Literally starting from the ground up and I think there is nothing better for the first month than to do so as you can see I have a glove in the center of the mat here I am using it as my opponent where I am visualizing every strike hitting it in a sort of triangle where I have my right foot to the outside of it my left foot to the outside of it as well and “it” (my opponent) down the centerline of my body where all my strikes have to pass that centerline to be able to strike my opponent. I love talking theory if you’ve ever listened to any of my private lesson breakdowns however in this one I want to keep it more technical things that you can focus on visualize and use mechanically with your body to get the most out of this drill so if you want to go more into the theory of everything and why I am using this drill in the first place it is something that I used a lot at CSA gym training with Gaston Bolanos, training by myself whenever I have injuries.
If you want to go more into the theory of things just look down below in a description. So, let’s get into technical details of this footwork drill. Number one, we want to use dynamic footwork what do we mean by that – it is that we are keeping our opponent centerline to ourselves we are punching, kicking, landing our knees, towards the centerline of our opponent this ensures that our footwork is in the right place where our strikes are going down the centerline and then we are able to use our footwork to get off centerline.
Meaning that we want to get our head off centerline where the glove may be resting we are both looking to engage we are both looking to pierce the centerline, we have to hit theirs and get off center on ours. The next thing is if we want to focus on defense, the best game that the Thais have is that they’re able to use their defense, their offense, and any of their weapons whichever position that they place themselves in so after you move to your right side, after you cut off to your left side, you angle off, make sure that you’re back in your proper stance make sure that your feet are proper distancing apart from your opponent and from each other (your feet), that they’re in the same strong stance that they were in before you created the angle. You want to be able to check with your left side, your right side, cross check (block), to be able to through your punches and your kicks as they become available. When moving to our left or right side, when cutting angles, try your best to avoid crossing your feet or *facing your lead foot in*, it can open you up to kicks and it also takes a longer time for you to be able to launch your power kick or your cross, your lead hip is going to open up the full range of motion on your cross, on your rear kick again we can slow this down and the next tip would be to create perfection, we want to tighten up our strikes, learn to readjust after missed attacks and that kind of leads me into saying that when were shadowed boxing. . .
We often shorten the range of motion that we take our strikes through at times it is to visualize to warm up a joint but more often it is a crutch that we are using to control our strikes so allow yourself to kick and follow through practice perfection, but also practice readjusting – resetting your body it is going to happen in a fight you are going to miss some strikes, you have to reset properly to be able to defend properly. Again we are visualizing defense, being able to check, being able to lean back, use our head movement to make our opponents miss if we start now in shadow boxing, then we can move it on to the bag to truly test it as we let our body feel, as we hit and then we move on to pad work where becomes more dynamic, where we have a person to flow with and then eventually into sparring and the fight itself translating all the skills that we are learning, but it all begins in our mind it all begins in our brain visualizing the footwork, being at a proper distance. So, having the glove is sort of a guide for me to visualize to keep my strikes tighter as you can see my kick is coming right down the line in line with my head versus going to the left and then opening up my hips too much for my opponent to be able to see it is something that I’ve been working on since getting caught in my last couple of fights. So, that would be my first tip I mean shadow boxing is what you start with every session, if you set a focus in your mind to be working on a certain & specific movement when it comes to your footwork or to a technique then do so in the shadow boxing, progress it when you go on to the bag in the air you can do it with less repercussions.
. . then you can feel it more on the bag. . . focus on it on the pads let yourself flow, and follow the trainer then eventually you can add it on and implicate it into your sparring the next tip would be to visualize.
This is very simple to say, however, it is harder to implement. What I mean by this is you would be applying everything that you would apply in a actual fight or a sparring session. Yes you get to attack now we have a target it’s great to have the glove there as a target but you also want to defend at the right angles. As you’re centered against the glove which defensive mechanisms would you use to be able to defend your opponent’s hits?
Their kicks? Their punches? Visualize them in your head so after you kick it is very unlikely that you can hit an eight punch combination picture yourself attacking your opponent landing one or two shots perhaps missing them and that’s the beautiful thing about shadow boxing is we miss every shot that we throw so we learn how to reset our body. third tip would be working on your feints, making sure that you’re setting up your punches it’s not just landing power hits every single time, let’s try to be realistic here and set up all of our strikes with our feints, our feet are connected to the floor they’re connected to our footwork and they are going to stimulate these faints. You can sell the feint better by being able to connect this to the ground make it visually appealing to your opponent or a sparring partner the more that you practice this in your footwork drills, in your shadow boxing, the higher your success rate when you are sparring or in a fight.