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[Sparring Circle member Peelo offers some of her views on the importance of female sparring, and sparring in general. Peelo was my first opponent, as we met and fought at the WKA in Virginia – where she won her division. She is currently preparing for her third fight.]

I have been to quite a few gyms and have had different experiences at all of them, sometimes positive or negative.

All sparring is good because it gets you used to fighting different people and styles. But we do fight women and yes I agree that we should spar women. Unfortunately in most gyms there are not enough girls of different sizes. This is why i enjoy attending the sparring circle because i get an opportunity to spar with different girls of different levels and sizes. I feel more prepared and confident for my next fight because I know that I am used to the power and technique of a variety of female opponents.

I believe females should spar their male counterparts though and not discount the benefits because you can hit harder without as much guilt. Some people I have spoken to expressed concerns that girls all getting together from different gyms would come with attitudes and I have in the past sometimes experienced mild cattiness from girls at different gyms but I have not found that in this particular gathering. But if you want to fight and/ or have realistic sparring then you should spar with other girls.

Sometimes I find that some girls don’t want to go as hard as me or if they are smaller or less experienced I feel guilty if I hit them hard. But I try to be as communicative as possible and I try to remember when I first started sparring and the great people that were there that encouraged me and boosted my ego when I needed it. So far this has worked for me.

There is no substitute for being around other women. You are encouraged, inspired and motivated to keep training in ways that your male counterparts won’t be able to. I always try to encourage other girls to fight and to get more ladies out into the sport because that is the only way we can all get better, together.

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