Monday night’s lesson concluded my online course with Athena Karate focusing on boxing principles for cross-training. Each week we have put the spotlight on individual techniques and also shared that light with several noted experts in this field. Tonight we went through 6 x 3 minute rounds.
The first four rounds alternating between outside and inside boxing. For the outside boxing we looked at the jabbing skills of Muhammad Ali, Joe Louie, Lennox Lewis, Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard and Sonny Liston. There was also gazelle punches care of Floyd Patterson and Rocky Marciano. Inside boxers included Roberto Duran, Joe Frazier, Jack Johnson and Marvin Hagler. Hagler and Tyson’s switch-hitting tactics were also covered. We looked at Tyson and Patterson’s peek-a-boo, the cross-arm guard of Archie Moore and Floyd Mayweather Jnr’s philly shell.
Round five moved onto virtual pad-work. Round six was virtual sparring and visualisation.
The lesson finished with some questions and answers regarding the entire course. This included a question shadow boxing guidance. At this point, I felt it only right to mention the pioneer of shadow boxing in western boxing: George “Little Chocolate” Dixon. I advise that firstly, a student uses their shadow boxing time to be critical of their technique assessment. The “shadow” part of this boxing indicates how a fighter can see themselves when training, so it is good to practise in front of mirrors or to record themselves shadow boxing to look for potential weaknesses. Then I would advise that a fighter uses what the experience offers them – footwork and head movement are perfect areas to work in shdow boxing as is the feeling of flow and rhythm. Finally, I advise that a fighter look to improve their response time and to ensure their training is relevant. This might begin with a procedure of first watching a fight and clicking one’s fingers every time a fighter provides an opening. After this the fighter could hit a target. The last stage involves shadow boxing along to the fight being watched.