Thursday, October 18, 2012

TRAINING: Shadowboxing Tips - part 2 by Xen Nova

Excerpted from


B&S posted:

Shadow Boxing Tips

I think this is possibly the hardest thing to learn. Over a year later I still look like a drunk retarded bear in a mosh pit if I try to do it with any speed at all. Particularly when I try to throw a hook. Any help, if only for my own vanity?
Advice from Joe Silvia aka Ausgepicht was posted yesterday - read here.

Xen Nova and I also replied with some advice. Will post mine on Friday along with Xen's 2nd reply tomorrow. Follows is Xen's 1st reply:

Aus is 100% correct (per usual).

Hopefully my outlook on shadowfighting can aid your struggles, because I felt the same awkwardness when I began shadowboxing.

Non FRAT Version:

  • Box super slow
  • Drill just specific techniques at a very casual speed till your efficiency goes up

I'll begin by telling you the one thing that improved my thaiboxing beyond any other drills, skills, and other bullsh!t. I just started shadowboxing for 45min to an hour. Completely changed everything. And then lets work on your specific difficulties. So ok lets back track...

To Aus, shadowboxing is Q&A time. In a similar respect, I consider shadowboxing/fighting, "Moving Meditation". It's a time where I go through a variety of focuses.

First as Aus said, and this is EVERY shadowboxing session, I spend the first few minutes just moving slowly. I watch my balance, just twist my hips, really slight movements, I move my torso around, try to find my center. Start doing some footwork drills, just very very subtle motions till I find myself starting to lull.

This is when I start working on basics, simple combos. Singular movements (jab without moving, jab moving fwd, back, circle step, etc). Very very basic. But here is the key difference from most people. I go slow as sh!t...seriously...slow motion. If you can't do it slow how can you do it fast? So I box in super slow motion. This doesn't work so well with kicks but I basically just flow with it. Moving slowly you can eventually see where the energy leaks in your technique exist. Or if you're off balance/inefficient in anyway.

From here I start to improve my speed. And then begin layering combos. Don't go fast until you can go extra-slow.

Additionally. Don't use a mirror, it tricks you into thinking your balance is good. Use a video camera. This is something I'm going to get back into now that I'm training full time again, but if you can somehow, video tape all your shadowboxing sessions and maybe your last round on the bag. How you fight when you're tired is how you'll actually perform in a fight. So it's good to look and see what you need to work on and where your energy leaks are within your technique.

Then you use shadowboxing as basically "drilling". If you screwed up 15-20x with a combo in the video then spend 10-15 mins performing JUST that combo PERFECTLY, slow, and escalate speed till you're at combat speed. Most people go to "combat speed" way way way too fast. Just cause you did it twice doesn't mean you have it. You're smart I know you'll figure out the sweet spot between too fast and fast enough.

After going through all of above (so 20-30 minutes), then I get more into the meditative portion and begin visualizing as strongly as possible that I'm actually combating an opponent. I pretend it's a movie or something and focus as hard as possible.

Imagine the scariest thing you can think of fighting. I use an Orc (from Lord of the Rings, lol) or old school Wanderlei. Imagine tall opponents, short ones, fighting Saku and CroCop...whoever. Fight them all. Respond to their techniques, counter, defend, use your minds eye to deconstruct their technique. This is where watching tape comes in, it helps you visualize better and understand how they'd fight/move. By the time you're done you should have spent a while at combat speed ACTUALLY FIGHTING whoever your mind's eye witnessed.

As Aus said:

When you do it enough, you will reach a high enough level of visualization that you will have "sparring" sessions. You will hit a zone where you actually have an opponent fighting you, "hitting" you, and you are responding. Your brain barely discerns the two. I have actually improved technically and "fixed" habits from shadowbox sparring sessions.
But that begins with smoothing out your technique EVERY session.



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