My client began his second course in Modern Western Boxing for Martial Arts Cross-Training this morning. This was an hour and a half lesson. At my client’s request, we began work on evasions and focused this first lesson on slipping. I like to think of all evasions and opportunistic positioning, as it puts a more proactive thinking process behind the tactics being used. Every time a jab is thrown it presents an opening in an opponent’s guard and opportuning to move around it punch from a strong angle.
We warmed up with some mirror footwork, focusing on changing stances more frequently as well as angling off, cornering and escaping from corners. Then we placed strikes before moving onto slipping-based drills. There several different slipping tactics. For the purposes of this lesson, we looked at the slip being used to set up for an angled strike, such as an overhand or right hook. We broke down the slipping action, the jabbing action and the angling action. The slip and the jab must be done as one motion whilst manoeuvring to angle. If we were to view this version of the slip/jab into the angled position as a series of photographs it would be easy to think of the footwork as merely turning a jab into a cross. After all you step rather than shift forward when you slip. However, the real way to look at this technique is as a “jab in transition”. That way it is easier to roll into the follow up punch.
Once the technique was broken down and then put back together, we did some timing drills. This involves the coach throwing a constant and consistent series of jabs without interruption and the fighter slipping past them with the punching combination.
Next we put it under pressure with some specific sparring rounds. First we performed a round restricted only to jabbing, attacking and defending the jab together. Next we fought a round where the fighter was restricted to jabbing only and the coach used all boxing techniques. Then the final round had the roles reversed, allowing the fighter to not only feel the benefits of integrating the jabs and slipping to the rest of technique repertoire but also see how the coach copes with the jabbing restriction.
The lesson finished with a round of technique/speed/power: 30 seconds slip/jabbing, 30 seconds speed straight punching and 30 seconds throwing heavy crosses. This was then repeated for the full three minute round. My next lesson with this client will cover similar concepts involved bobbing and weaving.
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Line drawing sourced from “Attack Fitness Blog” article, “Disarming Your Opponent: The Jab”