I would like some more particulars, if you will,with regard to throwing a hook while moving backward,also throwing an uppercut while moving backward.
I would like some pointers, too, perhaps,with regard to bounding off the back foot;I believe that this might be a specific example of what Bruce Lee got from studying Ali.
The main thing is, though: I just feel stiff and awkward and slow doing it.I am simply not comfortable at all moving backwards.
Also,you say,"how you place your weight on your feet.."
Could you please go into the particulars of that?
that might be a big part of my problem.Also:
Can you suggest some sort of preliminary drills for me to try?
Thanx again as always,
Okay... Let me just put forward the basics. That way when I get into the specific details a set reference point is understood before hand. So let's look at your basic MMA stance. Taken from the How Do You Defend Against
? thread (because I'm too lazy to retype all of this):
Your basic MMA fighting stance is a hybrid stance of Western Boxing and Greco-Roman Wrestling. Not only must the MMA competitor be wary of strikes, but they must also be aware of takedowns and being clinched. So let me lay out your standard MMA fighting stance or “en garde” position, as all the following techniques will assume you are in this position. We will assume an orthodox position for simplicity's sake, but the standard conventions behind the upcoming list of techniques can (and should) be drilled and utilized in a southpaw position.
Let’s say that you are standing on a clock face with your body facing noon, your left foot would be at 10 o’clock and your right foot would be at 4 o’clock. Your knees would be bent, with your weight evenly distributed on both legs. Your body should be in a position between being completely upright and crouching. Both hands would be up at face level, with your right hand up by your right cheek and your right elbow resting on your ribcage. Your left hand will be up in front of your left shoulder about 12 inches away, with your left elbow resting on the left side of your ribcage. Your chin would be tucked down toward your chest while your lead shoulder is brought up to help keep it protected. Resist the urge to flare out your elbows in an inverted “V” as that opens up your body. That in a nutshell is your basic MMA fighting stance; the “en garde” position.
At this point I will add in the tidbit of info that answers the question of "how to place the weight on your feet." While the weight distribution between your legs should be 50-50 (more or less), you will actually be placing the weight of your body through the balls of your foot to the floor. No, you aren't required to to move around, heel raised in a ballerina's half-step position. You want to be conscious of not being "flat-footed" with your weight completely settled from your toes to your heel as doing so will hamper your mobility severely. Aside from that, it can be an injury producing habit if you are engaging in quick circular or pivoting movements (more on that later).
The purpose of good footwork and stance (and the reasons why I harp on it a lot) is that it will allow a fighter to be mobile, while still providing a solid base and power
. As contradictory as that seems (how can you be mobile and have a solid base), it is possible. It is also the same reason why it is a cornerstone skill that is engrained into practitioners of many traditional grappling styles and many contemporary striking styles from day one. Not suprisingly so, many of the concepts and techniques are universally applicable accross the a wide majority of the martial arts spectrums (with some more "exotic" styles being the exception). The rules of boxing footwork are just as applicable in applying kuzushi or tsukuri in judo. How so? Let me explain...
The Shuffle, Slide and Pull, Step and Drag, etc.:
The basic rule of footwork is to keep one at least one foot on the ground at all times, and to keep your feet in as much contact with the floor as possible. I know what you're thinking: So how do you actually move around
? While you are outside of the combat range of your opponent, normal walking (or running if you are) is fine. While you are within the combat range of your opponent, then your footwork will kick in. This type of movement is called many things: Shuffling, Slide and Pull, Step and Drap, Push Step, etc. Simply stated, it works like this:
To move forward, you would take a step forward with your front foot by sliding it forward a few inches. Once you settle your weight down on that foot, you would drag your rear foot forward until you settle into your natural fighting stance. It would look something like this:
On the same principle to move backward, you would step your rear foot back by sliding it a few inches. Once you settle your weight down, you would drag your front foot back until you settle into your natural fighting stance. Again, something like this:
If you were to move to your left, you would step out to your left a few inches and then drag (pull) your right foot into its natural position. Likewise if you were to move to your right, you would step out to your right and then drag (pull) your left foot back into its natural position. Like this:
In essence, you are widening and closing your base and directing your power the same way you are moving. This brings up the little detail of placing your weight on the balls of your feet. If you are completely flat-footed, being able to slide your foot in any direction along the floor becomes difficult. While it is great for standing still in one place for long periods of time, it doesn't help at all in situations where you must be mobile.
Further, if you are flat-footed and you need to turn or pivot out quickly, you will find that your body will move in the direction you want it to go but your foot (your base) will not. You will lose balance and possibly fall. Add in the addition of any possible ballistic movements that depend on that pivot (like a hook or roundhouse kick), and you create a situation where you can blow out your knee and ankle. So, weight through the balls of your foot and not through your heels.
All get into the pivot movements and adding strikes alongside these movements in a later post.