Friday, October 19, 2012

TRAINING: Shadowboxing Tips - part 4 by Xen Nova

Excerpted from the now-defunct


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?

  • Part 1 had advice from Joe Silvia aka Ausgepicht - if you missed it, please read here.
  • Part 2 with Xen Nova's tips is here.
  • Part 3 was some of my thoughts and can be read here.

What follows is Xen Nova's 2nd reply.

You know what's really great about this? We've all had different martial-journey's but have come to similar conclusions about the most basic and beneficial aspects of combat. There's a lot to learn from here, because despite minute differences we have overwhelming similarities.

Repetition, Visualization, Mental cues...etc

You can damn near write a book on this:

Shadow-fighting: Simple Execution, Unlimited Depth


That was GREAT, you put into a better framework EVERYTHING I was trying to say. I didn't even think the visualization thing was NLP. Turns out I use that a LOT (even picking up chicks lol). A lot of terms I can use as well. Its frustrating trying to think of how to say something you inherently get, like you said, I'm not a wordsmith like Aus lol.

Some times, you will find you are able to pick up the technique faster with your dominant hand IF you worked with your complementary hand first!
^One of those things I "know", but never put into practice. Good to hear it from someone else I'm going to start working on that ASAP. I might casually shadowbox from southpaw a minute or two but as you ego gets in the way. I'll take the jump with you and commit a bulk of my time to training bi-laterally.

Also, I agree with your point about ego. If you get the chance, watch the movie "Revolver" with Jason Statham (a Guy Ritchie film). Kind of slow but when it gets towards the end you'll see how it relates to the ego thing. Seems silly, but I think I matured a bit after watching that film.

If I can add another point...

Shadowbox with your eyes closed/blindfolded.

Taking away one of your senses really does enhance the others. It also will disrupt your balance. Your kinesthetic & spatial awareness are going to skyrocket. In the same way that rolling with your eyes closed forces you to use your kinesthetic awareness more (ability to feel your weight, and judge your opponents weight shifts)... your only means of being able to judge where your body is and correct positioning IS your body, not your eyes.

It's almost impossible to go fast with your eyes closed unless you REALLY have the skills ingrained. Even so, combat-speed is HARD because you're not used to using your dynamic balance without your sight. This forces you to go slow and adjust your body mechanics without any stimuli except where your body is and will FORCE you to visualize what you're doing. You won't just throw your arm out there. You actively have to think...

  • "Did I step too far with that jab?"
  • "Was my weight over my foot or still in centerline?"
  • "Where is my guard-hand?"
  • "Are my feet too far apart?"
  • "Did I actually dip enough on that slip/weave?"
  • "Am I bending over at the hip or using my knees"

You're going to start wondering so much about your cues that you have to use your minds-eye instead of your physical eyes. Your visualization will become stronger because it HAS to or you won't begin to perform your technique right. You'll start visualizing without trying. Another benefit is that more than likely you won't dissociate. You'll start visualizing your techniques from first person point of view, rather than third person. I know in my own training this has helped me to be "in the moment". Rather than seeing someone else training (even if I"m visualizing myself), it helps me to focus on ME performing it. And I can flip back and forth between 1st and 3rd person now.

What we're talking about is using shadowboxing as a tool to train the ever elusive "mind-body connection". Which is why I refer to it as a moving-meditation. Because after you've done it for a long enough period (usually +30min in my experience). It's like having gone to a whole other mental plane. It sounds so esoteric but you can almost "feel" it.

The only other time I've experienced this is when one day Coach Paulson made us do singles and doubles across the gym floor for about an hour and half. That's it. Just fake/jab, drop step, come up and dump your opponent. Just as Sensei/Sifu/Shidoshi/Grandmaster/Guru/Coach Aus said... Shadow-Wrestling.

Well I had done so many that it felt weird not to drop step while I was walking. Later in my apartment, I woke up (well 1/2 awake or 1/2 baked not sure which... probably both) in the middle of the night, drank some milk and 1/2 asleep I shot across the floor twice. I didn't fully realize it till I woke up later that morning.


And here's the part where I reveal just how geeky I am, and where I came up with my whole philosophy on visualization (after some googling, I see it's a lot of NLP stuff). and shadowboxing/fighting as a "moving-meditation".


I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

- Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear.
A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.

- The First Law of Mentat, quoted by Paul Atreides to Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
Muad'Dib learned rapidly because his first training was in how to learn. And the first lesson of all was the basic trust that he could learn. It's shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult. Muad'Dib knew that every experience carries its lesson.

-from The Humanity of Muad'Dib by the Princess Irulan

Do you wrestle with dreams?

Do you contend with shadows?
Do you move in a kind of sleep?

- from Songs of Muad'Dib by the Princess Irulan.
Think you of the fact that a deaf person cannot hear. Then, what deafness may we not all possess? What senses do we lack that we cannot see and cannot hear another world all around us? How often it is that the angry man rages denial of what his inner self is telling him? Try looking into that place where you dare not look! You'll find me there, staring out at you!
- The Collected Sayings of Muad'dib by the Princess Irulan

Next parts to this series can be found here:



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