(Improved?) bag work

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by Big Jack, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. Big Jack

    Big Jack Green Belt

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    Below is a video of some boxing I did on the bag last night after a session of LISS. Decided to do a few short hard rounds before I started foam rolling.



    I know my footwork is poor, but I've been trying to stop 'arm punching'. I think it's more prevalent on some of the body shots I throw, you can kind of see I am trying to rotate the torso more, but I know it's still there in parts. What do you think guys? In my opinion I think it looks a lot better than my last video, where some of the swings looked like they were fresh from a bar fight scene in a low budget movie.

    Cheers.
     
  2. Discipulus

    Discipulus Black Belt

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    Your tendency to arm punch will improve if you focus on keeping your elbows down and your shoulders back. Sometimes the more you try to hit hard, the more you actually do to prevent a truly hard punch from being thrown.
     
  3. Big Jack

    Big Jack Green Belt

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    So is it a case of 'trying too hard' do you think? I'm too seized up?
     
  4. NAKMUAY18

    NAKMUAY18 Brown Belt

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    Looks like your trying to do too much too soon, stick with the basics at the min.

    Arm punches like you say, but your also jumping and jerking around randomly and leaning over with them. Your not in balance to throw a committed punch.
    Your too close to the bag so your not extending your punches out.
    Your feet get crossed, squared off, and your jumping around instead of controlling your movement.

    Do you train at a boxing gym?
    I'd say go back to basics, slow everything down to half speed and get you movement and posture down before you move on.
     
  5. Big Jack

    Big Jack Green Belt

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    I don't have the provision to train at a boxing gym right now and I know that severely limits me. When you say go back to basics do you mean just drill certain basic strikes? my striking is very much for MMA.
     
  6. Discipulus

    Discipulus Black Belt

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    In some ways, yes. I find that when I go back to how I instinctively want to punch hard I end up kind of pulling my punches. I feel lots of impact, but that's likely because I end up putting too many moving pieces between my fist and the ground. That sounds confusing. What I mean to say is that when I try to punch hard, I hunch my shoulder, and my elbow comes up, and I lean forward. I might give the impression of putting a lot into the punch, but the real result is that all that energy I try so hard to muster ends up being dissipated by my own counterproductive mechanics.

    Truly straight, hard punches come from the hip and the core. Keep your elbow relatively tight to your side, which for me also helps me keep the shoulder back. Don't try to lift your shoulder to protect your chin or anything. Rather, let the punch turn over at the very last instant (my right hand usually ends up connecting just before completely turning) twisting yourself into the punch, trying to put your right shoulder over your left knee, but while keeping your back straight.

    It takes lots of practice for those of us who aren't born punchers, but I've had people complain about holding mitts for me when I get it right. It can actually be a good sign when you feel less impact in your arm, because that seems to indicate that your structure is more solid, and that you are meeting less resistance.

    Proper fist formation helps, too. Watch the way Luis throws his straight left here:



    He's got narrow ass fingers, so if you have sausage links like mine your fist might not look exactly the same. But the way he throws, like he's pointing into his target with his elbow nice and low, that's what you want.

    Edit: The best basic you can possibly train is the tile exercise.
     
  7. Big Jack

    Big Jack Green Belt

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    I truly appreciate the feedback and input. Thanks. By tile exercise, you mean the weight transition one? Shifting the weight over front and back legs?
     
  8. Discipulus

    Discipulus Black Belt

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    This one.

     
  9. NAKMUAY18

    NAKMUAY18 Brown Belt

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    I mean make adjustments like Disc recommends, go to the bag and throw a short combo (2 or 3 punches), step off, reset, then throw another combo. All the head moving, arm twitching, and jumping around isn't correct and it's distracting you from getting your punch mechanics right. Solid foundations for a house and all that.

    What I said before about the range I important too, your way too close to the bag and that's messing up any form you have too.
     
  10. Discipulus

    Discipulus Black Belt

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    Oh, and practice away from the bag. The promise of being able to hit something is very enticing, but shadowboxing is just as important as bagwork.
     
  11. Big Jack

    Big Jack Green Belt

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    I can see how it's not correct. I just feel like I have to move around to avoid being the guy that fights in straight lines, but I guess that's useless if I can't throw a proper punch in the first place. The range thing I totally get to, for someone my size I should be using proper range but a couple of times I have been sparring I've been caught striking in close and taken down, so that's something I definitely need to work on.

    I'll take your advice. Focus on throwing correct punches in 2 or 3 combos, coming back and resetting before focusing on the next one.
     
  12. Discipulus

    Discipulus Black Belt

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    Your movement has to have a purpose, though. Don't just move to move. Every time you move your head, you close one opening and create another. Be aware of what attacks you are opening yourself up to when you move, as well as what ones you are avoiding.

    Sinister linked this in another thread, and I'll share it here, because I absolutely love Arnor's movement. Notice how he is constantly moving his upper body, his hips, and his feet, but always with a very clear purpose. He doesn't bounce around or waste energy. That all goes back to the tile exercise and shadowboxing.



    Arnor is in the black.

    He moves minimally, but he's not stiff. I would describe his motions as deliberate. He knows what he's doing and why.

    Edit: Also, I don't think you're necessarily standing too close to the bag. I think you end up smothering yourself by leaning in because you likely feel that you're too far away, or just don't have a sense for your range in general. Try sitting back on that rear foot for the cross.
     
  13. ssullivan80

    ssullivan80 see....what had happened was

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    I think your jab looked alright, it's solid but your falling into it a bit (flaring elbow, falling onto front foot). It's tough to really get proper lower body rotation when your on a wood floor in gym shoes, they grab/grip and the natural compensation is then to lean or push (arm punch). You'd actually be better off in your socks IMO.

    Other than that, I don't think you looked bad at all for a beginner. That said, don't walk around the bag, step n slide, pivot, etc. YOU SHOULD NEVER BE CROSSING YOUR FEET, EVER! Also, I noticed during several of your combos that both your heels are up off the ground, your getting a bit to narrow (your head should never get outside of your knees, laterally or otherwise). This will cause you to get off balance, hence you appear, bouncy or "jerky". Your essentially leaning/falling into your shots vs turning into them. Your shots sound "thudding" vs "cracking", tell tale sign that your pushing your shots with your weight vs cracking your shots by using hip n shoulder rotation (glove and hip turn over almost simultaneously).

    Ya got to set your feet before you start punching, ground up. Move (step n slide, no crossing feet), set feet/base, then punch. I think if you simply work on just setting those feet, drop into your stance and relax your upper body, then throw punches you'll see a big difference. Your a big guy and you appear to be fairly athletic, don't rely on your size and strength to generate power. Get the technique right, make it effortless then your size and strength will naturally aide you.
     
  14. Big Jack

    Big Jack Green Belt

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    I agree, he looks calm and in control. Like he knows exactly what he wants to do. Compared to that I look very erratic and purposeful. Very interesting style to watch though, I enjoyed that video.
     
  15. Big Jack

    Big Jack Green Belt

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    Thanks Sullivan. About the crossing feet, I know that's a HUGE no-no but when I get tired any sort of footwork that was there in the first place seems to go out the window entirely. Also I'm not sure what people mean when they say that the hips rotate even on the lead hand. I get why, but if you rotate your hips aren't you then committed to that position? As in, it'll be hard to get out if you have a planted pivoted foot and hip?

    Probably making no sense here.

    P.S if it helps, I picked up my boxing technique from Muay Thai. I trained Muay Thai for the best part of 3 years, and am planning on going back to it soon.
     
  16. a guy

    a guy Black Belt

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    Discipulus really nailed it with his responses (he wasn't nearly as helpful in my critique thread :icon_twis) but there's one thing I would add. In the bolded part, you say that you're trying to rotate the torso more. You'd be better off trying to rotate the hips more. You're leaving your hips behind on your punches, your right one isn't turning and driving to create power, instead you're leaning over the front hip and the right hip is coming after. Think ground up at ALL times with everything you do. The torso doesn't rotate, the hips rotate the torso. If you change the way you look at the arm punching problem your training will be much more productive.

    It especially applies to your movement. Your goals should be balance and stability during movement, no matter how slow you have to go to achieve those. In my own thread, I was trying way too hard to move fast and it became excessive and awkward. When I slowed it down, everything was much better. One of my favorite sayings about footwork goes "slow is fast". It's more about where you're stepping than how fast you're stepping there. You want to always be ready to fire off a punch, you don't want to have to halt a bunch of momentum, plant then punch. Trying to move your feet fast can be just as detrimental as trying to punch hard.
     
  17. ssullivan80

    ssullivan80 see....what had happened was

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    Hips rotate can also be translated to "engaging the hips". But yes, your hips are engaged/rotated on your lead hand (with certain exceptions beyond boxing 101). As for committing to the position, well if you want to commit to the punch it is kind of necessary. What I think you referring to when you say "committed to position" is having a lack of mobility during/after the punch, and you indeed will have this if your not positioning/transferring your weight correctly and maintaining your posture. As noted previously, anytime your head gets outside your knees laterally or in front of your knee on lead leg your out of position, off balance and you will compromise both mobility and defense.

    I.E: For the jab, you don't want to drop/fall forward heavy on that front foot. Step with your rear, landing light/tapping down that lead foot as the fist hits the bag (lead foot hits ground same time hand hits bag). You don't want to create the power/snap in the jab with the step in, it's generated by bumping (slightly rotating) the lead hip and shoulders, landing/tapping lighter on the front foot than the rear. Hence, you won't compromise mobility. If I really want to get power on my jab, i'll coil my shoulders and pivot on my lead leg much like I would for a hook, only firing the jab.

    For the lead hook/Uc: your weight will shift through your hips (don't lean over) heavier on the lead leg and then transfer/pull back to the rear leg as your pivoting into the hook. When your glove makes contact with the bag, you should be slightly heavier on your rear leg than your lead/pivot leg.

    Once you get the concept of transferring weight through your hips and not compromising your posture by leaning or falling into your shots, you'll find that pivoting or rotating your hips will not compromise your mobility at all and instead will make your shots more compact, more powerful and easier to transition into combination.
     
  18. ssullivan80

    ssullivan80 see....what had happened was

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    Hips rotate can also be translated to "engaging the hips". But yes, your hips are engaged/rotated on your lead hand (with certain exceptions beyond boxing 101). As for committing to the position, well if you want to commit to the punch it is kind of necessary. What I think you referring to when you say "committed to position" is having a lack of mobility during/after the punch, and you indeed will have this if your not positioning/transferring your weight correctly and maintaining your posture. As noted previously, anytime your head gets outside your knees laterally or in front of your knee on lead leg your out of position, off balance and you will compromise both mobility and defense.

    I.E: For the jab, you don't want to drop heavy and fall forward on that front foot. Step with your rear, landing light/tapping down that lead foot as the fist hits the bag. You don't want to create the power/snap in the jab with the step in, it's generated by by bumping (slightly rotating) the lead hip and shoulders, landing/tapping lighter on the front foot than the rear. Hence, you won't compromise mobility. If I really want to get power on my jab, i'll coil my shoulders and pivot on my lead leg much like I would for a hook, only firing the jab.

    For the lead hook/Uc: your weight will shift through your hips (don't lean over) heavier on the lead leg and then transfer/pull back to the rear leg as your pivoting into the hook. When your glove makes contact with the bag, you should be slightly heavier on your rear leg than your lead/pivot leg.

    Once you get the concept of transferring weight through your hips and not compromising your posture by leaning or falling into your shots, you'll find that pivoting or rotating your hips will not compromise your mobility at all and instead will make your shots more compact, more powerful and easier to transition into combination.
     
  19. apizur**

    apizur** Aggressive Finesse.

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    When you talk about incorporating the body, people want to "stop arm punching". It's not a matter of NOT arm punching. It's a matter of adding the body rotation to an arm punch. Arm punches should be called "bodyless punches". Keep the arm motion, keep the snap from the shoulder, add the twist.
     
  20. Discipulus

    Discipulus Black Belt

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    Except remove the snap from the shoulder.
     

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