Dec 29 2008

Q/A: Boxing Striking for MMA.

Here’s a great question I was asked about teaching boxing striking to an mma fighter and what it can add. Rampage starched Wanderlai with an awesome left hook on the money and Mir displayed improved hand striking in his win although he still needs to improve on it a lot more.

Bottom line modified boxing striking adds a lot to an mma fighter as you’ll read in my response below. Look for me to blog more on how mma fighters are adding or need to add more in the future upcoming big fights.

Rob, I wanted to know what you thought about applying boxing to mma striking and where do you see it going in the future. A lot of mma guys throw haymakers and looping punches but seem to get away w/ it (Fedor, Wanderlei Silva, etc.). Some guys (Rampage, GSP, etc) have more of a traditional stance and better technique. Do you think as mma progresses, guys will start applying more head movement, combos, and counter punching as a professional boxer would? Thanks in advance Michael.

I work striking with mma fighters using modified techniques. I can add some footage very soon. I think when it’s taught right it adds a lot to a fighter and I obviously see and get this feedback as well.

You can’t turn an mma fighter into a boxer with a typical boxing stance. Teaching them how to maximize their punching leverage, turning their hips, shoulders, and wrists over goes a long way to increasing punching power.

Tools that the fighters I work with dig are the maize ball ( shown in a previous post ) and the double end bag. In fact many fighters have never used these great training tools. The maize ball goes along way into improving head movement as does the double end bag along with punching far more accurate, improving timing, speed, movement etc.

You saw what happened to Wanderlai as he got stretched because he was there to be hit. Same thing with Evans blasting Chuck out a few fights ago. They can be countered on easy . Head movement is a must and not worked on enough.

Yeah I do think that mma fighter will add more modified boxing techniques to their game. They’ll alo learn to relax more so the punches flow faster, more accurate, tighter ( meaning not so wide ) and harder for longer. This takes time to master.

Those gloves are fucking small so it’s either kill or be killed by punches. Meaning you can get a guy out fast when you master hands or a fighter will get stretched by someone who’s good if they’re an easy target who walks right into shots with no head movement.

One thing I do with the fighter I work with is that when they work on the heavy bag I’ll get behind the bag and after a combo or mid combo I’ll thrust forward with the bag like I’m shooting in on them so they can move out of the way and back in with knees or kicks. This keeps them very sharp and prevents them from getting lazy and in a lull.

Dec 22 2008

First annual year end Boxing Performance awards.

Here’s my first annual boxing performance awards. We had a great 08 in boxing, look for a bigger 09 in boxing! Enjoy….

Best performance of the year

1) Pacquiao
2) Hopkins
3) Margarito

Fighter of the year pound for pound

1) Pacquiao (no one else comes close this year)
2) Bernard Hopkins
3) Paul Williams

Fight of the year

1) Vazquez-Marquez 3
2) Cotto-Margarito
3) Pacquiao – Marquez II

Event of the year

1) Pacquiao-De La Hoya

Upset of the year

1) Pacquiao- De La Hoya
2) Hopkins- Pavlik
3) Prescott-Khan

Comeback of the year

1) Vitali Klitschko: Returns from a near four years away and shuts out the so called most feared heavyweight in the world.
2) Vic Darchinian: Beats down Mijares in impressive fashion.

3) Ricky Hatton (he didn’t retire but he rebounded well from a beating by Mayweather )

Round of the year

1) Holt-Torres 2 round one

KO of the year

1) Casamayor – Katsidis
2) Holt-Torres II
3) Miranda-Banks
4) Prescott- Khan
5) Mosley-Mayorga

Trainer of the Year

1) Freddie Roach
No one else comes close this year.

Fake Ass Fighter Nothing but Hype Award

1) Roy Jones
2) De La Hoya
3) Sam Peter

Dude you should have stayed retired award

1) Angelo Dundee: He added nothing to Oscar and it was a distraction and all hype to have him in camp. Back to the sunny beaches of retirement Dundee goes… Please stay there Angie.

Dec 19 2008

Gym Notes: The power of distance and using angles.

I’m going to start blogging now with more gym notes from my gym. I think this will allow everyone to have a great look about what goes on and arises in training fighters.

Tonight at the gym during sparring one of my fighters kept making a basic but yet very over looked mistake. The mistake was getting in position to land the jab and follow up right hand left hook then take 3-4 steps straight back taking himself out of position to get off again.

He would also have success doubling up his jab yet take himself back out of position. I explained to him while he was sparring that he was having success and taking that success away from himself by doing that. You can’t fight for position then take it away. You get nowhere fast and build no momentum or rhythm. What solves this common error? Moving laterally allows you to evade incoming punches while turning your opponent and allowing you to be in position to punch in on angles. This is how you control another fighter and it’s truly powerful and very fun to do!

I know what boxing is and how to define it… It’s to hit and not be hit yet be in position to counter ( punch ) back and score. Many coaches forget this. I don’t. This is boxing and this is what I teach at my fight school.

Click here to master how to move laterally and punch in on angles.

Dec 15 2008

The Best Heavyweight in The World, But Ready To Be Blown Over and Out At Any Moment.

Wladimir Klitshko took care of business against sub and sloppy looking Hasim Rahman in a one sided beat down last Saturday night. Hasim looked to show up just for the check and lets hope we don’t hear from his bitch ass again. I say bitch ass because of the way he weaseled out of the Toney rematch and he goes on to perform like this! A fucking joke and embarrassment to his team.

Why was Marshal Kaufman fired weeks before the fight? Why in favor of McGirt? who did give good instructions in the fight. Did Marshal foresee what was coming and voice his concern? Wlad played with Hasim and this fight really sucked to watch!

In watching Wladimir you obviously can appreciate how he uses his size and skill well. Offensively he is there although he has a poor body attack and defensively he’s still flawed. Emanuel Steward is notoriously a more offensively minded coach. Watching Wladimir fight you can still see he gets uncomfortable when pressure is applied. ( Not that Hasim applied much! ) He just looks like he can be blown over with a heavy shot at times. I just don’t trust his toughness.

How do you expose Wlad’s defensive flaws you may be thinking? Look at the Pacquiao- De La Hoya fight that followed this bore fest. You take Wlad’s strengths away by turning him and pressuring him. You beat him by using movement ( foot, and head ), power, feints, and HARD counter punching.

A heavyweight that I first laughed at by thinking he could pose a threat to Klitchsko is starting to make me a believer in him. His fight against Barret has nothing to do with my thinking this either.

David Haye has the athleticism, power, speed, and foot work to catch and test Wlad. If he can improve his head movement and shorten his shots by not getting too wild I give him a hellava shot of beating Wlad. Haye has pretty fast feet along with his hands and I think he could punch in on some nice angles created by his footwork. Wlad fights totally different when he worries about what’s coming in return or when the other fighter doesn’t cooperate and fights his own fight.

Wladimir has everything but a chin. Haye’s chin is suspect too but he has balls and would bring it too Wladimir WHICH is what he hates. I feel Hay’s pressure if he doesn’t make any mistakes could really stress Wladimir and fatigue him as he fatigued against Lamont Brewster. Haye seems to hit harder and is obviously a lot faster than Lamont so you can’t help but think he has a great shot.

I tell you what.. If they fight like they should.. It’ll be a lot better rather than watching that one sided beat down we seen against that pretender Rahman. Haye comes to fight and will go out on his shield. That’s a can’t miss fight and one I’ll guarantee we’ll all enjoy seeing. Wishful thinking on my part? I don’t think so. Lets hope this fight happens.