It has been a while since I wrote a training post. Of course I have still been hitting the gym hard over at KO Contender. Unfortunately, I am having some persisting shoulder issues with my left shoulder which is forcing me to start training southpaw to put less stress on the shoulder with less lead hand work. I also have a nagging sore knuckle on the left hand likely from a left cross on the heavy bag as I am throwing from new angles out of the opposite stance.
Fortunately, coach Felix has been giving me some more one on one time lately and I have been tightening up my game as of late. Right now the big things are foot work and defense which should come as no surprise as any boxer who has any success is mastered in these areas. What I aim to work on at this very moment is tightening my stance and preventing my feet from getting too far apart. This is caused mostly by pushing off the wrong foot and not stepping enough with my shots. What happens when the feet get too far apart is a balance issue that prevents a fighter from maintaining a good defensive posture. If a fighter’s feet get too far apart there is no way to retreat or pivot if the opponent creates and angle. This can be remedied by stepping first with the proper foot and pushing forward and backward to settle into a defensive posture after throwing. I work on this through shadow boxing in the ring and focusing on stepping in back foot first and stepping back with the front foot first. It is also important to keep your head just off the center line by keeping the chin tucked and the head closer to the rear hand. I also practice these movements on the floor close to a mirror to see all of my positioning.
The other aspect of defense I am working on is punching in a way that covers myself defensively. Turning over a jab with the chin tucked behind the shoulder is a good way to be positioned against a counter right hand. Keeping your right hand in front of your cheek is a good protection from a counter left hook or jab while coming forward with your own jab. It is vitally important to turn over all punches for damage but also to utilize the turning of the shoulders as a defensive posture. In addition, throwing in combination but also being mindful of having the opposite hand return to a defensive position guarding the head is also important. I recommend bag work in front of a mirror or shadowboxing in front of a mirror or using a phone to record the work to see if the hands remain home. This is especially important while tired because it is easy to fall back on bad habits when concentration is interrupted by fatigue.
Finally, Coach set up the double end bag to be higher and changed the tension to make it faster. I have had to relax my shoulders and pump a straighter jab to keep the bag on a straight line. I have my 1-2 timing great but need to mix in the left hook and a followed up right cross to keep the rhythm going. Overall, I have been working to slow the pace of my workouts to maintain the strict form and technique to be tighter. Throwing a hard punch is easy. Being in position to prevent a counter punch or land a counter punch of your own is much more difficult.