Get fit with this simple 30-Minute Krav Maga Sparring Exercise

by Joost | Last Updated: October 14, 2020

A great martial arts master once said that the only way to learn martial arts is to engage in real fights, but if trouble is not around when you’re searching for it, then sparring with your buddies at the dojo is the next best thing.

Sparring is a practical way to learn martial arts faster, especially in a Krav Maga school and if you’re not doing it regularly, then you’re not learning anything.

Let’s look at a simple 30-minute sparring exercise you can do whenever you have even the littlest time available, to keep up your skills.

boxing sparring

You excel in martial arts through sparring and all great martial artists from legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi to Kung Fu Master Wong Jack Man (the only man to catch the superhumanly fast Bruce Lee more than once in an arm lock when they fought back in 1964) did not become legends by just taking lessons.

No, they became masters of their craft by getting down and dirty either via friendly matches or brutal fights to the death.

You can get started in training with just a few simple items of gear

Here’s a quick Krav Maga sparring exercise:


Read on for some more sparring techniques to fill your 30 minute sparring round.

What is Sparring?

Sparring is a form of training common to many combat sports. It is a simulated fighting that has sets of rules, agreements, and customs that studies and anticipates all possible attack movements of the opponent without causing any real harm or injury to both participants of the spar.

Humble as he was, Bruce Lee’s master, Yip Man almost always had to accept challenges from various opponents, because he was considered as the top shifu (師傅 or 師父 or master) in Southern China and in Hong Kong back in his day. Those matches could be considered sparring, but they were too life-threatening to fit that description.

On the other hand, Yip Man always trains on the Wing Chun wooden dummy which was technically his “sparring partner” as it allowed him to compute the movements of his opponent’s probable attacks and countered it in the most efficient manner.

Musashi’s sparring mostly consisted of death matches between other samurais and ninjas in feudal Japan. He wandered around for many years kind of like the fictional character Rurouni Kenshin from the anime and live action movie adaptation of the same name and challenged swordsmen who he thought was worthy of his skill.

Bruce Lee did the same thing and he would either challenge other shifus or entire dojos as well as take on a group of thugs from the Chinese mafia who often ganged up on him during the filming of his movies. At times the film crew did not even know that he was already engaged in a real fight, because they thought that his attackers were extras.

And those thugs were also trained in Chinese martial arts so it was absolutely interesting to see him fight for real right in front of their eyes!

But these are masters of masters and so they’re on a different level when sparring with friends or opponents. The average Krav Maga and other martial arts practitioner will go through a standardized phase of training, including sparring.

Spar 30 Minutes a Day for at Least 3 Times a Week

When you do sparring sessions, spar constructively. In Krav Maga students are taught a lot of improvisations based on real-world scenarios in order to keep them from not relying on pre-planned moves, because basic attack and defense routines done in the dojo doesn’t work in real fights.

KM instructors will even tell you to come up with your own moves in handling a dangerous situation and if your self-defense tactics are better than what your instructor taught you, then you are encouraged to do more. Having learned the above fighting scenarios, your sparring sessions should concentrate more on how to anticipate and counter them, especially the difficult ones like the suckerpunch and attack from the blindside.

Personally, I hate cowards and this shameless man that kicked an innocent woman from behind her in this YouTube video is the ultimate example of what a coward looks like. Unfortunately for the girl, she had her hoodie on which already impairs her field of view and she was probably listening to some tunes also, which made the situation worse for her.

She could have suffered from a minor spine and neck injury after that if the guy exerted more effort into his kick, thankfully his kick was that of a playful child than someone who was out for blood. Had the girl been trained in Krav Maga or any other kind of martial arts, then she would have been able to defend herself very well like the women in this video.sparring

For small women who were forced to defend themselves against guys who were twice their size and obviously stronger than them, they must have had spent a considerable amount of time sparring in the dojo to deliver those devasting moves shown in the video above!

Here’s a complete guide on why women need to learn Krav Maga.

Working out and doing strength training 40 minutes to 1 hour a day 3 times a week plus some 30-minute Krav Maga sparring will increase your chances of survival in deadly situations significantly.

Plus it’s great for your physical health as well.

Some basic drills and techniques to do when sparring

Attacking Techniques (arm striking techniques)



Attacking Techniques (leg attacks)



Defensive Techniques (against arm striking techniques)



Train Radical Self-Defense

Okay, so you train and spar at your local Krav Maga dojo, but are you prepared to fight on the street if the occasion calls for it? What if maybe, just maybe, in order for you to be prepared for street fights is to train to fight literally on the streets?!

Well, that certainly seems reasonable, albeit radical. Here’s my suggestion, you let your sparring partner or partners (try to anticipate that you may not only face one opponent out there but several) to take the role of street thugs who will bump into you and get confrontational.

You just have to agree which street corner you will meet and spar there like in a realistic situation. Or you could also have your friends ask other guys (people you don’t personally know) to play the bad guys and spar with you that way you can raise the stakes higher.

From there you practice the four types of attacks and be prepared for it if it ever happens to you for real. Just keep in mind that both you and your sparring partners dial down your attacks as you’re only training in the streets to get the feel of what’s it really like to face threats out there compared to the dojo.

Learn How to Take a Hit

Manny Pacquiao, the world record holder of being the only boxer in the world to be world champion in 8 divisions of weight classes in the global boxing arena. However, everyone remembers his first defeat back in 1996 to his fellow Filipino boxer, Rustico Torrecampo via a hard right to his gut that sent him reeling to the ground.

Manny PacquiaoBefore he fought Torrecampo though he had an impressive 11 straight victories all of which where Kos and yet he did not realize his own weakness – he couldn’t take a hit. Now, this is important for you martial artists reading this, because you need to learn to take a hit and not be put down easily.

Ever since his defeat from Torrecampo, Pacquiao trained his body to take hits from even a water buffalo’s powerful legs and he wouldn’t be knocked down by it. With both his head and body getting as hard as a rock he became even more formidable than he was before and his opponents actually feared him.

I think even Floyd Mayweather feared him too! Because he wouldn’t be running around the ring like a scared little cat if he wasn’t. LOL! So train as hard as you can or even as close as you can to how Pacquiao did to be able to take a hit and come back in beast mode to your opponent, so you can put the fear in him and force him to surrender or retreat.

Self-Defense and Reality

When Hollywood action superstars such as Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, Stevan Seagal, Jason Statham and a whole lot of laundry list of characters came into the limelight and introduced martial arts to the world, people started enrolling in a martial arts school in droves.

Unfortunately, only two decades had gone by and people are now trash talking Aikido and other martial arts that promises the best self-defense, but when it comes down to a real fight even the black belt Aikidoka gets knocked down.

Why did it happen? Recently a rumor circulated in the martial arts world in the US that the hardcore Aikido master Steven Seagal was choked out by Ronda Rousey’s mentor, Gene Lebell who was already in his 70s.Ronda Rousey

Well, looks apparently can be deceiving as this old man may have proven himself (allegedly) still formidable even in his old age, I mean, he did train MMA champion Ronda Rousey after all! This video seems to question some of Seagal’s claims and even Joe Rogan says that Seagal’s fighting style is a bit silly if applied in real-world combat scenarios.

You don’t get to choose how you fight in real street fights as YouTuber Fight Science explains. The two weaknesses that every martial artist have is against sucker punch attacks and surprise attacks, especially those that come from their blind side or from the back.

It’s almost impossible to use self-defense in an attack that you cannot see coming! That is a fact.

Even if you train daily and spar with your partner daily that still doesn’t guarantee that you will leave the battlefield unscathed. So how do you survive a street fight then?

The answer is to explore the various kinds of attacks and there are four kinds of them.

  1. The normal confrontation that builds up to heated arguments and turns into an aggression – this type of developing attack is easy to spot and you will have enough time to prepare for that incoming shove, punch or kick from the person you confronted or confronted you. There may even be instances where you practiced this type of attack in the dojo while sparring with your partner, therefore you may already be familiar with it.
  2. The meet halfway and fight on equal footing battle – this type of attack is also easy to spot and handle as this is the most common form of attack that you practice in the dojo every time you spar. You will also have enough time to prepare and think of the best moves to put your opponent down.
  3. The suckerpunch – this is the second most difficult form of attack as it can happen in only a split-second and you’ll have to develop super quick reflexes to react to it and then counter with your own fist of terror! It can happen anywhere any time and in one moment you’re drinking your Starbucks coffee cup on the go and the next moment someone hits you like a sock in the eye. The one advantage you’ll have against a suckerpunch is that the attack comes from your 180° field of view and you can block or dodge it, then deliver a counter attack.
  4. The attack from the back (blindside attack) – this is probably the most difficult attack to deal with while you’re on the street and that’s because it is outside of your field of view. Your disadvantage is that you’ll be distracted by noisy pedestrians, traffic, you’re having a conversation with someone on the phone, you have your hoody on, you’re listening to some nice tunes, etc. and then your attacker sneaks up on you and hits you at the back of your head weakening your nervous system and knocks you down. But there is a way to anticipate it and beat your opponent in his own game! The trick is to use your other senses, especially your hearing and turning your head to the left and to your right as you catch a glimpse of what’s going on behind you even just for 1-2 seconds would even the odds. It’s equally important to strengthen your body and train it to learn to take a hit and not be shaken, so you can hit back harder than your assailant did.