A Cyclone developing:

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by Sinister, May 14, 2014.

  1. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    So as some of you know or have figured out by now, the guy known around here as "Cyclone Mike" is one of my own. Or was, for a year. This thread is to show progress, and appareciation for a good student. Mike basically came to me with the goal of learning to box people's faces off. His most recent experience at the time was in Muay Thai. So of course, I saw a lot of things that needed fixing. This is how Mike looked back then, back when (in my boxing eyes) he was a wee lad full of wonder, who would often say: "I'm not sure this is working right for me"...:



    I quickly realized what kind of guy Mike is. He'll box you for a little bit, then get tapped a few times and basically go: "alright, fuck that, we're fighting." So from there, the goal became to allow him to do this with minimal repercussions. Dadi would often say: "most of these kids just need permission to be themselves." The goal was to facilitate smart aggression, to refine the techniques to make them simple and streamlined, and produce optimal results. As some of you saw in the "Fixing the Problems" thread, Mike had an Amateur bout under me. SHOULD have been his first win. You can view that here.. I and everyone else (including his opponent) feel he was robbed. But it let me know where he was at when letting everything go. We had a lot to work on, mainly rhythm, distance control, and the ability to think creatively/listen to adjustments. I recall after the first round, I gave Mike about 35 seconds worth of instructions...all to which he nodded. Then looked right in my eyes and said: "WHAT!?!?" I had to swallow, and calmly sum up in the 10 seconds we had left.

    Mike is not lacking for strength, and fitness once he got into shape here. You'll notice a different look of his body from that first video to this one, but here his power can be seen:



    But in the above video I'm also specifically working on his distancing. He asks a couple of times if he's too close. And in-terms of optimal results, particularly we worked on the lead-uppercut and a couple of transitions. Making EVERY punch hard, as he had a habit of loading up on just one. Rhythm was also a very big concern, Mike can be an "all in" or "all out" guy. Everything, or nothing at all. In poker, no checks, no raises, either fold or all in. When he first started couldn't hit a double-end bag with a timed 1-1-2 consistently. Much improvement was made:



    Much improvement was also made in application. Mike turned into the guy who knocked down pretty much everyone:



    Here's a funny one where I told him to go easy on an MMA guy I work with (now) when he was still in the evaluation stage of whether or not I wanted to work with him. Mike was babying Steven, and frustrating him. At one point Steven says "I feel bad for hitting this guy!" So I told Mike to open up a bit in the second round:



    But that's a significant improvement. It got to where two things happened. 1) I couldn't let Mike spar with people smaller than he is unless they could REALLY defend themselves well. And 2) he HAD to baby people sometimes.
     
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  2. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Been a while since I updated this, but figured recent developments have warranted an update. It's not always easy to take a fighter's weak areas and round them off to where they appear as strengths. But it is a lot easier when you have a student who genuinely wants to learn and improve, even if they're not always sure they're doing so. As discussed from the beginning, my main goal was to arm Mike with comprehensive defense, allowing him to do his smashing thing while taking minimum damage, and not relying merely on covering up, which could enable opponents to unload more as he approached. Lately, things have begun to click defensively to the degree where other students are suggesting we change his ring-name from "Cyclone" to something more defensive. This footage is against a guy who has been around the Gym longer, has more Amateur fights, and has had 3 very high quality trainers:

     
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  3. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Mike also had a few physiological issues. He is slightly bow-legged, and pigeon-toed. Also some middle-back weakness that compromised chin positioning. A physical therapist and I put in place a stretching regimen that allowed for better external rotation, making his circular punches harder (as demonstrated above), and strengthened other areas out. But one of the last nagging issues was a foot-spacing thing. Once he felt more comfortable using his hips, his stance W-I-D-E-N-E-D. I always kept his Mauy Thai in-mind. So I needed to refine that a bit, and used an old school method:



    Eventually it came time to test Mike with people he had no prior knowledge of. My guys all improved together, but they all knew each other. He and Daijon had a healthy rivalry. But I wanted to put the improvements into effect. Injury had prevented both sparring and fighting for a while. But once we had the chance again, I was very pleased with the results:



    It all culminated here. His last sparring session at Tocco's was in-part with an undefeated Pro who had around 30 or 40 Amateur bouts (Daijon goes first, then Mike):



    The guy said he was gonna do another, but was done after that round (he'd done two lighter rounds previous to that). The moment where they talk to each other Frank landed a hook and said "you alright man? That one was kinda hard." Mike replied: "It was alright, I guess." After the session I knew a lot of my principals had taken effect when Mike said that the hook was definitely hard, felt hard, but didn't hurt...he said: "because I was in a good position."
     
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  4. snizzar Purple Belt

    snizzar
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    Damn, his jab looks more refined/versatile on top of the good defense. So all together, from the first vid to this one it's been about 2 years gym time you've worked with him? Crazy.

    I'm curious, does Mike still do MT or is he making the complete switch to boxing? I read in the other Tocco thread you're grooming him to go pro so I'm curious how his improved boxing game would affect his MT.
     
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  5. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    The last session of fun between Mike and Daijon. Afterward, Mike told me his intention initially was to psychologically crush Daijon with the old: "hit me all you want, I don't care." In the last 2 rounds, however, he showed the understanding I was looking for of how to get close to the fast guy with the fancy feet:

     
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  6. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    He's made the full switch to boxing, and I think total time wiith me has been around a year, year and a half.
     
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  7. Oldknees White Belt

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    Great stuff. Mike, congrats on spending a year improving your craft. Shows a ton of dedication and passion. Hope to see you cracking skulls in the future!
     
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  8. a guy Black Belt

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    Was he specifically focusing on defense in that session? It looked to me like he was doing a lot more not getting hit than hitting. Also, I noticed he's using a much more upright defensive style when moving backwards, in contrast to his big level changes while moving forwards. It looked like he was doing a good job neutralizing his opponent's offense on the back foot, but then was moving all the way out of range and resetting. Is that so he can reserve energy for when he needs to really engage his hips and move in to do his smashing safely?
     
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  9. ssullivan80 see....what had happened was

    ssullivan80
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    Good work Sin, he definitely showed some pretty significant progress. Looks like he's got some heavy hands, like the way he fights....... got grit! He's handicapping himself by favoring that right hip, doesn't like to get over his left, but he's durable enough and has enough pop in his shots to compensate....... If he threw that jab with a bit more "intention" i think it'd serve him well, he appears confident with his power shots but hesitant with his jab. Is this the "Cyclone Mike" you said is in Houston TX?

    I really like watching Daijon, he's definitely one of those guys that has the "gift" and it appears to be very natural. For a trainer I can imagine that is a double edged sword though. It's easy to compensate and get overconfident when you have those physical and athletic attributes, so i'd imagine managing the "ego" is half the battle. I was impressed with how Mike was able to cut off the ring, pick the right angles, set traps and not let Daijon control the ring in those later rounds (particularly the last 3 or 4mins) in that last sparring clip........ That's no easy task, his movement is pretty damn good. I could see how it frustrated him to have his space taken away though.

    The "pro" that Mike and Daijon were sparring, by any chance is that Frank Galarza?
     
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    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  10. Cyclone Mike Amateur Fighter

    Cyclone Mike
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    I'm not doing Muay Thai anymore but I was a sparring partner for a guy getting ready for a Muay Thai fight recently. I haven't been able to blend the 2 styles well. Mentally, I have a Muay Thai mode and a boxing mode. Im still relatively good in the clinch and that blends well with my boxing mode. It's just boxing, but you get to do more once you're in.

    I've all around become a better fighter and i believe that's helped my Muay thai game even though I haven't worked on it. Things like my control of distance, positioning, and shot selection have gotten better and it had the indirect benefit of making me better at Muay thai in my time away from it.
     
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  11. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Yeah, that's the same Cyclone Mike.

    He does favor the right hip, but he's not incapable of using the left. That just goes to show, though, how long it takes to REALLY refine a guy. In a year, we got him using his left somewhat. With both hips equally active, he'd definitely be that much more difficult to land cleanly on. The hesitation with the jab is a function of him learning to measure distance. Something he didn't bother a whole lot with in the beginning. Towards the end we were encouraging more forceful use of it.

    About Daijon, read the "fixing the problems" thread below. It's actually the opposite with him, he has NO ego. Thus, no belief in his ability.

    And no, it's not Frank Galarza. This Frank is Haitian.
     
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  12. Cyclone Mike Amateur Fighter

    Cyclone Mike
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    My defense is the area I want to work on the most. I feel like defense allows you to control your opponent and once you've done that, you can do what you want offensively. I opened up in the 3rd round when I felt like I had him figured out but I don't consider myself a very cerebral fighter so it was important for me to work on that.

    When you see me moving out of range completely I'm trying to figure out how far he'll go to get to me. A number of times you see him whiff punches as I move out of range... But I was too far to counter. When I get better they should just miss and I'll still have the time and space to counter.
     
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  13. Cyclone Mike Amateur Fighter

    Cyclone Mike
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    Where is the other one with Jonathan?

    Good training was had this past year.
     
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  14. snizzar Purple Belt

    snizzar
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    Thanks for the info, it was interesting to know. I look forward to your/Sin's progress. Pretty crazy with the progress made after like 1.5 years max. I'll definitely be lurking in whenever there's a future update. Hopefully your preparations for your debut go smoothly man.
     
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  15. Reyesnuthugr belt

    Reyesnuthugr
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    Wow- great stuff!
    Very impressive there with the movement under fire and getting inside. I also like the added aggression when throwing combos off the clinch/break. It's like a different person


    Still got a few vids on this page to watch left, though
     
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  16. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    There's a pretty comical moment that can't be seen in the video where McCallum (in the back) motions to me Mike's defensive position, then throws a couple punches out of it, then lifts his hands and eyebrows...silently asking why Mike isn't throwing more. I say we're working on defense and Mike give the "ohhhh" nod and then a thumbs up. But his defense is just now starting to look how I want it, the hat-trick is now going to be erasing the line between his defensive mode and offensive mode and making them one thing.
     
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  17. Sinister Doctor of Doom

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    As per your request. But first, the back-story.

    My fighter Jonathan (who we call "Loco") has a lot of potential, but has a tendency to second-guess himself AND mentally fuck-off in the middle of a fight. Mike is pretty much the opposite, always focused, and if he sees the opportunity to put you down for NOT being focused, he typically will. So Mike helped mature Jonathan a bit because the above video wasn't the first time he'd been dropped by Mike. I had to give him a bit of a pep-talk to believe in what he's capable of, and not compromise his own aggression because someone was trying to crush him. To stand his ground, and stand up to guys like Mike who are capable of trying to beat the fight out of him. The result was a more spirited session:

     
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  18. a guy Black Belt

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    I see what you mean. I'm with you on defense. In my perfect vision, I'd make the other guy miss everything he threw at me until he realized he couldn't touch me, then I'd walk him down and stop him. In reality, I get hit a few times trying to be slick then say "fuck this, I'm going in".

    Haha, I'm looking forward to following the progress. Thank you again for this thread. I have some similar tendencies to Mike so the insight I'm getting is something I can take directly to the gym with me.
     
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  19. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Oh and P.S. - For those of you who follow the threads around here. Even just in that heavybag footage, plenty of Cuban hooks and "hard" right hands, used in combination as well.
     
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  20. Cyclone Mike Amateur Fighter

    Cyclone Mike
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    That was the exact stage I was in a year ago. You can move past it if you work on things piece by piece but it takes a good development plan and time. I still get that way when nothing else is working but that's happening less and less the better I get.
     
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  21. Babba Purple Belt

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    impressive work sinister. mike is a gritty fuck. and your guy daijon is a real athelete, i loved those lead rights.

    going to a new trainer monday i hope he will have the same assesement tools as you do
     
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  22. Sinister Doctor of Doom

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    I will also note that Mike stumbled upon something in the final round of this session, and when it happened I didn't really know how to mention it, or if it was just my imagination. That is, until I reviewed the footage and saw it was for real.

    A few of his punches were so well-timed, thrown at just the right moment, that he knocked Chuy way off-balance. The next stage beyond that is being able to time just when you want to knock a guy down, or out.
     
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  23. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Lead lefts? Daijon is a Southpaw.
     
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  24. Babba Purple Belt

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    ure right lol, just so used to the term lead right.. hes standing forward leaned quite a bit compared to a lot of your other guys. i am trying very hard at the moment to really sit down on my back hip. i guess he has the dexterity to get away with it , though
     
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  25. Discipulus Black Belt

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    Daijon does it to bait people and mess with their distance. Leaning forward becomes a problem when you don't realize you're doing it, or can't help it. Done with purpose, it's very useful.
     
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  26. Babba Purple Belt

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    i do it with purpose too but i after my first counter punch i am often outta balance, and my hand speed is much more than my foot speed. this guy daijon has a grat understanding of distance for being so "fresh"
     
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  27. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Daijon and I were just discussing this today. He still needs A LOT of refinement despite how fond people are of his style. His movements are too big. I had him watch me pot-shot the double-end bag for a round, and he remarked that my movements were a lot smaller, which meant I had no recovery time and could throw something else immediately. So that's what we're aiming for with him. Once he's able to do that, you'll see a much more streamlined version of that technique. Just visually compare the way he does it (worried about getting hit back, so pre-concerned with the return fire) to the way I throw lead lefts here.
     
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  28. Babba Purple Belt

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    i feel u on that sinister. u doing all the right things too them.

    it takes a long time to loose those wasteful movements and get it all efficient, especially when you are conserned with what ur oppoent does. i can see u have that directly from one to the next - however u are doing something i sometimes get exploited on. leaning so far downwards to ur left. sometimes people time it and just swarm immediately
     
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  29. Sinister Doctor of Doom

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    Oh, I'd want you to swarm. I only throw the left if you ain't gonna come in.

    The inside is my favorite place to fight.

    But the moral of the story is...if you know how your opponent is going to respond, then they're doing what you want. And it's all about what you're going to do when they respond how you know they're going to.
     
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  30. delmata White Belt

    delmata
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    That is nice session, thanks for sharing that. I like how Mike looks on heavybag, now that you taught me the hard right hand, I can spot it in other people. Looks very piston-like, his punches are short and crisp, and it all begins with hip rotation, hands kinda unfold on their own. That's cool video, looks like a textbook material.
    I watched all the sparring videos, seems to me that majority of them are fought at a thinking man's pace, boxer vs boxer. I like those because you can really pick up a lot of technical details. But since I'm trying to pick up a lot of things from you and your students, I would love to see Mike against pressure fighter/brawler and the way he handles them. Since lately every sparring session I get is with those kind of fighters... But thanks for the great thread and congratulations on a great progress, a year is a short time in a fighters life and that looks like time well spent.
     
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  31. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Jonathan IS a pressure fighter, he's just a measured one. How does Mike deal with it? He "talks" him out of simply wading in like he'd do to anyone else.

    Aaron is also a pressure fighter. That's the most I'd ever seen Mike HAVE to back up in a session, and fight off the ropes. Mike got Aaron to slow down by making him miss a lot. Pressure fighters get bamboozled when they can't just reach out and touch a fella.
     
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