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Old 03-25-2011, 05:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Taking a punch, moving head back need help!

Well today was my first day sparring at a new gym im training at and i got told that im trying to move my head back and avoid punches too much leaving my chin exposed as opposed to tucking my chin down and taking the punch, infact my coach described me as being 'timid'.

Now, I definitely don't consider myself timid, in-fact I think i'm fairly aggressive with my hands but they say (and im doing this subconsciously) that im moving my head back trying to get away from the punch rather than tucking my chin and just taking it.

My question is, if i just tuck my chin and take it won't i get knocked out? I mean my natural reaction is to avoid the incoming punches at all costs. I am being told that you need to learn to take the punch and counter but i feel like if i do that im going to take damage....Any input????
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Everyones been where you are at some point. My 2 cents.. It sounds like you have a flinch reaction. One thing you can do to help yourself is when drilling pads, hold them closer to your face. As your pads get hit, invariably they will come back and hit you. This will get you head/face used to getting bumped. It will also help your eyes/brain get used to things coming at them.

The other thing to work on is your head movement and getting out of the pocket after throwing punches. Learn/practice level changes, slipping, and rolling.

Nobody likes getting hit, but in this sport it is going to happen. Start off light sparring and tell your training partners what your trying to accomplish. You will get elusive pretty quick if you focus on technique.

Good luck. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Deftsound View Post
Well today was my first day sparring at a new gym im training at and i got told that im trying to move my head back and avoid punches too much leaving my chin exposed as opposed to tucking my chin down and taking the punch, infact my coach described me as being 'timid'.

Now, I definitely don't consider myself timid, in-fact I think i'm fairly aggressive with my hands but they say (and im doing this subconsciously) that im moving my head back trying to get away from the punch rather than tucking my chin and just taking it.

My question is, if i just tuck my chin and take it won't i get knocked out? I mean my natural reaction is to avoid the incoming punches at all costs. I am being told that you need to learn to take the punch and counter but i feel like if i do that im going to take damage....Any input????
I think its just the style your coach likes to teach. There are plenty of boxers (and fighters from other styles as well, Machida for example) that utilize a slipping and dodging angular style. There's nothing cool about getting punched in the face, even if you don't get KO'ed or have your nose broken.

Alternately he could just be trying to get you used to taking the punch. Because sometimes you have to, and you don't want to be a guy who panics when he takes a hard shot.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would suggest that you let someone record your sparring on video. Often there is a big discrepancy between your own perception what you think you do and what you actually really do. So watching yourself on video you can see whether your trainer is actually right in his observation.

Then, yes, you should get used to get punched in the face, because that's just part of the game and you won't be able to avoid every punch, BUT you don't necessarily need to take punches to the face/head deliberately.

For your training Halfraq9 is right. Not only as a beginner for your technical improvement it is necessary to do your sparring at a pace and intensity you can handle without getting under much pressure, so you can focus on your movement. As you get more comfortable you can raise the pace and intensity. Talk with your training partners about that.

And HexRei is also right, there are many different ways of handling incoming punches. Some people just close their guard, some run into them, trying to brawl and to land punches themselves and others try to be as elusive as they can. Things you should be aware of, if you have the habbit of moving your head back. Having your head up exposes your chin, so it might be easier to hit it. If in addition you lean your whole body backwards you might get out of balance and you get into the danger of your opponent just rushing forwards keeping his attacks going on an eventually hit you then.

But overall it's hard to give you specific advise without having actually seen you spar. So if you have the possibility, make a video and maybe load it up on youtube or somewhere else, so people here can give better advise.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Never go straight back. Use angles away from the power and keep your chin burried in your chest and your fist on your ear to avoid the hook. Just gotta get use to punching in traffic. Wouldn't be to hard on yourself this early in the game bro. Good luck!
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Moving backwards in and of itself isn't "bad." Moving your head backwards is. Your head should be moving in all directions to evade punches. Its more a matter of moving around (lef, right, down, and in some cases back) to avoid the punches.

When it comes to adding feet to the equation, its less of a bad thing if your feet are moving backwards to avoid a punch if your head (the actual target) is moving in a very erratic manner.

However continually moving back for a long period of time is always a bad thing. It makes you easier to time, and easier to counter such general evasive moment. Initially moving backwards is okay, but that omi-directional movement can't be sustained, after the initial movement, you have to time a lateral move away from your opponent's power with his throw of a power strike, this movement effectively makes him throwing a another power punch in counter much more difficult, and gives you the upper hand, putting him off balance, and you at an advantageous angle.
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Getting rid of the flinchy-ness comes with time and getting hit. I wanted to learn the hardcore way so when I sparred I would throw a couple punches and then let my opponent pound on me with my guard up. I would try not to duck down or move back, but I'd try to block his punches and keep my eyes glued to him. Now a days I don't really flinch ever, even if a haymaker is being thrown at me.

I'm better able to judge distance, I'm not taking my eyes off of my opponent so the chances of getting hit by something I don't see coming is slim, and I feel more comfortable counterstriking after a parry or dodge.

Getting hit is just something that happens with this sport, once you learn to embrace getting hit, that's when the real learning begins and you'll notice your skill increase a ton.
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I appreciate yall's help, i've gotten a lot better about not flinching and moving my head back. Now i just tuck my chin and take them, block and parry.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I appreciate yall's help, i've gotten a lot better about not flinching and moving my head back. Now i just tuck my chin and take them, block and parry.
Well the easy way to brake it is correct posture, I've been taught to look at their chest and learn to use my Peripheral vision. If you are doing that you will always have your chin tucked.

Once you get familiar with the stance it allows you to stay in the pocket and make fighters miss.
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