensively and it’s exhausting.

I did very well with holding my guard and I noticed it slowed everything down. I had to pump the jab and really concentrate to move to the side but it definitely worked. I had to focus really hard in staying in the right stance and time the jab to counter his moves in on me. When I wanted to score i had to commit myself and move forward which is where I became vulnerable. I was pleased with my stamina though all of my good strategy began to erode as it always does when fatigue set in. In the third, trust me, fatigue set in–though not as bad as in previous weeks.

Something else of note. I felt like crap going to the gym today. I didn’t sleep well and I had a few things on my mind bothering me. In the past when I’ve made myself spar when i felt like that i wound up taking a headshot that I didn’t want to take or exhausting myself and really feeling like crap for a while.

Today I felt like I needed to spar. I didn’t want to lose the traction of three straight weeks, I wanted the camaraderie of the gym and I wanted the mood boost it always gives. I got all of that and it was better than any time on a shrink’s couch. It has always been that way for me and I’m not sure why.

Sparring is exhilarating, it tires you out and it gives you a chance to burn off steam. it does something else that i think has to do with the concept of mindfulness. While I’m fighting I HAVE to think of fighting in the moment. I have to be fluid in the moment and keep an empty mind while being able to react. i can’t obsessively go over bullshit that I let bother me. For these nine minutes I have to focus and be fluid at the same time.

Nothing else has ever put me in the moment like fighting.

More than anything else that explains why I want to do it my whole life.

Here’s some of my other sparring diary entries.

Here’s some of the Duffy Dombrowski Fight Club blogs.

Here’s a really cool interview with John “The Ice Man” Scully on the life of a sparring partner

  1. michael rivest says:

    Congrats, Tom. It pains me to give you a compliment, but you really are good at what you do in the ring. I am honored to have as a “war story” that I broke my knuckle on your head. It has has yet to impress a woman in a bar yet, though.

    • tjs9261 says:

      Yeah, well thanks, but you really got raise the bar of what you’re running past chicks. Maybe say it was against Ernie Shavers or something like that.

  2. I feel the same way about writing. When I’m writing children’s stories, I go into another world. I switch of from everything else and don’t think about problems. I keep going until I’m so exhausted, I start to fall asleep at my computer. Writing gives me a buzz and is a great mood changer. I’m glad I don’t like sparring instead though, ‘ cause I’d end up with a busted nose and a fat head.

  3. tjs9261 says:


    I’m so glad you wrote this–I get a similar feeling from writing. I almost referenced it in the blog but I didn’t want to go off in too many directions. You really nailed it.

    If I could just get that feeling an not have to deal with the business end of writing it would be bliss. As I write that I’m guessing there are pro fighters who would say the same thing about their activity.

    • Yes,TJ, the business end of writing takes up more time than the writing the books. Authors make very little per book unless their books become best sellers, and even then the business side is so time consuming, it takes time away from producing that next great story. LOL. I’m hoping that kids all get eReaders from Santa this year as kids don’t buy their own paperbacks and adults don’t buy children eBooks. I sell more paperbacks, but I think eBooks will take over and quite soon. Though I still love paperbacks myself, I like the idea of carrying hundreds of books in my bag. The best thing for me is that pensioners love children’s books and buy mine because of the gross slap-stick humour.

      I see that you’re a social worker and a boxing judge as well. One of my children works in the industry of getting people with problems jobs and also works on a weekend charity phone to help depressed folks. I believe if people write, it can help depression and I’ve seen it work for many. Before my knees went, I used to run for an hour a day before or after work, I had the same euphoric feeling then that I now get from writing. Now, I go for an hour bush walk a day, but do I switch off? Well, sort of, I plan the plots and characters for my work in progress. LOL.

      TJ, how do you tear yourself away from writing to go and spar? I guess both are equally exhilarating. Plus you probably get inspiration from sparring and judging for your books, like the ‘write what you know’ rule. When I’m walking around my country valley or rescuing the native animals in the wildlife charity I volunteer for, I get inspired to write stories about the critters and settings. Also I find derelict old cottages in the woods and sometimes they’re still full of furniture. I add them to my stories too, pictures and all. I always have my camera with me. I better go and do some writing now, but first there’s marketing and blogging. I’m not even going to look at the housework as I have a shift on the wildlife duty phone in three hours.

      Your book looks great TJ.

      • tjs9261 says:

        Love the way you think…like your daughter I’ve spent time working on a suicide hotline and one of my releases next year is partially set on a hotline.

        I can’t write for hours and hours…I need to do something else with my mind and that’s where the fighting comes in…it has to.

        The business end of writing is a huge mixed bag but like it or not it is a part of what we have to do.

        Thanks for dropping by–please become a regular!

  4. That’s true, TJ, and if we didn’t have to market our books, we wouldn’t be on twitter, meeting so new and interesting folks. 🙂

  5. Tj, I just bought you eBook, tagged, Liked, twittered and Facebooked it, but now, I have to find time to read it. LOL. Guess I won’t get too much sleep as I have so much reading to catch up on. LOL. 🙂 But when I do read it, i’ll be sure to give you a review on Amazon. Are you on Goodreads, TJ? I’ll give a review on there too.

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