Originally Posted by IronMan
Everbody in MMA shadowboxes, because it helps us feel like we're training when we don't have any equipment. But I've always wondered: Do you actually learn anything from shadowboxing?
Yes you do. As Don has stated, it helps with muscle memory. It also helps train the nervous system by "imprinting" mental images of performance into your sub conscious mind.
When shadowboxing, it is not just to drill pre-set combos and footwork. When you shadowbox with intent and intensity, the point is to be facing a mental opponent and to spar with them. If you're doing it real well, your opponent will not be staying static like a punching bag. Rather your mind will make them move, attack and counter, causing you to move, attack and counter in mind. This is where you'll see folks shadowboxing in a way that developes their footwork as well as hand co-ordination. In this way, a lot of the more minute and imperceptible mental adjustments are made even prior to the actual stressed actions and reactions of an actual match.
Studies have shown that those who just go out and repeatedly train an action physically, have shown a great deal of improvement when incorporating mental training into their regiment. Whether that consists of visualization, meditation, or a forms of "shadow" training, it's significant enough to merit its usefulness.
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... As long as I don't bore you and I spark a moment of thought, my goal is achieved
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