Speed comes from stillness

31 Dec

I never teach the same class, mixing up the format and composition of classes is important to fight off boredom and is also part of teaching students that it is MOVEMENT, not a laundry list of combinations, that is important. That being said, this is a drill I have them do quite a lot;

Jab and cross
Jab, cross and left hook
And start all over again


Upon first examination, it seems one of the easiest “combinations” to learn. Yet, a majority of students initially make fundamental mistakes. They throw the punch(es) without using the body to generate the proper power. They drop the other hand when they punch. They “swim” the punching hand, exposing the face. Their “body method” is wrong; they stand too square or too sideways. They have the wrong footwork. The list is endless….


Sometimes, I give them an even “simpler” drill;
“Double jab”
“Triple jab”

Beginning students have even more trouble with that drill! They make even more error, are sloppier and often tire and can’t finish the round…. But have you figured out yet what is at the root of this all?


At the beginning, all the students try to go too fast! I always tell my students, I do not care how fast you execute a technique. There are no “extra points” for fast. I am only concerned with one thing; correct technique. If your technique is incorrect and you are doing it fast, it is even worse!

bag work

In the past, I’ve called it the “Tai Chi of kickboxing”; going slowly in order to be able to examine the technique and determine if you are doing it correctly. Only once you have done the technique correctly, and executed it correctly many times (THOUSANDS I’d SAY!), does it become “natural” enough to do with speed. Only when you have stopped and appreciated no movement, can you then appreciate “fast movement” that is actually correct.

Thus, “speed” actually originates in “stillness”


One Response to “Speed comes from stillness”

  1. Taqqee Khabir January 3, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

    I’m awake at 8:00am on a Sunday morning reading this article. I must say I agree with this one hundred percent. I help teach an intro to Mma class a Eastern Michigan University. I enjoy teaching but I have noticed; each semester theses kids are so impatient. They all want to rush through each lesson. This semester I will reduce the number of techniques I introduce. I think I will increase the amount of time spent drilling.

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