Saturday, February 6, 2010

Finger Jab Specifics

I may not be able to do drill posts with as much depth as I would like for the next several weeks (although I'll try), so here is a quick technical one in the meantime. Regarding the finger jab, I recommend having the hand at a slight angle (not more than 45%) and using the pads of the fingers as the striking surface, and the fingers slightly flexed so that if you hit bone instead of eyes or throat, your joints won't get painfully jammed up/bent back. Try finger jabbing/tapping a wall surface with in this manner and see if feels comfortable to you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Drill Post #2: Four Essential Responses

We'll now add four important response possibilities to the previous "Frankenstein Drill. With the trainer moving the defender around, he will periodically throw a right or left haymaker/wide hook. The trainer/attacker will have four variations of hook that he will throw for the defender to develop the perception for. The first is a hook that is far enough away that the defender can simply let it pass (within inches) before returning a jab using a light palm to the attackers shoulder as a training target. The thought behind this first variation is that it's good to fine-tune our distance sense so that we don't defend against strikes that are not close enough to reach us (and indeed, nervous second-rate attackers do throw strikes like this). The second hook variation to be thrown is one where the attacker is stepping in just enough so that the defender has to take a small step back before his return strike. The defender should not "slip" back for now: That is, he should keep his weight forward/centered so that just as his rear foot touches down on the retreat, he can fire his strike and be leaning into it. In both of these first variations, it is VERY important that the the timing of the defender's counter-strike be initiated JUST as the attackers strike passes the defender's face and not at the end of the strike, as the defender might be stepping right into a following strike. The third variation, and one that could often be used, is when the attacker steps clearly inside the defender's FM WHILE loading up his hook, to which the defender will respond with a stop-hit, palm-stopping (not too hard) on the attacker's chest for a training target. It is important that the counter strike is not prepped with a drawback which would delay the strike. The fourth variation for the attacker to feed is the windmill, i.e. a series of continuous alternating sloppy right and left hooks while moving forward. This should be fed so that one hook is coming up in preparation as the other is firing, and that's what the defender looks for as his cue to maintain the FM until he sees both hands drop away at which time he returns his lead strike. This kind of emphatic but sloppy attack that dissolves is really common.

OK, I'll say in advance that Yes, there are many other good responses including stop kicks and time-kicks, but we are working a particular perception development here, and Yes, of course you would not necessarily continuously evade or have the opportunity to, but I repeat the above. Now, have fun with the drill.