Using focus mitts

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by Arashi, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Arashi

    Arashi Guest

    I've been doing BJJ for a while and have started doing to MMA training. I bought a pair of focus mitts for my training partner and I, obviously we're kind of on our own. When we were trying them out, they felt a little awkward, in the sense that when I'm hitting the mitts I'm hitting two targets and I normally would be hitting at a face or a body.

    I guess my question is how and where should they be held? I tried a search but didn't find anything.

    Thanks.
     
  2. tokian

    tokian Orange Belt

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    They are traditionally held at the striker's shoulder-line, the line splitting the two being parallel with the holder's face. You can then change the angles to allow for hooks and uppercuts. There are ways to emulate body-strikes too. I'd just experiment because as long as you are training with your fighting sense, you have a huge advantage over the rest of these punks.

    Practically, they should be used to push your training to the next level.

    Your hands dont need to get used to hitting specific areas, your mind needs to become capable of hitting ANY area at any given moment. So dont concentrate on using the mitts as a replacement to sparring. Even though focus mitts may not be like hitting a person, they are a direct target your mind is telling your fists/elbows (knees/shins too) to attack. Perfect.

    So, when you use focus mitts, use them to achieve your goal for that day:

    accuracy
    technique
    stamina
    power
    timing

    i.e.
    In order to achieve a high-proficency in accuracy, mix up the angles and distances of the mit, over and over.

    For technique, focus solely on how you are landing the strikes, and whether your footwork and guard are capable.

    If you want, i can elaborate on these, and give examples of how to train for each.
     
  3. Arashi

    Arashi Guest

    Thanks, but please elaborate away!
     
  4. farmboy

    farmboy Banned Banned

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    Well, head and body are 2 targets, right?

    I agree.
     
  5. Brendon Katz

    Brendon Katz Brown Belt Professional Fighter

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    tokian : waiting for an elaboration pls bro
     
  6. EddNg

    EddNg Blue Belt

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    There's some videos/DVD's that instruct you on how to use the focus mitts, first ones that come to my head are Focus Mitt Training by Chris Getz
     
  7. tokian

    tokian Orange Belt

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    Okay, sorry.

    Lets elaborate on what you can do with focus mitts.
    Please let me know if this is what you were looking for.

    First of all, what level of training are you at?

    Do you have your gaurd down? Can you defend while attacking?
    Do you have your footwork down?
    Do you have your jab and cross down?
    Do you have hooks down?
    Do you have elbows and knees down?

    The first thing you want to do is get a rhythm with your partner.
    Whoever is striking needs to focus on a few things AT ALL TIMES and during ALL DRILLS:

    Never stop moving: always keep your foot work going. Always work. Bob/weave, move backwards forwards and sideways while keeping your footwork and your gaurd.

    Strike Controllably: You never want to allow yourself to strike wildly or without concern of your gaurd/footwork. If you drill controllably, and work HARD to keep control while fatiqued, during a fight you'll be able to defend yourself better and for a longer period of time.

    Strategize: This may be hard to do when you are facing mitts, but at least try to visualize certain combos mixed with footwork and defense, and get them natural, so as to keep an arsenal that you can use for different opponents. Just as you want to keep your body working, keep your mind working.

    Specific Drills
    I would drill for at least 3 minute rounds, with a couple sets.

    1,2 / 1,2,3 / 1,1,2,3,3 etc. etc. : 1 = jab , 2 = cross , 3 = lead hook

    This will be the first drill you use on the mitts. Start with simple 1,2's until both you and your partner are comfortable.

    Once you are ready to move on, start to change it up.
    Your partner calls out certain combos and you attack the mitts accordingly. You can make up your own numbers or whatever, and definately change the combos up. This is good to get yourself versatile and able to throw anythiing that comes to mind. It is also the first step to getting conditioned on the mitts.

    Accuracy/Technique Drills : Save this for after you are conditioned. Choose a specific strike and focus on it solely for the drill period. Your partner needs to know how to hold the mitts properly for each strike, or you wont learn properly.

    Strike-Outs : This is for increasing stamina. Throw a barrage of 1 & 2 's without rest for a specific amount of time. A good drills is 15 seconds on, 45 secs movement and gaurd, about 10 times. This should kill you. You can variate this though.

    You can also throw other strikes like this (i like to use hooks). It helps co-ordinate multiple strikes.

    Power Drills : This is where you choose a specific strike and throw it HARD. As hard as you can. You must make sure to keep your gaurd, footwork, and striking form solid when doing these, otherwise you are wasting your time. Power starts with form.

    You can use other strikes to set up whatever strike you are working on, just keep them light. You want energy for the specific strike you are working on.

    ----------

    Dont forget the bag drills either. Read the stick by King Kabuki, and if you Thai box, throw in a round for knees/elbows and a round for kicks. And eventually a round for all strikes in your aresenal.
     
  8. Arashi

    Arashi Guest

    Okay I definitely need work on all of this! But I think I have a lot of trouble with left hooks (since I'm a righty).
     
  9. tokian

    tokian Orange Belt

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    Okay cool, we're getting somewhere.

    Do you know how you SHOULD hold your gaurd? Do you know how you SHOULD stand and move?

    Those two are probably the most frustrating yet important aspects of fighting. If you know what you SHOULD do, then you can train it while using mitts. Your partner must know what you are supposed to be doing also, so he can call you out and if needed attack your weak areas (throw straights at you with the mitts if your gaurd isnt closed enough, or hooks if it isnt boxed enough, push you if your stance isnt strong enough, etc).


    Since you said you need to work on all of those, start with the 1,2 mitt drills and work them relentlessly. Circle, sidestep, forward and back step your partner while throwing jabs and crosses. This will get your footwork and your gaurd down immediately (if you are indeed doing what you should be doing) as well as your stamina and timing.

    Do that drill until you can get up out of bed in the morning and fight off a cold assassin with your fists of death.

    Then, move on to elbows, then knees, then your lead hook.

    If you dont know the correct way to stand or gaurd, open a new thread like you did this one called "Gaurd and Stance" so i can throw down on it. Hopefully Ka Buki and some others will to.

    Make sure your partner will strike you with the mitts ANY TIME YOU ARE OPEN. This will get your defense really good.
     
  10. bigmatt521

    bigmatt521 Orange Belt

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    I've been doing Bas Rutten's mma conditioning tape with the focus mitts and it's awesome i definately suggest it
     
  11. Michael Wanaka

    Michael Wanaka Amateur Fighter

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    There are a few key thigns to do when holding pads.

    First you need to hold the targets close to each other, so it's more like hitting one target instead of two. Also, your partner needs to give you good pressure on your strikes so you don't hyper extend your elbow or feel like you're pushing the pads back.
     
  12. Luke Bucknell

    Luke Bucknell Amateur Fighter

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    try not to do static pad work, move around, improve your footwork at the same time. a lot of new fighters tend to stand in one place when they are doing pad work, and concentrate on their punches... which is fine until u get relatively comfortable with jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts, and putting them into combinations. then u need to start hitting the pads as if you were in a sparring environment.

    get your pad-holding partner to:
    - tap you on the side of the head (make sure you specify how hard you want it) if you drop your hands
    - move around between each combo/punch
    - push you to your limits
    - try new stuff occasionally
    - move around holding the pads down, then bring them up briefly and call out a punch, putting them away if you dont nail it in time

    key things to remember:
    - no flat feet, keep on the balls... so to speak
    - punch through the pad but do NOT hyperextend
    - use the hips for everything besides the jab
    - move your feet in the middle of a combo (yes its a good thing, u get better balance)
    - train hard and respect each other!!!!
     
  13. Rudy Richter

    Rudy Richter Amateur Fighter

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    I guess that is a matter of preference, but I use my hips and step while I jab to develop more power.
     
  14. Rudy Richter

    Rudy Richter Amateur Fighter

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    Agreed.... add to this that the trainer should let you however seek the target instead of slapping the mitts at you. The loud slapping sounds impressive but can build false confidence in terms of skills if it's due to the trainer meeting you half way to the target.
     
  15. Luke Bucknell

    Luke Bucknell Amateur Fighter

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    agreed. will deliver more power but to an experienced fighter can also telecast which defeats the whole purpose of the jab, it is not a power punch
     
  16. Luke Bucknell

    Luke Bucknell Amateur Fighter

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    lol just re-read that and i agree with the stepping part but was always taught to flick the jab as fast as i could rather than worry about putting a lot of power behind it...
     

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