I introduced my Wednesday client to the MMA combinations I taught to Thursday night’s client. We also brought in some extra moves to catch a further retreating opponent.
The lesson began with dynamic stretches and some simple line-work techniques before we covered the set-ups for downward angled jabs and crosses followed by leg-shoot set-ups for the two shovel hooks. These were performed as compliant combinations and then as live sparring drills.
Next we addressed the back-peddling opponent. Again, the fighter switches between levels – straight punches to the head, straight punches to the body and a tap to the knees signifying a lowline shoot of some description. The lowline shoot is a feint to sneak in the shovel hook, as described in Thursday’s lesson. This time, however, the fighter needs to cover more ground after the feint to land the bodyshot.
For the right shovel hook this requires an outside step shifting stance, not a million miles away from the concepts used by Bob Fitzsimmons (his solar plexus punch) at the turn of the 20th century or Mike Tyson in the 1980s and ’90s. In order to land the lead shovel hook (typically a liver shot for orthodox fighters) on a backwards moving opponent, the set-up involves feeding a jab/cross to the head followed by a jab/feint cross as the fighter steps out.
Finally, we added a head kick to these two set-ups. Due to the fighter switching stance with the right shovel hook, the left leg is now set to deliver a rear leg round kick. The head is a great target here as the opponent’s attention has been diverted to the powerful upward angled hook to his floating ribs or spleen. However, the left shovel hook also uses a left head kick in order to land close enough to the rapidly retreating opponent. Even this is unlikely to strike in range and so requires a pendulum shift to follow the punch.
These combinations were all taught with a compliant partner and then put under pressure in live conditions.