Finding range/opening up?

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by Higus, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. Higus

    Higus Gold Belt

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    I'm still pretty new to sparring, but I seem to struggle with finding range on my opponents, especially against guys with longer reach. Not being able to find range makes it hard for me to feel confident about opening up with my own offense. Lately I've tried 2 things:
    1) Throwing a ton of jabs - even if they don't connect, they give my opponent something to think about while I try to figure out how close I actually need to be
    2) Shelling up - I bring my gloves up to protect my head and I just plod forward until I get to medium/close range. I'll let my opponent throw strikes and wait for them to end a combo before I throw a few shots of my own

    Of the 2 attempts, I find the second helps me find the range more. I end up taking a lot of leg and body kicks in the process, but I find my punching range much faster and I can start connecting with more attacks after a couple of rounds. If I try the jabs, I feel like I am being too defensive, and i get stuck trying to play at outside range, which isn't supported by my average reach.

    For some of the more experienced guys, am I going about this the right way? What are some other drills/techniques you have tried to find your distance?
     
  2. thirteen

    thirteen Brown Belt

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    Use your jab as offense and defence.
    Don't forget to parries, slip etc.
    As for opening up - just bite the bullet and go for it.
    It's the only way you will learn.
     
  3. vjvj

    vjvj Mr. Pibb + Red Vines = Crazy Delicious

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    Jab is definitely the key to any offense. Learn to jab while moving forward. Then learn how to apply head movement while moving forward. Then... Learn to move your head AND jab while coming forward :) Double jab is also a really good tool for moving forward.

    A lot about closing the gap has to do with timing and figuring out when your opponent is off balance. You'll get better at that as you spar more rounds.

    Also, I wouldn't rely too much on shelling up, because a guy with good footwork is going to start out-angling the shit out of you. One of our pro MMA guys likes to do this, and he has a really hard time when I start working angles on him (and he's a much better overall fighter than I am; just not in standup).
     
  4. gotobread

    gotobread Purple Belt

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    Jabbing is "too defensive" but shelling up isn't? Say whaaaaaaaat?
     
  5. djdwolf

    djdwolf White Belt

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    I second the biting the bullet, stay in the pocket and relax, ull be moving ur head in that range and will find counters till it becomes instinct. its sparring so take advantage of it! =)
     
  6. Connoisseur

    Connoisseur Purple Belt

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    Shelling up is a last resort kind of thing, something you should only do if you are really hurt or are getting blitzed. When someone shells up, all that says to me is "HIT ME TO THE BODY! RIGHT NOW!!"

    Especially as a regular thing, when you're just trying to get inside, shelling up is a poor way to do so. If you have a short reach or prefer inside fighting, you're going to need to work on your footwork and head movement. Cut off your opponent's angles, move your head and jab to get inside. Once inside, you'll be able to "open up" like you want to- hooks, uppercuts, [elbows, knees]* etc.

    However, if you are a stockier/ shorter guy, take note of how a guy like Zambidis or Kyotaro fight. They're on their bikes quite a bit, circling away, drawing the other guy in- when they catch the other guy coming in, it's easier for them to explode in and throw their combos. Remember- if you're chasing, then you're giving up reach, and if you have a smaller reach, then you want the opponent to be chasing you. Who gives a damn if you think it's "too defensive"?

    It's the smart way to fight. I think the problem you have right now is that you're not willing to jab and/ or play a smart, technical game, because you don't have the patience/ focus to do so. The way that you said you're fine with shelling up & taking shots to the legs/ body so that you can get inside, you're not going to improve at all. That's a brawler's mentality and when you're fighting someone who's physically equal to you, and fights a smarter game, they're going to beat you every time.

    Zambo is one of the best examples of a shorter guy implementing his game to perfection at a high level in kickboxing. I'd recommend taking what you can from him, and seeing what you can do with your game that will help you.

    *For thai rules
     
  7. Steakeater**

    Steakeater** Banned Banned

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  8. Fzubek

    Fzubek Brown Belt

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    Well first off, dont hesitate, make a quick plan, and go for it 100%

    Second, shelling up isnt bad, the only thing wrong with what you said is waiting until they are done with the combo. You MUST punch as they are punching you, thats how shelling up works.

    And lastly, if youre much shorter, DONT throw a ton of jabs. Thats just playing into their hands.

    Heres how you jab as the shorter guy, without too much detail.

    Get a head rhythm going, go forward with you hands up chin tucked. Throw a jab with your head either slipping to the right or left, as soon as that jab is finished, bob and weave or step into the inside, and wa lah.

    If you do it well, most guys will throw a counter after your jab, and thats why you need to bob and weave immediately afterwards.

    So JAB, and make a move to get in.
     
  9. thirteen

    thirteen Brown Belt

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    Damn good advice there Fzubek.
     
  10. Connoisseur

    Connoisseur Purple Belt

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    Shelling up in and of itself isn't bad, but the way he was describing it, it is bad. He's coming in with his hands on his ears, which would become extremely predictable. You do that and you're gonna get rib roasted. I would be planting round kicks, teeps, & right crosses into someone doing that, all day long.

    Good advice otherwise.
     
  11. ssullivan80

    ssullivan80 see....what had happened was

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    Great advice!

    Shelling up and standing there = Bad idea.

    Covering up, tuck n rolling or crashing in off the block (go in narrow) = much better idea!
     
  12. ssullivan80

    ssullivan80 see....what had happened was

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    If you want to see a really good example recently of how to close the distance behind the jab, keep range control as the smaller fighter and maintain pressure....... Go watch the fights between Andre Ward Vs. Kessler and Green. Andre is exceptionally good at range control and using that jab to come in. He is either out of there range or into his and doesnt get caught in that "danger zone" against the taller longer fighters where they are in range and he is just out...... There is a short clip below. Notice how when he comes in, behind the jab or otherwise, he commits, no hesitancy and that keeps him from getting stuck outside his range and in the opponents.

    YouTube - Recap: Mikkel Kessler vs. Andre Ward - Super Six World Boxing Classic


    -Notice how Andre stays at distance in the early part of the 1st round and draws Green to him, then fires in that body jab as Green advances. That makes Green hesitant in advancing, and eventually stationary, making it easier for Andre to come in with combos, vs just the jab.

    -notice how he will hold and paw that jab out there to draw Green in.

    - watch how even when he is inside covering he is not stationary, keeps his feet and upper body moving, so not to be set target.

    - notice that when he goes in he goes all the way in, he does not stop short or give Green the opportunity to back off and unload, he gets in tight, stays lower and stands Green up. Then forces Green to back out, while he throws..... good shit!

     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010

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