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52 Blocks "Red Volume" With Lyte
Comtech HELLBOWS: Destructive Elbow
Comtech Trapping I: Basics & Developmental Drills
Comtech Trapping II: Applications & Advanced Drills
Comtech Trapping IV: The
Art Of Flow
This article goes with a series of 4 short videos we just made showing what an average day of training here in the gym looks like. I've embedded the videos below so it'll be easy to read and watch 'em here!
52 Blocks Shoeshine Focus Mitt Defend & Counter
The first video shows us doing focus mitts. We're using the shoeshine and applying various blocks out of that, including some new ones you may not be familiar with like Frame the Picture. This is an interesting motion that causes an optical illusion from the opponent's perspective, masking your motion and follow up strike.
You'll hear me break down the science on why this works on the new what looks to be a 2 DVD set Lyte and I filmed up here in August, when that gets released later this year! For more information on Frame the Picture, check out some of the older videos on Mr. Burly's YouTube channel.
Contact Sensitivity Training For Boxing & Martial Arts
The second video is on contact sensitivity for Boxing. This is not specifically a 52 Blocks drill, but one that integrates Chinese principles from Tai Chi, Pa Kua, and Wing Chun as well as Filipino Martial Arts into the overall boxing method. It is a freestyle contact drill restricted only by the rules of Western Boxing (no butting, elbowing, hugging, pushing, wrestling, etc.) for safety while learning. Later this is done with more of a "street" orientation.
The basic Cloudy Hands circling we are using should be familiar to many of you, and if not it's readily apparent how to do. And if you've never done sensitivity training, you'll be glad to know this is a lot easier to learn on your own than Chi Sao. Simply make contact at the wrists with your partner and maintain contact as you alternately circle your hands inward. (While this written description is cumbersome, watching the video for even a few seconds will show you exactly what I'm trying to explain.)
In the contact sensitivity clip it's easy to see just how much those so-called "useless" drills like Chi Sao, Hubud, Push Hands, etc that Mr. Keating teaches on the Trapping DVDs can all come into play for real under pressure. If you have a trained eye you'll see a lot of classical techniques utilized, though they don't maybe look like in the classical way of training them because we're not standing still in the traditional pigeon-toed position and doing the rolling hands people are used to seeing.
Also, I'm really trying to stick to the Boxing tool set as far as punches and not throw back handed strikes, which are more characteristic of Wing Chun / JKD / FMA, though you'll see me use several as does my partner. I wanted to keep this "ring legal" as much as possible, striking with the front of the glove. In the future when we open up the lines of attack to include the chop / hammer fist / back fist lines it will be interesting to see the changes it brings out in the exercise.
Some guys "poo-poo" learning the drills associated with developing sensitivity because they consider them "old fashioned / out of date" but hopefully you will be able to see the value in developing them. They really do work if YOU work to gain them! And sensitivity is a skill that will last your whole life...unlike a jump spin kick or power suplex you can do now while you're young and strong but can fade with age.
Until you can honestly accept being hit there will be a fear reaction on some level causing you to tense up both physically and mentally. One of the ways we learn to relax under pressure is by doing round after round of defense-only sparring. Another way is by having to fight with your back to the wall; what we call wall boxing. With the wall behind you there is no running away so you learn to move side to side in response to an opponent's pressure rather then just backpedaling.
As training progresses a second puncher can be added to the drill so the man on the wall has to fight two people at once from their position of disadvantage. This ramps up the level of intensity considerably! You have to be much more concerned with defense and only occasionally go on the offense, while at the same time keeping track of two people and the four fists that are hitting you.
Slip Ball Training
The Slip Ball, or Maize Bag as it's still sometimes called, is used to develop your defensive skills when training solo. Technically the Maize Bag is larger and also used for striking, while as the true slip ball is smaller and only used for evasion practice.
The basics of the slip ball are easy to understand; get it moving and then get out of the way! But, there's more to the exercise than just standing in place and moving your head rapidly. The boxer should use all their skills such as footwork, slips, ducks, pivots and so forth while keeping a rhythm with the swinging ball as demonstrated in the video below.
You'll see some boxers use the slip ball and let it go behind their head while they stand in its path but I believe this to be a bad habit. The ball represents an opponent's punch, so we want to keep an eye on it if we can, and in the spirit of the boxer's creed, "Defend yourself at all times" by not putting yourself in a position where you will potentially get "rabbit punched" in the back of the head by a 12 pound sack of dense sand.
The Wrap Up
So there you have it, a typical day of 52 Blocks training here in the gym. For those interested, on the day we filmed all these videos (Thursday 9/2415), the specific workout was:
2 x Rounds of
Footwork with Ball Sensitivity Training (Warm Up / Not Shown)
The whole thing took just under an hour with breaks between rounds, running in to grab the camera, etc. Nothing heroic, just another day here in the Swamp.
Some days we do more of one thing or another, different kinds of sparring, different equipment training, more or less rounds, and so on. It's never really the same two days in a row when it comes to Boxing or anything else at Alliance.
There is just too much to do between training & sparring, weapons & weapons sparring, knife throwing, mind training, strength conditioning, healing arts, and so much more. On future videos we'll give you an inside look at some of those areas as well!
I hope you enjoyed this new "video article" format, part video and part article, and a big hats off SALUTE to my friend Mr. Lyte Burly for sharing the art of 52 with the world. Let's Go Defense!
To see more 52 Blocks training videos see this article on 52 Blocks Equipment Training!
All my very best to you,
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