Facing the center line:

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by Sinister, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    I figured on the heels of the misunderstanding of Discipulus's talking point about "eye-contact" it would be a good time to do this thread I've been meaning to do for quite a while now, as this principal of fighting (on the feet) is being lost over the years. Similarly to grappling, if you can get behind your opponent, when striking, you have a significant advantage. But being as no combat sport allows attacks from behind, not turning the back, "behind the opponent" means something different. It simply means beyond the effective scope of their peripheral vision. This is where you want to go when we say "get an angle"...idealistically. You can get angles from within the field of vision, but that's another thread. Now, theoretically when two fighters square off they're facing each other. You've all seen me post that I like the lead toe to be aimed at the opponent's center line, as well as the lead hand, hip, and shoulder. This gives them a direct threat. Early boxers did this without deviation, and regardless of the proximity of the opponent (how close together they were):

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    Note the direction each of their lead toes are pointing. Even if the upper-body positioning does change to suit the attacks, the lower-body remains positioned correctly. This is a big deal, because if anything can be sacrificed it's the upper-body positioning, not the lower. Nowadays a lot of instructors have gotten away from explaining the full intricacies of WHY their students should be doing this. If any of you have watched a lot of old boxing fights, you may have noticed a difference in pacing compared to modern fights. How the fighters stand is in direct relation to that. When your stance allows for your opponent to not feel threatened greatly, then they are free to attack you. If his stance is the same, fighting will commence quickly. Everything becomes reactive, and it becomes twice as difficult to position the opponent TO be hurt by something. A game of hope, not a game of precise action. Take a look at the highlights from this bout between greats Tony Canzoneri, and Jimmy McLarnin. Each of them stand in a way that directly threatens each other, and when they do launch and miss attacks, they each make re-gaining their positioning a priority:



    Their skill and precision makes the fight kind of like a Wild West shootout. Lots of skilled attacking, and lots of skilled missing. McLarnin had a lot of success early, because he was deceptively skillful and strong as a bull. However, that Canzoneri NEVER gave Jimmy an angle where he didn't see Jimmy coming is what kept him safe. He remained facing the oncoming opponent. This is what carried Tony to the victory.

    Another old timer who was fantastic at this principal, was Ike Williams:


    [CONTINUED]
     
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    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  2. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Now, this principal is also true when facing an opposite-handed fighter. Recently Adrian Broner faced Lightweight Contender Antonio DeMarco. I'm no fan of Broner as a fighter, however, one thing I noticed immediately about his positioning was that despite giving up the outside angle (down the left side of his left foot), his ability to face DeMarco made all the difference in who could land what. In other words, gaining that position was no advantage for DeMarco, in fact, it was a trap (from about the 6 minute mark):



    Wish I could have found better HL's of that fight, but even that little bit shows what I mean. DeMarco kept getting fooled into thinking he was in a dominant position because his right foot was outside of Broner's left foot. But he wasn't actually facing Broner very well. Broner was always in the advantageous position due to consistent facing of DeMarco's center line.

    I myself attempt to instruct this same principal. However, for students of mine who deviate, they find out the hard way (you'll hear me yelling at the Southpaw to keep his back foot down, his stomping with his jab, front-foot heaviness and the back foot barely touching is what takes away his ability to keep up with the opponent, whom I was also working with at the time):



    The moment he was facing the wrong direction, he got sat on his ass. And it was a balance knockdown, but all a judge will see is a likely 10-8 round. A little later in the footage you see the other guy pivot very well when attacked, to remain facing the oncoming opponent. Here's another instance of the same thing. My student, Bleu, was facing a Cuban kid who isn't very good, but is very aggressive. Watch what happens when he just happens to get Bleu facing the wrong direction (about 5:42):



    That kid's erraticness was throwing Bleu off, he took control back the next round by not losing track of him. That said, here's another guy I help when he's here at the Gym against that same Cuban kid. Only watch how this kid NEVER gives up facing the Cuban kid...something his trainer is VERY good at instilling in his students:



    Because Miguel is always facing Rolando, nothing hurts him. He can see it all coming, even the ones that DO land. This gives Miguel the initiative to control distance. Control of distance is the first principal of boxing defense, followed closely by positioning. Your stance can control distance by having depth, and appearing threatening. You LOOK as if you're prepared to hurt anyone who steps close to you. Positioning is never sacrificing your stance, or that threat...if it can be avoided. If you're almost always facing the opponent, people will find it very very difficult to initiate attacks.
     
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  3. Pugilistic Brown Belt

    Pugilistic
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    Great thread once again. I'm going to focus more on this next time I spar. Regarding to Broner fight, the video didn't show their feet but was it because Demarco had his lead foot facing away from Broner? It seemed he was facing away from Broner at a slight angle as opposed to directly at him.

    Why don't you like Broner anyway?
     
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  4. Nuclearlandmine Shreddin'

    Nuclearlandmine
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    http://touch.dailymotion.com/video/xv85we_adrien-broner-vs-antonio-demarco-2012-11-17_sport

    Full fight of Adrien Broner vs Antonio DeMarco for anyone interested. Broner did an exquisite job dismantling DeMarco and never seemed to be out of position even when DeMarco try to take the fight inside.

    BTW, am i the only one who is annoyed at the commentating team's insistence that Broner's handspeed is the main reason why he succeed throughout the fight?
     
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  5. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Yes, he had his foot outside of Broner's, but his right arm and foot were no threat to him. Broner kept facing the middle of DeMarco's body, especially when DeMarco was squared-up. Poor Tony couldn't see a thing coming.

    And I don't like Broner because he's a clown, and for about a year he fought guys significantly smaller than he is and didn't bother making weight for 3 bouts.

    It is annoying, but they have no real way of knowing any better.
     
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  6. Wanduraba White Belt

    Wanduraba
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    We are all but mere pawns in a Greg Jackson gamepl
    This is truly fascinating and highly informative.

    I used to study/train in Wing Chun (now do MMA) and a high priority was placed on 'controlling' the centreline and protecting your own. I don't know if this is at least similar to what you've so graciously explained in detail but combined with the thread on posture+positioning and the threads on distancing (which I haven't found, but assume must exist) I feel I am gaining a solid understanding of the principles/fundamentals of striking which are at play in all forms of MA combat (underneath all of the combination jab-cross-l.b.hook-r.legkick etc. techniques, which is the only understanding of "technique" that I see taught in the gym), which is sad because these aspects are so much more important than having an infinite arsenal of combinations.
     
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  7. sourdiesel209 Blue Belt

    sourdiesel209
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    So basically, if you face your opponent all the time, your not letting him get an angle on you (to get you out of position)and this makes it easier for you to get an angle on him??... anyways good stuff, Ima try it out
     
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  8. KounterPunch Purple Belt

    KounterPunch
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    I kinda agree with the OP. I say kinda because I've just skimmed through it but seriously , Sin , those two pics are the best you could find to illustrate your point ?

    IMO it's why the term "old school" has a touch of that ridiculous vibe to it.

    In the first pic , the guy's are so far apart they're not threatening anybody unless with a flamethrower.
    The guy on the left , his right is so far forward with his body torqued in such a way that he has nothing to throw save a left hook .....from in close.
    Still , not as bad as the joker on the right.
    The guy's legs are in the orthodox stance while his upper body is in southpaw !!!
    Is he dyslexic or something ?
    I'll leave out how his neck is sticking out like a pigeon's or how his weight is so fa forward.
    A lil kick on his behind and he'd have a mouthful of turf.

    Second pic , guy on the left , flat footed and (more importantly) straight legged.
    Right hand down so low he ain't parrying / blocking / defending the left plus that added distance he has to cover if he wants to land his right not to mention the awkward angle / position he'll have to overcome if he wants to torqu that right.

    As for Ronald McDonald on the right , flat footed / weight forward / lead shoulder possibly too stiff / hands too low / torso too square ........take your pick.
     
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  9. pheonix5 Purple Belt

    pheonix5
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    It's the former,not letting him get an angle on you. As far as you getting an angle him, make sure he doesn't see this thread. :D
     
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  10. shs101 Blue Belt

    shs101
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    I'm most interested in your point of the front foot positioning,so you're saying if your front foot is facing your opponents center line you have the advantage? How so if 98% of boxing gyms they teach you from day 1 stand more sideways? Or am I missing something? I'd love to get more knowledge of this and see more video of modern day fighters successfully fighting like this. By no means am I arguing I'm just trying to get more insight on this topic. Thanks in advance
     
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  11. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    You're right Sir. My choices of photos are absolutely horrible!! They're so poor they don't demonstrate the points even in the slightest and render my post to the degree that it can only be "kinda" agreed with.

    Whatever will I do with myself now...
     
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  12. Nuclearlandmine Shreddin'

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  13. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Having a bladed stance doesn't negate where the front foot it pointed. Part of the reasons I liked the photos I used for this thread was BECAUSE two of them are in-motion, the upper-body postures don't negate the lower-body postures.
     
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  14. shs101 Blue Belt

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    So what REAL advantage are you gaining from your foot facing in to your principal of the foot facing the center? How so are you threatening him more?
     
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  15. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Would you rather attack a guy who is facing you directly...or a guy who is facing slightly sideways to you?
     
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  16. shs101 Blue Belt

    shs101
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    I see where your coming from. So in a smaller box a better positioning would keep
    Your upper body angled and your lower body/front foot facing the center? If so I'm going to try this tomorrow in sparring
     
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  17. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Right-o, watch the videos a few times to really get the concept in-motion. Also, if you're going to try it out as early as tomorrow, report back and let me know how it goes. My wager will be that your opponent will be less apt to attack you with anything very intelligent (unless they're very good). You'll have a lot of initiative to work with, and if they do attack it'll likely be something desperate and unorganized (like the Cuban kid when he was in with Miguel, it becomes obvious that his inability to sway Miguel gets him panicky).
     
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  18. caelitus Orange Belt

    caelitus
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    Miguel's stance in the last video seemed pretty damn effective. Every punch just glanced off him and he was able to keep the pressure on even when he wasn't throwing punches. I'm going to try this out tomorrow in kickboxing, wonder if it will translate over effectively
     
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  19. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Miguel makes a few mistakes that I don't correct because despite cornering him here, I'm not his trainer. And I like his trainer, so I don't step on his toes. But the mistakes he does make are negligent here because the opponent doesn't recognize them, and because that he IS always facing the opponent, he's always appearing threatening, making the other kid apprehensive.
     
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  20. KounterPunch Purple Belt

    KounterPunch
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    Well , good reply.
    You totally answered and crossed out my questions.

    :rolleyes:

    My point is , you could've used any number of relevant pics (both modern and / or from the 50s 60s 70s 80s etc but instead you chose to go so far back it's almost like jumping the shark.

    If just "illustrating my point" is needed , one might as well use those Homeric images from a few threads ago or pics of the pyramids in Giza.......hell , I'm sure one could find a pic of two telly tubbies facing each other like that.

    To me it looks like the "perpetuate the old school is gold school" schtick .

    Just my opinion ....don't ban me for it.

    :icon_lol:
     
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