Speed & Combinations (diary entry)

impact (smaller)



This one and a half hour lesson brings my client up to the sixth hour of a 10 hour course on Basic Western Boxing for Martial Arts Cross Training. We worked within a more confined area than on previous lessons, which my client adapted well to and helped tighten up some of his footwork.


The warm-up began with agility markers, going through footwork and shadow boxing. We then covered upper body mobility with slipping and rolling drills. These were then integrated back into the footwork, focusing on offensive defensive tactics and moving around obstacles.


We then revised techniques from the previous lessons – jabbing high and low, hooking high and low. From rolling we brought in the body-hook/uppercut combination. We went back over the straight-arm hook and put it into some combination work. Here we exposed weaknesses in transition. Individually and in repetition the techniques might be crisp, but pairing straight and round punches often reveals bad positioning or slack footwork. For example, the classic jab/cross/hook often ends up with the fighter struggling to position themselves for the hook or rushing the cross. We strung together a six punch combination for building good transitioning skills and speed through rhythm. This combination was broken down into three sets of two punch combinations. We then looked at overlapping the combinations. For example, jab/cross/hook/cross was broken down into cross/hook and hook/cross.


We used the pinned elbows teaching device again. Usually this is brought in to train clients to keep their elbows in when they throw punches. However, this time we used it to build speed in the hands. When taken away the client immediately tends to notice how much faster his punches have become. We used the device for the six punch combination. The lesson was finished with speed drills on each of the four major punches for 20 second intensive rounds.


Photography by Charlotte Von Bulow Quirk 2013 for “Mordred’s Victory and Other Martial Mutterings” & “Bullshitsu and the Fight to Make Martial Arts Work”.