Tonight my new client began his course on Basic Western Boxing for Mixed Martial Arts. His entire training strategy is to learn MMA and to do this he wishes to learn the component arts first. This is the best way to learn the art.
We began with basic guard work and footwork. Everything was geared towards keeping the hands up in active fashion and to move in a way that does not compromise balance or is too static. We went through a basic pattern, moving forwards, backwards, laterally and on an angle. Many coaches do not teach this early on, believing it is better to get the punching side learnt properly in isolation. My disagreement is based on the fact that fights move and learning how to move properly in a fight is a habit that must be learnt as soon as possible. When it comes to guards my views have changed over the years. I began by teaching the basic boxing guard, but I often find it does not transition well with Muay Thai, where a high guard is preferred. The peek-a-boo is a good guard for beginners as it teaches them safety first and helps build their confidence. With this in mind, I taught upper body mobility too before we threw the first punch.
We concentrated entirely on jabbing and crossing when it came to punching. We jabbed as a defensive tool, as a range finder and to set up the cross. Impact (elastic as opposed to plastic force) was also discussed, especially when it came to the cross.
I have advised and given my client his own home-learning programme focusing on building up reactions, speed and appropriate supplementary calisthenics.
The lesson finished with one round of freestyle focus mitt work and then a 30/30/30 burn out round.