I have a student who takes private lessons from me for sparring. He is a member of another martial arts school, has a Black Belt, and still has time on his contract with the school. He likes his teacher enough to stay, but admits that his school does not spend much time developing his sparring skill.
Now, before you form a poor opinion of him or his teacher, let me say that everyone has things they do well and do differently than others.
So, anyway, I am attempting to train him using what he already knows as a base. I found that having him choose the combinations and techniques we work with has been a good way of developing his skill within his own art, without him having to leave and take up another style. One of the methods we have been using is shadowboxing, and I’d like to share my style with you.
Shadowboxing is more than just standing in front of a mirror and throwing random punches and kicks. I would say that most people I’ve seen outside the boxing gym do this. But let’s put a little structure towards it, huh?
- shadowboxing should never be done standing in one place. you may confine yourself to a 4 x 4 area (like in front of a mirror) but you will move around in that space. opponents do not stand still and neither should you. move around. even if you want to remain facing one direction, its best to at least take a few steps in the 8 directions (north, south…. northwest, southeast)
- alternate between moving at full speed/full power, and medium/slow speed and power
- imagine that your are fighting an opponent, and either attack him or counter his attacks. one good method is to counter the same attack, rounds at a time. you can either rehearse the same attack/counter or change each time
- one method is to probe, probe, attack (with something else)… probe, probe, attack… by the round
- another method is to shadowbox in a circle. move around as if you were circling an opponent, and then when you attack, you attack the center of the circle
- try choosing three combinations and just working it, give yourself five 3-minute rounds and work with the combos. it’s much different than standing in place, mindlessly throwing the techniques over and over. make sure to put some footwork to it
- i know i said it earlier, and i’m being redundant for emphasis… shadowboxing should always involve footwork. always
I hope this helps your training. By incorporating better shadowboxing into your workouts you will find that fighting freestyle will be much smoother. Try it!
Thank you for visiting my blog! Please come and visit us again!