Article:    So close and yet so far.

This week in classes I’ve been focusing on showing the guys how just making small changes forwards and backwards can totally upset your opponents rhythm. What most people do is stand fairly statically and let their opponent or partner do their thing. This is most evident when doing pad work. This is essential at first as you need to know what good striking is. Static stuff lets you work your body mechanics and power generation. The next thing to do is keep this power and mechanics but do it moving around. Then when you’ve got this then you can add other things. This week I’ve been concentrating on showing how sliding or snapping back out of distance before his attack totally throws his stance and balance off. Similarly, doing the opposite and closing with your partner means that he has to change his balance and footwork so that he isn’t too close. He wants to keep your pads, or your chin, right at the ‘sweet spot’ where he generates the most power. Your aim is to thwart this or to challenge him to adapt quickly. Once you see the mayhem this simple in and out movement does to your opponents setup then you know you’ve got to do it in sparring. A word of warning: when holding pads don’t take them too far away so that he injures his elbow rather just use it to challenge his distancing and footwork so that he learns to read you and learns how to keep you in the ‘sweet spot’ whatever you do. Make sure he still hits the pads and doesn’t overextend. Importantly realise how devastating this simple changing of distance is to your opponent. Practice and get comfortable on the pads then apply the same principles in Sparring. Good luck