Improving Your Reaction Time

Martial arts and combat sports can be unpredictable and how well you react could be the difference between staying on your feet or getting knocked out. Having a slower reaction time than your opponent gets punished harder in combat sports than any other sport and while reacting lighting fast comes naturally to some fighters, it can also be developed through various training methods. For martial arts and fitness kickboxing training, Summer Hill and locals from surrounding suburbs choose ICC. Welcoming all ages and abilities, we provide a place where anyone from beginners to professional athletes can learn, train, and grow under one roof. Read on to learn about the importance of quick reaction time and a few things you can do to improve it.

Why is Reaction Time Important for Fighting?

Combat-focused sports like MMA or kickboxing are all about how athletes react to one another in the heat of combat. With every swing, strike, and step that your opponent makes you must be able to react accordingly to get the upper hand. Not only are combat sports fast paced, but they are also unpredictable. Even slight delays in your reaction times can mean the difference between getting surprised by a strike and effectively counterattacking. It’s vital to learn how to understand what your opponent is doing, process that information quickly, and instinctively respond. So, how can you do that?

Keep Your Head Clear

Despite the important role your mind plays in contact sports, try not to let it get in the way. One of the most important factors to having good reaction time is having a clear head. Keeping a relaxed, clear mind will allow you to react appropriately, sometimes without even thinking. Panicking, worrying, or overthinking every little detail will hinder your ability to see strikes coming or to be able to spot open opportunities for submissions. Remaining calm with a clear head will make it easier to avoid, defend, or capitalize when an opportunity to arises.

  • Work on your breathing and learn to relax during your regular training sessions.
  • Make all of your techniques second-nature. It’s important that you can make manoeuvres without having to think about your form.

Use A Reaction Ball

A great tool to help improve your reaction time and reflexes, a reaction ball is a small, six-sided ball that bounces in unpredictable directions when thrown against a wall or floor. Relying solely on your reflexes to catch the ball, you can improve your reaction time, as well as your hand-to-eye coordination and agility.

Slow Sparring

Slow sparring is exactly that – performing all of the same techniques you would use in a real fight in slow motion. Although it is slow in pace and motion, it is one of the most effective ways to improve your reaction time for real situations on the mats. It gives you the opportunity to feel things out, learn what your opponent is doing and analyse movements. You have the time to relax, think, and come up with creative responses and experiment with new techniques. Despite the slow-motion movements, your brain learns how to identify any small physical signals that indicate your opponent’s next move so that when you’re in a real match, you will be able to react to every move with swift and efficient action.

Want to Learn Martial Arts – Sydney’s ICC is Your Trusted Choice

Integrated Combat Centre is Sydney’s premier destination for a variety of martial arts programs. Whether you are looking for BJJ, Karate, Kickboxing or self-defence classes, Punchbowl, Penhurst and Padstow locals rely on us for experienced teachers, high-quality training facilities and a welcoming and inclusive environment. Book your 2 weeks Unlimited trial online or get in touch with us to find out more.

Give our BJJ program a go and experience the improvements to all of these fields. It is considered to be an excellent first style where the skills are easily transferable.


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