Just recently I’ve put together 2 articles, one called Counter Punching and Boxing – The Difference and another entitled Punching Power – The 5 Building Blocks. Well, the Gods of the Internet have indeed been kind to us and I have stumbled across what I believe is one of the finest coaching videos that I have come across on YouTube. This video I believe ties in some of the key elements from both articles. It’s just 10 minutes long and is well worth taking the time to watch.
Below the video I have made 5 key observations from my point of view. I know that there are many more, but I’d like to see what kind of issues that you might pick out. As always I’ll start the discussion off but I do genuinely enjoy gaining valuable contributions from you. So, get your views aired in the comments section.
1. Counter punching power
In many ways this pad session captures perfectly the approach to modern international amateur boxing. The computerized scoring system that has been in place for many years now has lead to a variety of changes in boxer’s styles. There is a much greater emphasis, particularly in the Eastern European nations, on landing single and double power punches, giving the judges every chance to be able to press their button and register the point. In effect, combinations and flurries of punches play a lesser role.
In terms of the key notes, think about the following:
- The repetition of the shots is key to developing power. The coach allows the boxer to repeat the same shot over and over again and this allows the shot to really engage all of the punching muscles in the correct order.
- The coach consistently pops out his lead hand (his jab), and the boxer as a southpaw reacts in a particular way. I’m going to get onto the aspects specific to being a southpaw in a moment. However the key thing to identify is that the boxer uses the natural movement of throwing his own punch to avoid incoming punches. When throwing a left cross (exactly the same as the right cross for the orthodox), the boxer’s head moves from left to right as part of the shot. Therefore the incoming jab misses and the back hand slams into the target as the opponent’s arm is extended. Pure counter punching excellence. This is a constant theme throughout the pad session, use the movement of your own shot to make the opponent’s shot miss and make that opponent pay.
2. Combine skills for more Power
A major factor in delivering power shots is to combine skills. So for example, you can combine the roll inside with the short left hook and increase your punching power. Just think Mike Tyson! You could also combine the lay back with the long range right hook and have the same result, more punching power. You will notice though that these skills are combined one after the other. In our video here, a slightly different approach is taken.
Our Russian southpaw boxer here in the first 30 seconds of the video combines the pivot with the long range lead hand hook and the long range lead hand uppercut. Now this helps in two ways. Firstly it is a brilliant way in which to avoid the incoming punch whilst remaining in range to land shots of your own. Secondly it leads to a major increase in the punching power. This is really an outstanding technique to spend some time mastering, especially when you meet an opponent with an opposing stance, so for southpaws it should be an integral part of the armoury. All in all which leads me neatly onto…
3. Southpaw master class
If you are a southpaw, or you coach southpaws, you really want to pay close attention to some of the interactions between the coach and the boxer here. For the majority of the session, the coach remains in the orthodox stance. Throughout the session the coach pops out the lead hand and the southpaw responds accordingly, be it with the pivot/hook/uppercut, or slamming the straight back hand to the chest or the head, all of the time using the natural movement of his own shot to avoid the orthodox jab.
Those eagle-eyed observers will also notice the interesting foot dance. Watch how the southpaw always seeks to get his lead foot ‘outside’ of the orthodox boxer’s lead foot. This is one of the most critical success factors when working against an opposing stance. If you keep your lead foot to the outside of your opponent’s lead foot then you ensure that you keep that opponent perfectly in your strike zone. This is covered in much greater detail in the Southpaw Versus Orthodox Explained! report as described on the home page of the site.
4. Instinctive reactions
There is something that goes on in the video that I think is well worth pointing out. It’s pretty innocuous really, hardly noticeable at all in fact. There are numerous instances of the coach talking to the boxer, but at the same time the coach’s lead hand moves slightly. When this happens the boxer’s lead hand reacts accordingly, looking to execute a lead hand block or a lead hand parry.
This is quite simply the boxer’s instinct in action. Honed during round after round of sparring and fighting, this is the boxer’s sub-conscious response to threat. He is involved in a conversation with the coach yet when the coach’s lead hand makes a movement the boxer instantly reacts. This instinct is so vital in the sport of boxing and will only be developed by gaining experience during sparring and fighting; it must become ingrained. I’m sure that you can see how this instinctive reaction is so beneficial to counter punching. All I will add is that when you block a shot, throw one back…it’s the law!
5. Medicine ball drill
To put it into simple terms, I absolutely love this drill. It is a superbly sport-specific exercise that develops the groups of muscles that are key to maximizing your punching power. The drill starts at around 7:30 on the video and it is fairly obvious how it is done without my going into detail here. It is an outstanding element to add into the training regime, especially as a method for improving our straight shots.
There is one tip that I would add. I worked on this drill with my boxers last week and found that the more direct and straight the trajectory of the ball in flight, the more technically correct the shot. This is obviously when working with the jab and the right cross. If the ball does not travel directly towards the partner (target), then there is a problem for example the ball might be being released too soon in the rotation.
So there you have it, a coach-eye view of a fellow coach working his magic. This video is an outstanding insight into the Eastern European amateur boxing conveyor belt that consistently churns out European, World and Olympic champions. Counter punching, punching power and southpaw skills all demonstrated in a wonderfully concise 10 minute video.
Don’t forget, let me have your comments below.