Monday night’s second lesson saw the resumption of my work with the Athena School of Karate adult and advanced student lessons. We are covering the rhythm and flow stand-up striking combination work. Tonight we focused on combinations five and six. These are relatively short, especially combination six, and use footwork to set up opponents. Combination five uses switch-hitting and a shuffle to chain together different punches and eventually set up for a powerful rear kick to the body. Combination six drives off a cross into a southpaw stance and then finishes with a spinning back/hammer-fist.
Without a shadow of doubt, some the biggest advances in the stand-up range of fighting come from progress in footwork. Have a look at any list of great stand-up fighters in a wide range of combat sports and you are going to a good number that are praised for their footwork. Bareknuckle Pugilism was altered dramatically by Daniel Mendoza and his lateral footwork. All boxing treatises following his ensure that footwork was given a lot of attention. The 20th century saw the likes of Willie Pep, Ray Robinson, Archie Moore, Muhammad Ali, Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson and countless others demonstrate the importance of good footwork. In modern Muay Thai, Saenchai is often considered to be the greatest of his era and of all time. He is a master of footwork. Likewise, MMA GOAT rankings will see the likes of many great footwork merchants with Georges St Pierre rated for the way he uses circling footwork and outside boxing tactics to set his opponents up for pot-shots. Dominick Cruz continues to gain a lot of respect in the sport and his footwork coaching is critically acclaimed due to how much it has aided his career.