“Live Training”

30 Dec

Boxing and kickboxing drills aren’t just about learning the defenses, they are also about getting accustomed to getting hit. Even a controlled, completely safe drill will introduce some adrenaline into the system. There is also the aspect of getting used to the impact upon your arms and legs as you shield.

It is important to understand that all drills have “two sides”. Doing parry vs. jab isn’t just about defense. Every jab needs to be thrown correctly, i.e. you are practicing your jab as well. Of course, drills are not sparring and there is NO EGO. Never injure your partner doing drills.

Once a student has acquired some proficiency in the basic drills, it is time to introduce “live training”; unstructured drills similar to sparring but within certain parameters which limit the possibilities. Perhaps the most important of these are the “survival drills”.

Placing a student against the wall and having them defend against completely random combinations teaches them to defend, how to take the occasional strike and stops them from blinking and freezing up.

First level: Attacker only uses boxing attacks
Second level: Defender is allowed to clinch in defense
Third level: Attacker attacks with boxing and kicks
Fourth level: Defender can throw ONE counter

Four shields and counter

Drills that are conducted live but within a restricted number of variables are an excellent way to transition between set drills and free sparring. This is a very common drill we use at New York San Da; four shields and counter. We actually begin with two or three rounds of just attack and defense. The attacker can throw any of four basic kicks (right low kick, left low kick, right body kick, left body kick). The defender uses the appropriate shield (leg shield, inside knee block, left elbow shield, and right elbow shield).

Once the student is comfortable with defense, we begin the counters. At this point the drill truly has “two sides” since we give the defender four three countering options. First, they can answer with a counter punch. Second they can answer with right body kick. Finally, they can answer with left body kick. Thus, when attacking, you know which kick you are going to throw, but you don’t know how your partner is going to respond. We do three to five rounds of this. It’s an excellent drill.

– Keep your hands up, your chin down and your body erect
– In 6 GATE METHOD, stand your ground, don’t back up
– Small movement produces greater result (don’t overextend)
– Movement is continuous (don’t hide in your arms)
– Block actively, not passively

– Never move backward in a straight line, use lateral movement
– Do not “run away”, stay in range to counter
– Move to your right against an orthodox fighter
– Move to your left against a “south paw”



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