Boxing Under Pressure (diary entry)



Tonight’s lesson brought us up to the nine hour mark of a basic course in western boxing for martial arts cross training. Therefore, this is the penultimate lesson in this course. Next time we will be taking our training back to the self-defence line. Tonight our focus was on bringing all the boxing training together and progressively applying it under pressure. I don’t hold with the false notion that if you teach the art precisely the student will be good. Rather I prefer to do what I feel is best to get the student to work efficiently under pressure and mould the art around them. Heresy, I know. A longer description of it can be seen in my recent article on C.S.I.


We began with movement coordination, mobility and footwork drills. We worked around different spaces, taking in an entire tennis court area and then tight movements within agility markers for comparison. I am a big promoter of coordination training to be done as part of a warm up. The mind is fresher to retain improved movement patterns and it certainly gets the heart rate up.


Next we moved onto the focus mitts. First we revised and built on all the punches covered, including variations on the jab, cross, hook, uppercut, anchor, overhand, liver and spleen shots. We also covered the 11 punch combination.


Then I introduced the peek-a-boo guard as a method for increasing confidence in sparring. Whatever one’s opinions are on this particular guard, I think it is an excellent way to get a student more comfortable with boxing’s pressure testing.  We focused on keep the punches and deflection tight as well as working with good upper body evasion techniques.


We then did three rounds of progressive pad-work. The first round focused on attacking using flash-pad work. Here the student is given no set combinations or is expected to defend. He just focuses on hitting targets with the appropriate technique as soon as the pad becomes present and before it goes away. The second round was defensive movement only. Here the student learns to use defence offensively, cutting down attacks, moving in and out of incoming strikes. The final round puts the two together. Now the student strikes with full knowledge that he will be hit at the same time. It makes a student committed and confident when he attacks as well as helps to build a robust defence at all times. This is then fed back into full sparring.


The lesson was finished with 3 x 3 minute rounds of western boxing sparring.



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