Originally Posted by Ferdelance
I just saw film footage of the Ali-Foley fight.And the interviews before and after the fight.
1.It was unbelievable how outclassed Foley was!And the guy was a pro, and a contender.
2.I really think that it was Mohammed Ali's footwork that did it.
That is why I am starting this thread.
a)What kind of feedback can you give me with regard to developing your footwork in general?
b)I am really curious to know anything and everything that you can tell me about Ali's footwork.There seemed to be quite a number of unique and different things about it?
c)Why don't we see more of Ali's kind of footwork in pro bouts today,especially MMA?
This forum rocks!
You are right; footwork is one of THE MOST important pieces of a fighter's game -- regardless of style. Without footwork, we're all just heavy bags. Footwork helps us evade, but perhaps even more importantly, it allows us to cover distance. Without that, it would be near impossible to land a punch, a shoot, or anything else.
As for developing you own footwork, ask your coach more about that. I'm sure he can come up with some better drills than I could. But the bare essentials for good footwork is a good stance.
Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart, in order to allow a balanced distribution of weight. I like to put 55 - 60 percent of my weight on my lead leg, so that its easier to move forward. Keep your knees bent, and be on the ball of your rear foot.
A good partner drill for developing lateral footwork is to have one person lunge in at the other guy. His intent is to step where the other guy is standing. This represents an attack, when someone is lunging in. It is the defender's job to step off at an angle. He has four options; he could go to either side, or diagonally backward. Going straight back is NOT an option. Right after the exchange, the defender becomes attacker and lunges at his partner.
To modify this drill for practicing retreats, you could add two steps. The attacker lunges twice, in rapid succession. Meanwhile, the defender can either step back ONCE, and then at an angle or to the side. Or, he could move to the side or away at an angle twice. Either way, this is useful since it will get you used to evasive footwork that makes it much harder for your opponent to chase you down.
The reason why you don't see Ali's footwork in MMA is because of the takedown. Strikers cant move as freely when they have to worry about the shoot. Being upright and having a slightly narrower stance benefits speed. However, its harder to sprawl.