The third part of my course on “Rhythm and Flow” combinations for stand-up fighting for Keiryu Practical Karate continued on Tuesday. This is a Zoom training experience for adults and teenagers. Tonight we went through the punch and footwork dominant combinations five and six.
Combination five is very much a switch-hitting combination. After the initial jab/cross the fighter switches to southpaw and lands with a cross before using shuffle step to throw a right hook/left hook/right uppercut combination to camouflage a rear round kick off the left leg. With fluidity being the emphasis here, it is crucial that we use the two steps as chaining movements for the punches thrown. The step forward to southpaw move adds extra power to what was the lead hand and the step itself can be used a feint, misdirecting an opponent and setting them up for what boxers call a “lead hand right”. The triple shuffle is also a feint, this time leading an opponent into thinking you are changing stance. It adds power to the lead hook in a way that is similar (although not exactly the same as a switch-kick).
Combination five is all about chaining on back or hammer-fists. However, a deeper look provides us with a combination that is all about changing one punch into another. There is an interesting observation about the way Lennox Lewis uses a type of feint to land some of his jabs that land in a way very similar to a back-fist. This is worth bearing mind when throwing these backhand strikes. After a double jab, the cross is immediately chained with a back/hammer-fist strike. In order for this to be successful and time managed, the cross has to return from the target in a position that chambers the back/hammer-fist. Rather than returning down its powerline to guard, the elbow is flipped over in a cover guard position akin to a side elbow strike. A lead hook is then immediately paired with the same hand back/hammer-fist. This time the follow-up strike comes directly off the target to strike the opposite side of the opponent’s head. Finally, a cross is thrown to set up for a spinning back/hammer-fist. This action is the opposite to what was done in the previous combination. Rather than stepping forward with the opposite leg and turning a jab into a cross the fighter steps forward to throw the cross with the same side leg. This action is directly connected to the spinning back/hammer-fist. This is why this punch must be thrown more as a cross than a straight right as the fighter is stepping off the centre line when he throws the technique allowing him to continue the motion into a tight spin.