July 18th, 2011 By Professor Chuck Marbry
MAKING A POINT & ANSWERING YOUR EMAILS
Charlotte, NC- I had a reader ask me what was the most common mistake I see fighters making today. I thought, “I don’t have that much column space to answer that question.” But after mulling it over for a couple of weeks, I believe I have distilled it down to the manageable essentials. Here they are:
1. Get a real trainer/coach who knows what they are doing!
2. See number 1.
NOBODY IS TEACHING GUYS TO PUNCH CORRECTLY
But to honestly answer the readers question, when it comes to offense, I see too much arm punching. When you throw a punch (with the rare exceptions being certain jabs) you need to turn your whole body into the punch. The power of your punch begins in your legs and hips, travels through your torso and back, through your shoulders and out your arms and into your fists. Now, if you are slow afoot, punching a little slower will actually give you more power than trying to “out punch” your feet. Use your whole body and not just your arms to punch.
NOT EVERY SHOT NEED BE A HOME RUN
Remember, you do not have to swing for the fences every time to throw a punch. You are not Ernie Shavers or Babe Ruth, so you don’t have to try for a knockout with every punch. Mix lighter and harder punches in combinations, and use head and shoulder movements to feints opponents into countering. Use the hard punches when you have the best chance of landing them, like when you are actually in range. And what’s with the leaping left hooks all of a sudden? That only worked for Floyd Patterson, and then only about half the time! Here is a news flash! You aren’t Patterson, either! Throw short left hooks, pivot off the back foot, and keep your chin tucked in. Also, throw short uppercuts and short right hands (for orthodox stance fighters), but let that left jab reach on out there, but snap it out, and snap it back quickly. Don’t throw the jab and just leave it dangling out there.
THE LOST ART OF “BODY & FENDER’ WORK!
And for the love of all that’s boxing, don’t forget to go to the body! The old trainer’s adage “kill the body and the head will die” is true. Try a jab upstairs, followed by a right to the body. As you work your way inside your opponents defense, lean in toward his chest, keeping your head up, and throw 2,3,or 4 punches to the body, and work your way out. Keep your combinations within the three to five punch range. I don’t care how fast you think you are, you are not Muhammad Ali! You don’t need and can’t pull off ten punch combo’s. All that will do is drain your energy and leave yourself open to counter punches.
CONCENTRATION IS ALSO LACKING TODAY
Also, don’t look at the canvas! I don’t care how many ads they have screen printed down there, when you are fighting, keep your eyes on your opponent. He is in front of you. If you keep your head down, you will eat a steady diet of uppercuts. And for goodness sake, keep your eyes open! And finally, let your hand go. You will never hit your opponent if you do not throw a punch!
BACK TO THE A,B,C’S OF PUGILISM
Now when it comes to defense, keep your hands up, elbows low, and please, move your head. Don’t waste energy running around the ring. This is a boxing match, not a track meet, also don’t waste a lot of energy jumping up and down on your toes, unless you are a kangaroo. The only time you need to do any jumping is if you have been tagged hard and are groggy, step back, jump up on your toes, and land on your heels hard. That will help clear your head, and you won’t hear that from today’s trainers. (That tip was passed on to me from my trainer Lou Kemp!) To avoid you opponent take a step and pivot out of the way. That way you will save energy, and be in a position to counter. Also, don’t lean back. and don’t close your eyes or look away when your opponent is punching. Again, you are not Ali! Establish your ground, defend it, pivot to avoid punches and counter.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO THROW AT INCOMING FIRE
And, it is not chiseled in stone that you have to wait until your opponent finishes punching before you start punching back. You have as much right to establish your will as he does! Interrupt his punching and hit him.
MY GODFATHER IN BOXING WAS THE GREAT LOU KEMP
My trainer, Lou Kemp, used to teach me that if I can avoid blocking a punch with my gloves, do so. Slip inside, slip outside, or slip under it and counter punch. Because if i am busy using my hands to defend myself, I might not be able to hit my opponent fast enough with a counter. now, that doesn’t mean I never block punches with my gloves. I’ve got to use common sense. But if at all possible, slip a punch and keep your hand free to punch.
HOPE THAT ANSWERS THE INTERROGATORIES
Well, that’s the Cliff Notes version of the most common mistakes I see fighters make in the ring today. Your thoughts?
Professor Chuck Marbry