If you concentrate on perfecting techniques, you will not get instant gratification while sparring. In fact, you will probably get beat a lot because, even though your opponent’s attacks may be sloppy, they still score. However, the problem with sloppy techniques is that they stay sloppy. If you improve a sloppy technique, it only means that it will get sloppier. However, when a good technique improves, it becomes closer to perfection. If you persist at trying to perform perfect techniques, at some point your techniques will start to overwhelm sloppy techniques and you win every fight.
Watching an artisan at work is inspiring; seeing perfection at work brings tears to your eyes. I have watched my instructor spar many times so I know he is good, but one time I went with him to a rank testing in another city. Two 20-something black belts were testing, and they were good; they were whipping up on all the other testing students. The head instructor of the testing asked my instructor to spar them. It was a beautiful thing to behold. As he sparred each of them, he picked them apart with powerful, clean, perfectly focused techniques as a vulture would pick apart road kill. He did not hurt them, but they were completely demoralized; they knew they had a lot more to learn.
You have the right attitude. Keep climbing toward the light, and hopefully, you will—never reach the top.
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