Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Drill Post #20: Root Technique Shadow Boxing

There are many ways that Bruce Lee was smart and insightful about his training. One thing not commonly known, I believe, is that he knew that many things took a great deal of repetition to cultivate, and since repetition is boring, he developed many ways to approach the same goal to keep it more interesting. He had a number of ways to strengthen the same muscle group, for example.

As discussed in Drill Post #11, there are many ways to approach shadow boxing. One approach to add to your training is "root technique" shadow boxing. For example, take the jab or finger jab as a root technique, and then play with everything you can think of relative to that, defensively and offensively. Starting with some offensive examples; jab, cross; jab, lead hook; jab, rear hook. Then jab, leading to kicks (the visualization being that the opponent moves to a kick range in response to your jab). Sometimes complete your jab before the follow-up, but other times, just start or get halfway to completion before the follow-up. That is, the jab could be a deliberate fake, or you simply see the need to change up during execution. The initial jab may be practiced moving forward, backward, right, and left.

But there's more! The defensive aspects of this drill are as important and possibly more important than the offensive aspects. Remembering that someone's counterattack (inadvertently or deliberately) could come anywhere between initiation and completion, we have to be able to interrupt our jab at any point to move to a defense. So imagine during any stage of your jab; a hook coming on your outside or inside line; a high or low jab or cross coming over or on the inside; body hooks coming on the right or left. Your jabbing hand or your rear hand may be the hand that defends (if you didn't just slip or bob and weave). So for example, half jab, drawing it back to cover high or low against a hook coming on your outside line, and then without pause continue into your attack.

Time-hits (simultaneous defense and attack) can and should be integrated. For example, jab and immediately draw the jab back as a cross parry while simultaneously throwing the cross.

As usual, the options are endless and limited only by your imagination.

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