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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you defend against
a) an elbow strike?
b)a knee kick?
c)the ever popular punch or knee to the ribs?
d)a hook to the head, like a left hook or a right hook to the head?
e) a spinning back kick to the head?
So much of the discussion in this forum seems offense oriented, but it seems to me that the late great Bruce Lee made an excellent point when he said that your opponent isn't going to be standing still.He was talking about guys showing off their ability to break bricks...he said that bricks don't hit back.But your opponent probably will at least try.In all of the videos that I have seen, MMA and Muay Thai and kick boxing practitioners seem to abide by the philosophy of that American Civil War general who said that a battle is won by who gets there fustest with the mostest(First with the most).This seems contrary to martial arts philosophy in general to me, but more about that in another thread.But really, in all of these matches, I've never seen somebody block an elbow attack. It is possible,isn't it? If so, how? I've never seen anyone block a knee kick.That,too, is possible,isn't it? If so, how? The same question I raise for all of the devastating offense techniques that I list above.Sincerely,Ferdelance:dunno:
 

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Outta My Head
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Hmmm... I'll get into this one a little later. Expect a post on each mentioned technique.
 

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ahh young ferdelance youhave much to learn.

to start most martial arts have similar defences with slight variations for example tae kwon do block have the meaty part of the bone out most karate has the bone side of the arm out. basic philosophy of bjj is keep them close on the ground so they can't hit you. then apply a submission, sweep or reversal.

there is no one way to defend anything or everything and defence is more often a reaction to the position you and your attacker is in. if you are looking to block knee strikes to your ribs,stomach etc a common defence is to turn sideways and use your leg kinda like a flamingo raised off the ground blocking your opponent. if you have been taking a lot of punishment to your legs and want to block that use your hand to push down on the offending leg of your opponent.

Those are two basic ways to defend knee strikes. I would say the best defence is to hit back so they don't want to get that close to land an elbow or knee. or just keep the fight at a distance. I will post more defence later. otherwise this could be a three page reply that won't get read.
 

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Outta My Head
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If you have a lot to contribute, please do. In the mean time, I'm going to sticky this thread to help avoid similar threads from being created.
 

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I guess i'll be useful to the forums and contribute some advice to letter C, getting strikes to the ribs.

Getting punched in the ribs
One thing you must ALWAYS keep in mind is to NEVER EVER drop your hands to protect your body. Its like leaving gold for junk, you keep yourself wide open and fall into your opponents trap.
Since this is isn't clinch fighting, the best advance is to circle around and avoid the body strikes.

If your in a situation where you can't back up or circle around to dodge the body attacks, the best advace is to man up and a take a few shots for a bit.
I say this because:
1. You lure him into your trap
2. The opponent will get cocky and will be consistant with the body attacks.

Every attack has a loop hole, meaning anytime you attack..you leave an opening.
In the case of being cornered, the best thing to do is COUNTER ATTACK.
By taking a few more shots to the body, you make your opponent confident and will keep hitting downstairs.
The lower the opponent strikes, the lower his hands. Once you've taken one or two more body shots, surpise him with an explosive upstairs punch. From there on the tables should turn.

Getting kicked in the ribs
Like I said, don't drop your hands down to protect your body. You get rid of the worst of two evils by keeping your hands up.
Once again, the best advice for defending a kick to the body is by your footwork. Be swift and move around so the opponent can miss or get a weak kick on you.

If your in a situation where the opponent is pressing on you very well, the best advice is to take a kick ot two to get the feeling of the opponent.
Always keep in mind IF THE OPPONENT KICKS ONCE, EXPECT A FEW MORE.

There are two react to a kick to the body.
1. Ignore the kick and take it while you charge foward to counter punch.
2. Grab the leg and take the mofo down.

If the opponent you fight happens to be a grappler, don't lift your leg up to protect your body because:
1. Theres a chance its just a set up for a takedown
2. It won't be all that powerful anyways >:]

I wouldn't recommending clinching, because it can sometimes get real ugly.
 

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True Grappler
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Ferdelance said:
How do you defend against
a) an elbow strike?
Because elbows are a short strike, the easiest way is to step back and counter with a punch. I assume you are talking about standing, so it's really not very hard.

b)a knee kick?
Again, get out of the way. Usually you will have to step away, which makes this really hard to counter.

c)the ever popular punch or knee to the ribs?
You will probably have to block this by dropping your hands, but the method that I have seen used alot in professional boxing is to take the body shot and return with a punch to the head.

d)a hook to the head, like a left hook or a right hook to the head?
Duck under it and return with an uppercut or a jab.

e) a spinning back kick to the head?
Just move a little bit to one side and counter by kicking out the leg which they have entrusted all of their weight to.
 
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well, although i agree with the solutions posted. When I was in boxing we were taught never to drop our hands away from protecting our head. I was taught to be very tight in the sense of proteceting, so the my arms were tucked in to my stomach, like hands up by the face and elbows tucked into the stomach. and when your tight like that it's easy to throw an uppercut. This being in like a clinch situation, or like cornered on the ropes. otherwise be loose and relax.
 

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SilentFury said:
I guess i'll be useful to the forums and contribute some advice to letter C, getting strikes to the ribs.

Getting punched in the ribs
One thing you must ALWAYS keep in mind is to NEVER EVER drop your hands to protect your body. Its like leaving gold for junk, you keep yourself wide open and fall into your opponents trap.
Since this is isn't clinch fighting, the best advance is to circle around and avoid the body strikes.

If your in a situation where you can't back up or circle around to dodge the body attacks, the best advace is to man up and a take a few shots for a bit.
I say this because:
1. You lure him into your trap
2. The opponent will get cocky and will be consistant with the body attacks.

Every attack has a loop hole, meaning anytime you attack..you leave an opening.
In the case of being cornered, the best thing to do is COUNTER ATTACK.
By taking a few more shots to the body, you make your opponent confident and will keep hitting downstairs.
The lower the opponent strikes, the lower his hands. Once you've taken one or two more body shots, surpise him with an explosive upstairs punch. From there on the tables should turn.

Getting kicked in the ribs
Like I said, don't drop your hands down to protect your body. You get rid of the worst of two evils by keeping your hands up.
Once again, the best advice for defending a kick to the body is by your footwork. Be swift and move around so the opponent can miss or get a weak kick on you.

If your in a situation where the opponent is pressing on you very well, the best advice is to take a kick ot two to get the feeling of the opponent.
Always keep in mind IF THE OPPONENT KICKS ONCE, EXPECT A FEW MORE.

There are two react to a kick to the body.
1. Ignore the kick and take it while you charge foward to counter punch.
2. Grab the leg and take the mofo down.

If the opponent you fight happens to be a grappler, don't lift your leg up to protect your body because:
1. Theres a chance its just a set up for a takedown
2. It won't be all that powerful anyways >:]

I wouldn't recommending clinching, because it can sometimes get real ugly.
that sounds great...but if ur facing a good body puncher u wont be able to take to many shots (sometimes one is all thats needed)...

Droping one of ur hands is not that bad...look at Hops, PBF, Archie Moore and Toney they all drop one hand to protect the body while using angles and the other to protect the head. If u dont like that u should use ur elbows with a bit of movement to be able to block the shot. But taking the shot should be the last thing u want to do. And taking a kick to the ribs...well did u see Wandys ribs after the Cro Cop fight? Unless ur used to fighting with bruised ribs I would suggest to cover...

One way I like to defend them is to cover the whole area (ribs and head) of one side of the body. By doing that u just need to distinguish if its comming tru ur right side or left side and cover.

Learn to roll with punches and give angles when u get corner...and like u said counter immediately...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How Do You Defend Against...?

Deadly Poet said:
that sounds great...but if ur facing a good body puncher u wont be able to take to many shots (sometimes one is all thats needed)...

Droping one of ur hands is not that bad...look at Hops, PBF, Archie Moore and Toney they all drop one hand to protect the body while using angles and the other to protect the head. If u dont like that u should use ur elbows with a bit of movement to be able to block the shot. But taking the shot should be the last thing u want to do. And taking a kick to the ribs...well did u see Wandys ribs after the Cro Cop fight? Unless ur used to fighting with bruised ribs I would suggest to cover...

One way I like to defend them is to cover the whole area (ribs and head) of one side of the body. By doing that u just need to distinguish if its comming tru ur right side or left side and cover.

Learn to roll with punches and give angles when u get corner...and like u said counter immediately...
I tend to agree with this more. My gut level feeling is to disagree with people who say "take a shot to the body."
After all: Isn't that how Houdini was killed? Also, don't they teach, in a number of different schools ,that if a shot to the body results in damage to the spleen, or a lung being punctured by a broken rib, then you've got some serious problems!
yes?
No?
Thanx everyone,though,for your feedback.
Ferdelance. and yes, i admit: i do have a lot to learn.
Who doesn't?
 

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Basic Striking Defense Theorem

As requested by the OP, it is very common that posts within this section of the Forum tend to be of the “Offensive-mindset.” But what of those times where one is on the defensive side of the Stand up battle? While it is true that the “best defense is a great offense” in most accounts, one cannot expect that the live, resisting and trained opponent in front of them will willingly allow them to attack unabated and uninterrupted. The most competitive fights are always between two trained opponent’s steeped in the proverbial “human chess match;” wherein the participants take turns imposing their wills upon one another. This in turn continues until one hits that critical attack, or reversal, or hooks that critical hold that brings upon the end of the match. It is in those moments that fighters usually figure out why they fight. As taken many times from Chuck Palahniuk’s novel “Fight Club,” it is when you’re fighting that you feel most alive. “When it’s on… It’s on… And nothing else matters.

But I digress… I’m not here to provide reviews on literature that I haven’t fully read. I am here to talk about defense. The reason why defense is a key component to fighting can be summarized very succinctly:

If you have dynamite in each fist, or swing kicks that mow down humanity like the reaper's blade, it will not matter in a fight if you are struck down first by your opponent.

Likewise, if you are carrying on through a fight where you are taking two for every one shot you throw, you are most likely (unless you are grossly more powerful or tougher in comparison to your opponent) going to lose that fight. Let’s face it: It is unrealistic to expect to fight against trained opponents never to find out what it is like to get hit. MMA is a sport/competition based in reality. Unlike the movies, none of the competitors in MMA prescribe to the “Black Ninja” school of Martial Arts. If you choose to get into a fight, you can expect to get hit.

Just as Sugar Ray Leonard would say, “Fighters get hit. Good fighters don’t get hit as much.” As plain as that is, its merit in truth cannot be denied. In that end, what seems as a given in the eyes of many seems to go understated by many MMA competitors and Fans. I would think that many fighters would like to train their defensive acumen and fall into the “Good fighter” category.

Before I get too far, let me state that I do not prescribe to the “tough guy” mentality of taking one and returning in kind. Why test your chin when it will lend itself better to test the chin of your opponent? If you take that into perspective, testing your chin and losing in the ring can be bad. However, testing your chin and losing in a self-defense situation on the street can be fatal. It is bad enough to lose in a match, at least you can gain experience and return better trained and prepared. However, the world outside the ring or cage tends to be a lot less forgiving. That is why I think it is worth while to post in this thread.

Before I get too preachy, let’s get into the basic methods of stand-up/striking defense. I will not get into specific techniques at this time, but rather let me state what I’ve found through research and application as to what works. For the sake of those who have not had any training in striking arts, I will keep everything as simple as possible.

In the training of defense, it is found that training defensive techniques with the fewest steps work best and are the most reliable. Many striking schools may teach multi-step defensive techniques that might possibly be effective in an actual fight. However, I don’t prescribe to them because of two reasons: 1) What if the fighter doesn’t attack exactly as the technique describes? 2) In stressful situations, you cannot reliably expect that longer, drawn-out technique sequences will be recognized by the fighter trying to utilize it. On that end the techniques that I will post here follow a very simple, 1-2, “Defend and then counter” pattern. These are the easiest to learn, and usually the easiest to utilize. Besides, why wait for the 5th or 6th punch or kick thrown by your opponent when you can stop them after (or even before) the first attack is thrown?

All defensive technique should be followed with a counter attack. If you are against an aggressive opponent, or any opponent who is trying to win, you cannot realistically expect them to finish their attack and politely allow you your own salvo afterwards. With an aggressive opponent, they will simply continue to attack until they are stopped or they have completely overwhelmed and finished you. So every defense should be followed with a counter.

In my research, Striking defense can be broken down into four (4) different types of techniques. This is what they are, and this is how they differ:

Interrupt/Faster/Pre-Emptive Attack: This is simply hitting the opponent with a faster attack while they are in the midst of attacking you. This can be a straight punch as your opponent winds up their overhand right, a pushing kick as your opponent chambers their own kick, or a knee to the opponent’s head as they try to shoot. This is the “Intercepting fist” of Jeet Kune Do. In this method, you strike the opponent when you first recognize that they are attacking. In this method, the counter attack is already included as it occurs at the moment of defense.

Dodging/Evasion: As Mr. Miyagi would say, “Best defense… You no be there!” This requires trained body movement (both upper body and foot work) to stymie your opponent’s attack by causing it to miss. Now, this is not any intricate or acrobatic type movement. Nope, no Matrix bridges here. Rather these are economic movements that will cause your opponents to miss while you move into a position to attack them while they are out of position to defend. Ducking, slipping, side-stepping, back-pedaling and retreating all fall into this type of defense.

Deflect/Catch: Not a true block, but a simple push, pull or cutting into the strike angle of the attacking limb while moving into an angle that gives you an advantage for countering with strikes. Likewise, catching the limb of the attacker in order to control them as you counter with a strike or grapple also falls into this category of defense. This method of defense is usually the hardest to master, but can make a competitor dangerous to aggressive opponents. By using the energy of an opponent’s attack to pull them into position for a counter, or to create an opening for attack, more effective counter attacks can be made.

Cover Up/Blocking: Many times attacks can be so sudden, or occur in such close quarters that dodging or catching them are not possible. In that case, one may only be able to defend themselves by bring up a barrier to block the attack. This may be your arm, your legs, your shoulders, knees or elbows. As long at the attacking limb does not effectively hit a vital point, the block goes a long way to mitigate the force of your opponent’s attacks. This is the simplest type of defense to learn, as it is the most instinctive. However, as a rule one should always implement the other defensive methods first. With a block, you always end up absorbing the brunt of your opponent’s attack which can result in cumulative damage to your fighting limbs.

With that in mind, I’ll post up your standard punch defense in my next post. Hopefully that won’t be too long in coming.

Sources:
 

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great post...

thats even the order of preference when chosing a reswponse to an attack...first choice is to intercept, not let him even finish his attack....last choice, only done in emergency should be blocking....

to ppl with more experience in striking....try to conbine interception with dodging...not just depend on intercepting the attack but get out of the way while ur intercepting...it works like a charm in combat...cause sometimes u make a mistake and cant properly intercept but if ur not there u wont get hit....to do this u need good footwork and positioning...alignment and angulation are key elements in fighting...

as my trainer told me....the best defence is accompanied (sp?) by an offence and the best offence is the one thats accompanied* by a deffence...

P.S. pardon my spelling...spanish is my first language...
 

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Thanks... Even though I haven't had the opportunity to spend time in a dojo over the last decade, I have been doing my research. During that time I've noticed that even though MMA has come light years away from when it was a Gracie JJ info-mercial, the majority of the strikers in MMA (even the good ones) don't have world class striking skills. While it wasn't any doubt that many could throw a KO strike, it became doubtful whether they could actually avoid one in an economic manner.

I honestly think that's sad to think about. If these guys can train full time to fight, you'd hope that they could cover the distance between themselves and their opponent without losing balance or leaving themselves completely open to strikes, right? On that end, defensive skills and footwork is grossly neglected in MMA, and still has room to come a ways.

Hopefully my next few posts will make as much sense. Don't be afraid to contribute.
 

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True Grappler
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I wouldn't say that it's neglected by the really good fighters and the guys in the lower weight classes. Alot of the guys with kickboxing, thai, and boxing backrounds have really great footwork. See:
Mirko Filipovic
Shogun Rua
Anderson Silva
Chuck Liddell
Mark Hunt
Wanderlei Silva
Andrei Arlovski
Ricco Rodriguez
Pedro Rizzo
Tito Ortiz
Pretty much every lightweight and welterweight striker.

I don't think that the feet are as neglected on the pro level as much as people might think. I mean, there's only one successful fighter with flat feet I can think of, and that's Sylvia.

The age of the fat, slow, dumb heavyweight is slowly coming to an end.
 

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As far as that list goes, those guys are definitely the exception to the rule. I do agree that the lighter weight guys tend to have a better technical grasp on Strike Defense and Footwork. I think that is more due to the fact that until the recent weight classes, these guys had to train to be able to face larger (sometimes much larger) opponents. Yves Edwards vs Mark Hominick is a great example of this.
 

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IronMan said:
I wouldn't say that it's neglected by the really good fighters and the guys in the lower weight classes. Alot of the guys with kickboxing, thai, and boxing backrounds have really great footwork. See:
Mirko Filipovic
Shogun Rua
Anderson Silva
Chuck Liddell
Mark Hunt
Wanderlei Silva
Andrei Arlovski
Ricco Rodriguez
Pedro Rizzo
Tito Ortiz
Pretty much every lightweight and welterweight striker.

I don't think that the feet are as neglected on the pro level as much as people might think. I mean, there's only one successful fighter with flat feet I can think of, and that's Sylvia.

The age of the fat, slow, dumb heavyweight is slowly coming to an end.
they are getting better but its not near what it can be...and a lot of the guys on ur list are not tech strikers but more strong strikers...their tech can get way better....

Anderson Silva
BJ Penn
Cro Cop

those are my top 3 tech strikers (in no order)....oh and u can add Chuck...

U could say Shogun is a great striker, he is, but his footwork tends to get sloppy....and Wandy, as great as he is, is not a technical striker....

the good thing is that striking is getting better and guys who specialize in striking are showing better skill....still MMA striking needs to improve....
 

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True Grappler
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I wasn't really referring to tech on the feet. I definitely wouldn't have had all of those guys if that was all I was talking about. I was referring to footwork in general. There are alot of wrestlers who have really good footwork, which is why I listed Tito and Ricco, even though there are alot more.

Standup isn't just about the strikes in MMA, you also have to be conscious of everything else that can happen. Takedows, sprawls and clinches are just as important as the other stuff.
 

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Standup isn't just about the strikes in MMA, you also have to be conscious of everything else that can happen. Takedows, sprawls and clinches are just as important as the other stuff.
True... That's the reason why I'm going to post defensive techniques with that in mind. ;)

Wandy, as great as he is, is not a technical striker....
I agree. It's the reason why he ends up getting rocked whenever he's in there with a confident striker(not that it means he loses). It happened with Belfort, Mezger, Sakuraba during their second match, Henderson, Jackson in their first match, Hunt, and I don't need to mention what happened against Cro Cop.
 

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I'm only a wrestler but i'll give it a shot from my knowledge :D

a)an elbow strike?

Basically if your getting elbow strikes to you head the only thing to do is
keep your hands up, try to squeeze out, or fire back.

b)a knee kick?

Painful. I say take a few and dish out a few. Once you have learned your foe's movements and patterns try to trace that the next time he does it and counter with punches, a takedown, or a kick of your own.

c)the ever popular punch or knee to the ribs?

All I gotta say is never put your hands down to defend your body because you will feel something hit your face and a couple seconds later youll be on the mat wondering what happened. The only counter to these IMO is to defend by using your legs to put over your ribs to block the punch with your leg.

d)a hook to the head, like a left hook or a right hook to the head?

Hands up. Wait for an opening and fire back.

e)a spinning back kick to the head?

Ouch. This one is a toughy because its so sudden but I say keep your distance and if it is unavoidable block with your hand/forearm or leg.

I hope my post helped and if not feel free to flame :D
 

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Boxing as a tool to Teach Striking Defense

Boxing as a striking art is very popular in MMA not just for its offensive acumen, but also for defense as the defensive movements and techniques are easy to learn, and easy to apply in MMA. As such, the standard boxing defense (with a few adjustments) can be very effective.

The reason why I am going into this first over the other types of defense is that this is the easiest to learn, and takes the shortest amount of time to engrain into your reflexes. The great thing about the straight boxing defense is that is not only applicable against punches, but it works well against kicking attacks from the waist up. Before I get into the specific techniques themselves, let me go over some basic Theorem.

Learning Defense: The TMA Method
Defense as it is taught within the general TMA styles can be described as routinely drilling your specific blocking techniques as designed for specific attacks. Once one drills the technique against the air, it is then moved over into “application” within 1 or 2-step forms or katas of defense. Within many TMA styles the terms of “Upper Outside Block,” “Lower Outside Sweep,” “X-block,” or other similar techniques are taught and trained to be implemented as one recognizes the type of attack that technique is designed for. Essentially the multitude of TMA went through the same route training as Ralph Machio in “The Karate Kid” without actually painting the floor or throwing back shots of Sake with Arnold from “Happy Days.”

The grand flaw in the practice of Defense within TMA styles is that when faced with an opponent in real life, it became obvious that actual live, resisting, and aggressive opponents did not have the tendency to attack with the same compliance or roboticism as their training partners in the Dojo. Rather, they were soon introduced to the painful reality that when one decides to swing, they usually don’t just swing once, and that fights tend to continue on even if the initial set of techniques are actually successful. On that end, many TMA practitioners found themselves “painting the floor” with their own faces.

Going beyond that, if one took the time to step away from the katas and examine the actual practice of styles during “freestyle” sparring, it became obvious that the standard prescribed techniques fell to the wayside in favor of movement and aggression. Those who rigidly followed the basics of the Dojo only found success when seemingly discarding years of technical defensive training. Obviously, something was amiss.

Learning Defense: Modern Boxing Method
On the other side of the coin, modern boxing practitioners forged further with making “the sweet science” actually more scientific. Although a combat sport far removed from MMA, it is put into practice on a regular basis by many MMA competitors. Why? Well, there are a few reasons:

1) Boxing is taught and practiced under “live” sparring conditions. Sure there are drills that will be run, but all the true learning is done during sparring when one figures out what works. In this end, the practitioner is placed deeply in the chaos that is combat and is placed in that situation until it comes to an end. Nothing was routine or robotic.
2) The defensive blocking/cover techniques were simple and intuitive. When training to learn a boxing defense, one is taught simple covers and is trained to defend the angle of attack not specific techniques. On that end, one can assure that they know how to defend themselves even when the levels of stress and fatigue increase. With the TMA method once the level of stress and fatigue goes beyond the normal threshold of the practitioner, fine distinction between one technique to another becomes highly difficult (close to impossible) causing the practitioner to either be too late in choosing a defensive technique, or intuitively choose the wrong technique altogether. Suffice it to say, that doesn’t work out well if a fight goes past the initial set of techniques.
3) Boxers are taught to incorporate upper body mobility and footwork to ensure that they don’t get hit. Where the TMA method relies solely on the power of the blocking technique to meet force with force, the modern boxer is taught to cover and move out of the way of the incoming attack. In the rigidity of forms that are engrained into the mind and habits of the TMA practitioner, they find themselves offering too many openings to an opponent even if they successfully block the incoming attack.

On those points above, when trained properly on how to box the MMA practitioner becomes a more mobile and slippery opponent. It does not do any MMA practitioner well to “take one” in hopes to land their own. Why? Because it only takes one shot that is either hard enough or placed in the right spot to turn a fight around. Personally speaking, I read the above posts soliciting the idea of taking a shot to the body in order to land one to the head and I couldn’t help but shake my head in disgust. If you are fighting against someone who likes throwing body shots (like Rutten, Hominick, Hoost, etc) or you get hit in the liver or solar plexus, you find out very well that such a mindset is hindrance to actually becoming a better fighter.

In my next post I'll go over the actual boxing covers, and how they apply in MMA.

Sources:
Wikipedia
Savage Strikes by, Mark Hatmaker
 

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Boxing D: 101a – Stance and Movement

Okay… Now we move on to the actual meat and potatoes of Boxing Defense. This is a very basic and skeletal break down. However, I believe this since this is so basic it is also the easiest to learn and apply. Let’s take a moment to address Stance and Upper Body Movement.

Stance:
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.

The stance prescribed above is a modified boxer’s stance. Taking in account that the MMA practitioner is not only going to be wary of strikes from a standing position, but must also be ready to shoot, or sprawl, the stance prescribed above provides a solid base while still allowing ease of mobility. In this stance one can still strike and defend, while still being able to shoot or sprawl if they are shot on. Further, the squared stance lends more rotation of the body when firing strikes off from both the lead and rear limbs, allowing the practitioner the ability to commit more mass to each attack. On this end, even your jabs can be of consequence to your opponent.

Upper Body Movement:
The Upper Body Movements of boxing that are utilized (or advocated for use) in MMA are the Pull/Lean, Slip and Duck. The “Bob and Weave” isn’t advocated. While it is very effective in boxing matches, the danger of knees, kicks, downward strikes, or having the back of your head grabbed and “snapped down” is too prevalent to prescribe the use of that technique. In boxing, the only danger you have in that position is an uppercut.

Pull/Lean – With this you lean away from an incoming strike, in an economic and ballistic manner. You do not want to lean too far back, as it loads too much of your weight solely on your rear leg, making leg kicks and takedowns extremely dangerous. If an attack is so deep you cannot avoid it by leaning back a few inches, you are better served to cover up and step away while defending. All leans are ballistic in manner while leaning back, and while returning back to position (ideally with an attack of your own). Leans that are “lazy” where the fighter loses their guard position, or are slow to return will leave the fighter off balance and open to continued attack.

Slip – The Slip can be described as leaning laterally away from an attack. While that is true in a basic sense, there is actually a bit more technique involved that makes the movement a sound application in fights. The Slip is actually by bending at the knees to drop levels, and turning your body in the direction you are “slipping” to. So if you are slipping left, you would lower your level while bending at the knees, and turn you’re your right shoulder toward your left knee. If you are slipping right, you would be turning your left shoulder toward your right knee. Slips are done with minimal bending of the waist, as it opens you up to too many attacks in a MMA scenario (see the Bob and Weave above). By keeping the torso movement economical, and using the legs to lower your level, you are able to evade in a manner that doesn’t upset your base.

Duck – The Duck is accomplished almost solely by your legs. When performed properly, the Duck is a great evasive maneuver that can be implemented to place you directly on your opponent to counter attack with strikes or grappling options. Mark Hatmaker describes the use of the duck in this manner: Imagine that there is a large capital “V” in between you and your opponent, where the end up each top stroke of the V is at each of your heads. When you recognize your opponent throwing an attack at your head, bend your knees and drop level and approach like you are on the downward stroke of your side of the V. Once you reach the bottom and your opponent’s attack bites the air, stand up into the opponent as you ascend their side of the V. This should put you right on top of them in range to follow up with strikes. Alternatively, you can shoot if you are deep enough when you hit the bottom stroke of the V. When ducking, you have to make a habit of keeping your arms in tight and not to bend forward at the waist (again, see the Bob and Weave above).

Boxing D: 101b - Blocking and Covering will follow soon.

Sources:
Bas Rutten's Big Book of Combat by, Bas Rutten
Savage Strikes by, Mark Hatmaker
 
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