Sunday, 6 December 2015

Shadow Boxing

Continuing on the theme of training at home, another great bit of equipment's training you can do is shadow boxing.

shadow boxing is essentially fighting an imaginary opponent in front of you, normally this is done in

front of a mirror as to begin with you should be hyper critical of your motions.

If we were just looking at boxing then we'd look really only at one lead and pattern of footwork but as we do more than just standup boxing we're going to break it down into 3 stances.

1-left lead, left leg forward

2-neutral stance, both feet level

3-right lead, right leg forwad

so we have three stances to work from and to start with keep striking to a simple Jab, Cross, Hook, Upper Cut combination.

From a neutral stance you can choose which hand to start with as thats the point of having a neutral stance.

so to start with take your left lead, you can have both heels up or just the rear heel either or is fine and have a slight bend in your knees.

you wanna keep your shoulders slightly shrugged to protect your neck a little and have your chin tucked down with your eyes looking forward.

Have your arms hang straight by your side and bend at the elbow bringing your hands up until they're around shoulder height then rotate up from the shoulder until your hands are inline with your jaw.

This should be you in a basic "fighting" stance, now we work a variety of systems and every systems will have a variation on stances and position but you can adjust your stance as you need to.

Now your in your stance start throwing the combination, jab,cross,hook,upper cut. if you can get in front of a mirror then great, the trick is to throw out nice fluid full motions.

As you throw a Jab your left leg should twist forward on the ball of the foot which will push the left hip forward and in turn twist the left shoulder further out, as it twists back and you throw the right cross your right leg will twist on the ball pushing the hip and shoulder forward. Each twist in coordination with the corresponding hand strike will deliver more power, fundamental motions and body mechanics of striking. Its important that you twist when you strike and not lean, when you lean your displacing your body weight and compromising your balance where as twisting still moves your weight behind the strike but it shouldn't affect your balance.

So nice fluid motions and for shadow boxing to be of the most benefit you really need to be your own worst critic, you need to notice if your hands drop after you strike, you need to notice if you draw your hand back before you throw a strike or drop the hand to far for the upper cut. This drill only benefits you if you criticise yourself and correct bits.

As you get more confident you can then switch your stance which will change your hand strikes and obviously if you move to a right lead your hand strikes will be the opposite, right jab, left cross, so on and so on, this moulds into are "closest tool closest target" philosophy.

As i said before from a neutral stance you can throw the jab from either hand and follow up accordingly, still twisting on the ball of the foot to drive the hip and shoulder forward.

Hopefully i've explained that well enough for you to give it a try if you've never done it before.

Shadow boxing really is one of the most beneficial solo combative drills you can do, its the equivalent of Jurus or Kata's in traditional arts yet i rarely see anyone doing it at the gym and if i do a lot of people have a tendency to rush through the strikes and jar their strikes out, start out slow and fluid and once you have a good foundation you can then add in more strikes, elbows, knees, kicks and build up your power but don't go rushing into it and just flail your arms and legs out.

i've included a video of one of the greats running through some shadow boxing, this is what you can build to once you have the basics nailed, notice his foot work even when he's throwing power behind his strikes. Again we're covering a generic form of shadow boxing, each system and style will have a variation so adapt as you see fit.

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