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first of all, im 23 and doing boxing for like 3 years now... I'm training seriously, have 8 training sessions per week and also I spar with some good people.

Just today I had my first 2 fights, the bell rang all of a sudden I forgot everything I knew about boxing, I didn't work with the jab, was flying forward when punching and let my hands down... I won my first match but the opponent was a beginner, my second opponent knocked me down in the third round and the fight was stopped by my trainer.

I feel like beating myself up for that, it's nothing like the way I usually spar.

Is it just that I have to fight a couple more times to get used to that feeling or is there any other way to get a clear head when fighting ? I have watched other peoples first matches and they didn't seem to be so bad, even though they were less experienced than me and usually worse than me.

Thanks in advance!

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    You last until 3rd round, so you didn't do THAT BAD. What do your trainer thinks? Jan 24 at 12:31
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    Honestly, this is a really common thing to happen when you get into a "real fight". Your brain locks up from all of the possibilities and all of the drills just don't come to mind, or don't work the way you expect them to. Really, the only way to learn from it is experience. Practicing at half speed is an option (although initially, you will have issues with reacting too fast) to start thinking on the fly but not panicking, as is focusing on a few simple combinations and a generic defense, or specific defense and a generic offense. Jan 24 at 15:12
  • How high were your adrenaline levels? How frightened did you feel? Were you more scared of being hurt, or of losing (or both, relatively equally)? Jan 25 at 0:07
  • I wasn't afraid of being hurt, and I don't know about my adrenalin level but I kind of felt like being in a hurry to punch him in the face and also I wasn't seeing punches so well as usual.
    – Khyzhniak
    Jan 25 at 8:34
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    @Alaychem goes to Codidact one of my trainers said it's normal and I have to get used to the feeling of fighting and also that he saw some good things in that fight, one commented that he didn't see no boxing at all, and that it looked more like a school yard fight. Also another trainer said that he would have thrown in the towel if he would see me letting my hands down like I was Prince Naseem or smth.
    – Khyzhniak
    Jan 25 at 8:41

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Honestly, this is a really common thing to happen when you get into a "real fight" for the first time in a style. The adrenaline kicks in, your brain locks up from all of the possibilities, and all of the drills just don't come to mind, or don't work the way you expect them to. Really, the only way to learn from it is experience. Practicing at half speed is an option (although initially, you will have issues with reacting too fast) to start thinking on the fly but not panicking, as is focusing on a few simple combinations and a generic defense, or specific defense and a generic offense. But ultimately, the only cure is experience.

I've had teachers with different philosophies regarding the length of initial bouts. One school of thought is that if you break the fights down into short exchanges, new fighters get the experience of the fight, but get a bit of time in between to reflect on what they did and how well it worked. The other is that longer bouts are better, because they give you a chance to burn through some of the adrenaline, and as you get tired, sometimes your movements will become more efficient from necessity. That said, fatigue can also make you sloppy.

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