Tonight’s lesson looked at punching around the clock, drawing an opponent and asymmetrical combinations. We trained in Western Boxing and Muay Thai concepts with some ideas transferred over from Dutch Kickboxing and Tae Kwon Do.
The warm-up consisted of mirror footwork and placing strikes. We punched around the clock, which is means we used an imaginary clock-face to dictate angles of punches. We jabbed, crossed, anchor-punches, overhand punched, classic hook-punched off both hands, liver-punched, spleen-punched and classic uppercut-punched off both hands. From here we looked at speed combinations, focusing on making the fighter less tense and his punches more fluid. Power was completely sacrificed for the purpose of this exercise, as I wanted my fighter to prompt an opponent’s counter-offensive. A basic four punch combination of jab/cross/jab/cross was linked to slip jab/slip cross. This is something he can easily drill on the heavy bag. This sort of approach is reminiscent of Jack Johnson’s baiting, but rather than tying up an opponent the fighter exploits the punch thrown by the opponent and hits with his own. Such methodology has worked in the macrocosm of historic warfare. The Normans famously used it to turn the tide of battle at Hastings in 1066 and the Mongols perfected the feigned retreat by sending specific troops in to prompt an attack from the enemy, who would break their positions and then run into a trap.
We then went through the most common boxing combinations before focusing on changing the technique of the power punch. Using a fast jab – either the basic or tapper jab – we set up each of the rear hand punches before putting them into an asymmetrical combination. The combination began with three punches jab/cross/jab delivered lightly but at high speed to set up for a heavy hook, overhand, spleen or upper-cut punch. Later we exchanged the power punch for 45 degree round kick, Dutch round kick or Muay Thai round kick. The rationale behind asymmetrical combinations is that you stimulate the opponent’s fast-flinch response, forcing him to respond to a fast movement pattern. This disguises the slower moving power technique.
The lesson was finished with a round of Western Boxing and a round of Muay Thai.