I sparred for a half-hour today with one of my oldest friends. Si is out of shape and has a sizable Buddha belly but he's also 6'2 and 240, plenty of which is muscle. We agreed to try and to restrain our blows to the head, the groin and the joints, but everything else was fair game.
Si isn't a boxer, he's a martial artist (Indonesian kung-fu) but he isn't afraid of contact. We had some great exchanges on a field in a kiddie park while the bemused mommies looked on. It's good practice for me to go against his skills because he's always looking for kicks and throws, while I'm much more focused on striking.
As normally happens, he pushed me around the field with his reach, weight and height advantage. But it wasn't so one-sided as to be dull. I landed some good combination on his body and danced away from all but one of his throws. Since I'm about a hundred times more fit than him, I began to score more frequently as the fighting went on. Towards the end we forgot about our restraints and were going close to full, fists and feet flying. Sweat made a bib on the front of Si's blue oxford.
I ended up with some bloody cuts, a fat lip and the beginnings of a black eye. Yet I was blissful when we finished. I loved mixing it up - in a friendly sort of way - when I was seven and I love it now. It brings flavor to life.