The ninth lesson of my client’s second course on western boxing for martial arts cross training focused on power punching. With technique and speed being addressed over the past few lessons, all underlined and interlaced with strategy and tactics, it was time to isolate the process of generating and developing raw power. This is a far larger subject than it might first appear and I will probably look at it again next lesson, where the focus will be on applying western boxing to self-defence.
We began with some gentle line-work. This was in preparation for the core movements that would be training throughout the lesson. I try to look at heavy striking sessions in a similar way as I look at heavy lifting sessions. You are placing large demands on your muscles and joints by exerting a lot of force in short bursts. The warm-up also provides the fighter time to make their mind muscle connection to ensure he gets the most out of his training session.
We isolated the cross, the rear hook and the rear uppercut. We also touched upon liver-shot/shovel hut variations, overhands and the power jab. The first three were trained on the focus mitts then onto the resistance bands (working the resistance both forward and backwards) then onto the heavy bags then with restriction and finally back onto the focus mitts. We did not throw more than around six strikes in succession per set off each hand. This was to ensure maximum focus and maximum exertion per strike as well as the usual safeguarding against bad habit forming. Treating heavy strikes like heavy lifts, I want lower reps.
Once again, I saw many improvements, including my client’s ability to non-verbally critique, appraise and correct. He showed a greater awareness of muscle activation and recruitment behind each strike, which appeared to be quite natural towards the end of the session. His strikes are clearly much harder than they have ever been and he is better utilizing his entire body. Training in rolling for hooks and uppercuts, as well as slipping, has promoted better all-round body mechanics in his performance. For example, he is shown better rotation on his hooks and is clearly driving the strike up from his feet.
The session was finished with a couple of conditioning exercises. I coached him on goblet squats and swinging frog jumps. The former is an exercise many coaches use to teach basic squat form. However, it is a useful exercise in its own right. Firstly, the goblet squat is a great mobility exercise. It allows for a deep Asian squat position, ensuring that you hit all your lower body muscles. Secondly, helps encourage a great upward drive required for most striking. The latter works that forward force required for striking and is suitably explosive.