Tuesday night’s third lesson saw my client conclude his latest 10 hour Boxing for Martial Arts Cross Training with a 10 round workout that included several rounds working the solo focus mitt.
I was asked about the dangers to form when using a single focus mitt. It is a fair question and I am sure there are some coaches who would argue that form is in danger of being sacrificed. However, I would contend that we can get around this problem. The problem does not arise so much when training the rear hand. Here the lead hand covered by the pad might be used to simulate a clinch. In fact, I would go so far as to say that all solo pad drills should be performed within the context of clinching. You cannot properly work outside boxing when striking a target on one of your hands. One most remember the role of the hand that is in the pad to prevent bad form and to make the training directly applicable. This makes a bit more sense of the training the lead hand with the rear hand outstretched. Many old school boxer would control with the rear hand. The great Jack Johnson, pictured here, would use his rear hand to set up his leads.
My client also asked about coordinating head movement with footwork. Single slips can be easily coordinated with footwork. A fighter can slip past a jab or a cross whilst shifting or stepping forward to a preferred counter-attack position. Double slips tend to be more static from my humble experience. If you watch some of the most prolific slipping boxers – the peek-a-boo fighters – they tend to step and then double-slip when static or they side step and slip at the same time. Rolling (bobbing and weaving) works very well with all types of footwork and should be trained. We can move forward and backward using steps or with pendulum footwork, side step, angle off and pivot all whilst rolling.
Round 1 – Head movement and footwork
Round 2 – Jabbing, head movement and footwork
Round 3 – Crossing, head movement and footwork
Round 4 – Building combinations, head movement and footwork
Round 5 – Virtual pad-work
Round 6 – Solo pad-work: jabs. hooks and uppercuts individually and in combination
Round 7 – Solo pad-work: crosses, rear hooks, rear uppercuts
Round 8 – Solo pad-work: jabs. hooks and uppercuts individually and in combination with footwork and head movement
Round 9 – Solo pad-work: shadow lead hand, impact strikes with the rear hand.
Round 10 – 10 seconds on/10 seconds off 1st minute: 4 body hooks/1 lead hook, 2nd minute: straight punching and 3rd minute: shoeshine uppercuts