Tuesday night’s teacher consultancy continued the Western Boxing theme with a full focus on the peek-a-boo guard and approach. Unlike the Philly Shell previously covered I did not have to make a more square-on adjustment as this guard is excellent for cross-training. The peek-a-boo has evolved a lot since Cus D’Amato first popularised it through his two most famous protégés Floyd Patterson and Mike Tyson. I believe its roots are in the high (double) guard which is a specific style in Western Boxing and very popular in Muay Thai. Both involved walking down opponents and many boxing coaches teach variations of the peek-a-boo using a high guard.
We built up the peek-a-boo from its base foundations in line-work and then repeated this procedure with live partner drills. Arguably the hardest habit to retain throughout teaching this guard is to keep the hands in position whether it was as a high guard or in the traditional peek-a-boo guard so this has to start from the beginning. Each stage of the development process means more time keeping the hands up and tight to the head.
I first taught footwork. From what I have been taught and have learned through research and discovery in order to make the peek-a-boo method work one need to move into range and stay there. Again, this is comparable to the strategies of nak muays. The peek-a-boo boxer steadily moves towards and angles off on opponents, shifting slides and switching stances. Next we began animating the guard with active defence. Here I emphasised the importance of keeping these parries and deflections tight. The peek-a-boo boxer will be walking into the line of fire so their armour needs to be strong in every way.
This led us onto head movement which I divided up into the pull-back, the duck and the slip. Pull-backs allow for evasions whilst not losing ground. Ducking is a tighter movement than rolling and lends itself better to the over peek-a-boo movement patterns. Problems with these two evasions outside of boxing come from making these movements too loose. Muay Thai and especially MMA fighters have a number of powerful overhand techniques such as cobra punches, jumping downward elbow strikes and superman punches. The duck can leave a fighter open to knee strikes. Peek-a-boo’s slip is fairly unique in that it is done with a pronounced lateral flexion.
We then brought in the jab. Again, a strong feature of the style is the way the jab is paired regularly with the slip. However, the jab is also fed independently and regularly off the rapidly changing angles and stances. Next we included body shots and I put together a few combinations.