This lesson in my client’s second course in boxing for martial arts cross training brought us up to the five and a half hour point. The purpose of this morning’s training was to work more on blending upper-body mobility with footwork and introduce some strategies. Said strategy today highlighted the use of the clinch in Western Boxing.
We began with a warm-up of line-work. First we just isolated footwork. Then we isolated upper-body movement – slipping, bobbing and ducking. Finally we combined single punches and then combinations, bringing it all together.
These movements were then brought onto the focus mitts. We went through some basic combinations, revising the previous lesson, including building up the four-punch combination with slips, bobbing, weaving and ducking. This was then incorporated into some free-style flash-pad work.
We then moved onto strategies and tactics, looking at defensive methods and counter-punching. This was trained using partner-work, where we isolated the boxer’s clinch and also a provocative flurry of punches. The clinch is designed to tie up the arms and drain the opponent. Contrary to popular belief, it is an established boxing practice and has been used to great effect by many of the greatest fighters of all time. This was then taken onto the focus mitts and finally applied over three rounds of specific sparring. Again, I used Jack Johnson as a useful model. This strategy involves baiting an aggressive fighter into a clinch to wear them down. This was the flurry provocation/clinch tactic I described earlier. Using Muhammad Ali as another influence, we also brought in the low guard. This will eventually lead us onto anchor-punching, which I aim to cover in the next lesson.