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Heath White
Heath White's picture

This thread is raising an issue for me that I have thought of before, but I wonder what others think about it.  My idea is that ring sports are considerably different from the kind of criminal-defense encounters that karate was originally designed for, and this shows up in techniques and training practices.  Consider this a hypothesis for discussion, not a fixed position.  And let me say up front that this is by no means a criticism of Zach’s boxing traing; I am very much enjoying this thread.

First, the differences.  There are some obvious ones: in ring sports there are rules, you know what you’re getting into and when, the criteria for success are different.  The difference I want to explore is time: boxing matches, MMA bouts, Muay Thai matches, etc. are frequently 10-15 minutes or longer.  Street encounters are never 10-15 minutes; they are often over in seconds.  I think this makes a big difference.

  1. The importance of cardio.  For ring sports it is crucial; for self-defense purposes, not so much.
  2. Conversely, the emphasis on “one punch kill” power.  Crucial for self-defense.  But it probably makes you overcommitted, or a one-trick pony, in a ring sport.
  3. Ring sports have a lot more “wear him down” techniques.  For example, jabs in boxing, leg kicks in Muay Thai.  Neither of these show up in karate and neither of them are very effective the first time.  It’s the tenth jab or leg kick that really takes it out of you.  But this only matters in a long match.
  4. Related: jabs or flicking backfists that are intended to cut the opponent’s eye and blind him in a future round.  These don’t show up in traditional karate because there isn’t going to be a future round.  Thai elbows are intended to slice; karate elbows are intended to smash, for the same reason.
  5. In ring sports, there is a lot of emphasis on getting in, doing a little damage, and getting out safely.  In karate, the emphasis is on getting in and not stopping until the enemy is out of commission.  So karate is going to lack the evasive exit footwork that Zach talks about.

 

Those are the points I can think of.  So, I’m curious what others think: is time an important difference when thinking about self-defense karate vs. ring sports?

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Yeah, I have plenty say on this. I have spent the last 20 years in more self-protection oriented Karate, and I also teach it... so this is an interesting point of discussion to me.

I'll try to address some of these individually:

1) Yes, cardio is not very important in terms of self protection, physiologicall speaking. It IS important for training efficacy though, and if you are (for instance) engaging in intense scenario training, even just drilling of basic technique with repetition you will begin to degrade at some point in a way that better cardio can help with. So (like many of the other things in combat sport) the benefit here is not so much about direct application to self protection as it is more effective holistic training. Producing effective self-defense oriented Karate requires also developing some of the individual, perhaps the "martial arts" aspect to Iain's martial map. After all, if we wanted to straight self protection there is no real reason to be Karateka, we can do Reality Based self defense and it is a more efficiacious route. So I would argue that here we consider the development of the individual more than simply saying "eh it doesn't directly apply to self protection so out it goes".

2) Yes, this seems to be 100% accurate in my experience so far.

3) Yes, and that is relatively new, you can even read Jack Dempsey in Championship Fighting complaing about the "flick jab", not only is it something particular to combat sport, it is particular to modern combat sport due largely to heavily padded gloves.

4) Yes, agreed 100%

5) Here I think you are actually selling short one of the biggest things that can be enhanced in one's Karate from boxing in particular. While certainly "plan #1" in Karate is to move in and not stop until we have incapacitated someone, that is not always an option. In kata for instance, you can "freeze frame" a position and then figure out where the opponent will move if you fail, it will not be the light-footed, precision movement of combat sport, but if our initial attack fails, being able to move to a position of advantage immediately is absolutely crucial - I would argue this is shown in kata, in addition to how to simply take someone out when everything works as planned. In addition, knowing how to move to cut off someone else's evasion (for instance make it so that they must move into your reverse hand and have no other movement option - again a common Kata theme by my reading) and limit the option in which they can move is also crucial in the "support system" Karate attempts to build should our initial onslaught fail - a distinct possiblity. In short, my take is that it's not a good idea to train application as if we will never be hit, never need to shift our position, or as if we will always have the advantage of successful inititiative - though certainly we should train in a way that we are always looking for it as the best option.

The thing is, we have to look at the -right part- of combat sports engagements to understand how we can relate them to self protection. For instance, watch a boxing match and pay attention when the commentator says "it looks like a fight has broken out", this is the aspect of boxing that is closest to self protection - often actually called "fighting". All the circling around, responding to cues, complex slipping etc. that happens prior to this is of course nor particularly relevant. Pay attention to how people cut off angles against their opponents, and how they position themselves while attacking and you can find stuff related to self-protection in terms of physical technique.

Beyond that, one place where frankly I think self-defense oriented Karateka sometimes have a huge deficit in our skillset is in the area of using flinch  motions to simultanously cover and attack/imbalance. This is very well developed in boxing with some caveats. If we are building a support system for self protection, we have to understand how to deal with a barrage of punches. Sure, it is not ideal, but again..we have to have a support system that goes beyond the assumptions that 1) our blitz or onslaught is going to work as we planned 2) That we will get a jump on the person, or acheive a pre-emptive strike every time. Not doing so, or not including such scenarios in our bunkai drilling/training/sparring is the equivalent of the guy who says he doesn't need basic ground grappling because he doesn't want to be there.

Caveats: First is that (near as I can tell) different groups and trainers are somewhat conservative in their approach to what they use defensively. In some cases boxers seem to take the most difficult option, such as slipping and rolling when they could more easily simply cover - that's certainly a sport thing. In boxing you must use your vision (due to the prolonged nature of the engagements) a lot more than self defense where tactile information is primary, and some decisions are made based on this.

Watch the right people though and you'll get what I'm saying. Watch some old George Foreman fights where he makes heavy use of the long guard and cross arm guard. Pay particular attention to the "fight" - i.e. once people are actually hitting hard and attempting to hurt one another. What you will see is use of covers, sometimes shoves and imbalancing combined with striking. Sure the timing is much more truncated  and the seperation of attack and defense differs from what we would see in self protection, but other than that it is quite relevant physically. Of course we have to factor in that no grappling is allowed in boxing. However, in a sense this can produce some relevant results for Karate, because we should not be seeking to immediately throw someone upon vertical grappling (though people do this in bunkai sometimes, I personally think it's a  huge strategic mistake) when we could just as easily manipulate their head a little with our forearm and hit them again, etc.

Again, pay attention to the part of matches where people are actually starting to speed up, often just prior to them clinching, and you will see the part of boxing that is most relevant to a self-protection oriented Karateka, in my opinion.

The other major thing that is different is this:

Hitting with your fists only is severely limiting your weapons. If you take the "fighting" range of boxing and add in the possiblity of things like forearm or elbow strikes, knees, hammerfists, palms, slaps, stomps etc. (not to mention entering into throws and knockdowns) and you have a different animal in that "fighting" zone. I've done this sort of thing in my class some, the disadvantage, you really have to go pretty slow to keep it safe, unless you wanted to truly pad up in protective gear.

Rhthym: There is no such thing in self-protection, but it's huge in boxing/combat sport; the timing of combat sport is largely irrelevant to physical self protection skills.That is, until it actually gets to the "fight" part, where people dispense with rhythm and timing, and often just go as fast as they can to achieve their goal.

We could get really granular with this analysis, but that covers some of the basics in my experience.

 

For an interesting reference, here is a highlight video of the cross arm gaurd - notably the same position that shuto-uchi begins with essentially. Of course in boxing you cannot do a shuto, a grab and hammerfist, or simply ram someone's face with your elbows from this position, which greatly changes the timing and usage. However many boxers utilize a shuto-like method with this sort of guard, where they use the forearm as tactile information for the next hit, or to control the opponents movement. Is this exactly like self protection? No, but if you watch the videos, you can see that in places there is definitely stuff that is pretty close to Karate, being done under a ruleset, in very different circumstances than self protection of course.

This position has actually fallen out of favor generally in boxing - my understanding is that is because it leaves one open to body shots. It is an older technique inherited from earlier pugilistic styles, I've seen it in manuals from the 1700's and such. Of course body shots are negligible in self protection (compared to protecting one's buttons at least), and that is the reason you see the stacked elbows so often as a "flinch" technique in Kata in my opinion - it is a great way to not get knocked out and also have some offensive weaponry at the very least pointed at the opponent.

A related drill that's fun to try (once we can access a partner safely that is) is to have the opponent (preferably with big boxing gloves) attack you while you have your hands crossed at your chest, you can use your elbows and movement to defend the punches, and of course open the drill up into more offensive movements partner permitting. Like most self defense drills, it's close range. It really shows the importance of body movement and protecting ones buttons, you end up moving in a manner similar to boxing. I learned this drill from Rory Millers Drills for Sudden Violence book. It's a fantastic drill for the sort of evasion and agressive use of "defense" that I think shines in boxing - even if it's in a manner that differs from self protection.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Figured i'd share this since it's relevant to some of what we've talked about:

 

This is just the "acceptable to good" outtakes from self-critique videos I made of boxing and Karate on my reflex bag. I am still getting the hang of using the reflex bag, it's kind of an odd piece of equipment because it's somewhat slow, and you are forced to follow it's rhythm, you also cannot hit it hard. I don't like it as much as a double ended bag at all, but it is good for slipping - especially on a chair like this, where you get a little speed out of it. When it's on the floor and at full height it's very slow, and I'm not sure it's that useful at that length.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Figured i'd share an update on my boxing adventure:

I'm continuing to hit the Boxing gym 2 to 3 times a week. The times where I only make it two, I do an additional day of shadowboxing, bagwork, and footwork drills on my own.

Biggest things I notice so far:

1) My hand techniques are sharper all around, including Karate-specific ones. One thing Boxing has done is push me to really put forth the appropriate amount of effort when doing impact training, and I'm definitely getting the benefits. The Boxing work ethic alone makes the training worth doing, in terms of a perspective on how to improve one's Karate.

2) My footwork and mobility has improved a HUGE amount. If you ever decide to take up Boxing as a Karateka, do it based solely on this if nothing else interests you. Karateka just don't move enough, it's understandable and I think related to training method, but really, the way you learn to move in Boxing literally takes something like a week, and provides huge benefits over time. I have shifted my two man work with my Karate training partner to a much more mobile format, not in a long range sense of boxing, but in the sense that even pre-arranged or semi-arranged bunkai should be practiced with continual movement, not just starts and stops. It's also a huge advantage to be able to adjust your angle -as- you attack, something you get from boxing footwork, that I do not see so often with Karate.

3) Slipping, bobbing, weaving. My wife held pads for me the other day, even without any real practice against another person in the boxing gym (due to Covid), I was able to slip and evade her attacks in a way I have not been able to do in the past. Another thing Boxing training does is force you to "build in" evasive and defensive measures in your attacks, you could call it "prophylactic defense". While boxing evasion is too specialized to be directly relevant in karate, it is helping me see how Kata application also has "built in" precautions for avoiding getting hit.

4) Three dimensional punching and taking advantage of openings. So many boxing combinations are about creating openings and then exploiting them, I can see better how (on a simpler non "chess game" level, given the needs of self defense) Karate also creates and exploits openings and natural defensive body movement in application.

The other huge thing is just that Boxing will increase your fitness massively. it was hard for about three weeks, after that my body got used to the extreme cardio, and now I seem to be able to hang in there with the young guys pretty well cardio wise, which comes as a huge shock to me. I still look like a fat middle aged guy though, no getting away from that I guess.

So, if you are up for a challenge, I would definitely recommend checking out the Boxing gym to inform and integrate relevant skills into your Karate, I'm finding it hugely beneficial, and just generally enjoying seeing my improvement with the skillset as well. Boxing is a very simple but effective skillset, you can obtain the basics in a few weeks, the rest is simply honing skills and going deeper. I got a couple of compliments from the coach this week, he does - not- just hand those out. After so many years of being a teacher (in Karate) and not as often a student, it's really nice to just put that down and learn, and it feels good to improve a skillset which could be daunting at the age of 44. I can't iamgine attempting this at my age without so many years of Karate under the belt.

My only concern for the future is sparring, only because I am not willing to take hard head shots much at my age, and sparring a bunch of 20 year olds I'm expecting that's exactly what I'd get. hopefully I'm wrong, and even if I decide to back off the sparring once it begins, I will certainly learn the drills.

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Hi Zach,

Zach Zinn wrote:
Figured i'd share an update on my boxing adventure:

Thanks for posting these. Together they make a great resource and guide for karateka looking to boxing. Thank you!

Zach Zinn wrote:
My footwork and mobility has improved a HUGE amount. If you ever decide to take up Boxing as a Karateka, do it based solely on this if nothing else interests you

I’d totally agree with this. The associated default distance may not be directly relevant to the self-defence focussed karateka, but ability to cut angles and move quickly while striking can be highly beneficial. Particularly when facing multiples. The one-on-one application within a consensual context can’t be understated either.  

There are times to be stable and there are times to be mobile. Boxing (kickboxing too) can be a massive help with the later. I find footwork drills fun too!

All the best,

Iain

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Yes, I imagine that once I actually do boxing sparring, one of the most awkward parts will be willingly hanging out at that "medium" distance, danger-zone sort of area.

Anyway, the other part of Boxing training that is getting me thinking about different approaches to Karate is just simply the emphasis on individual skill development. I find that sometimes it is easy to pay this too little mind in Karate due to the sheer breadth of technique available to us, and to the fact that it is easy to get lost in collecting technique and strategy without focusing on developing simple skills, and honing attributes.

Now of course Boxing being a fully athletic endeavor, it focused on this in a way that is excessive for Karate, but I think injecting a bit more of this focus on individual development would be good for my Karate class.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

I figured I would do my post-mortem on Boxing training here, as it's been a few months since I've been back to the Boxing gym (my own Karate class is going again), and it might be useful to organize my thoughts regarding some of the things I learned from being there.

So here are the general things that improved for me individually from this training, probably the obvious things:

1) Body movement and footwork, generally a more "integrative" approach to defensive movement. It actually helped me understand uke-waza better, believe it or not.

2) Hand speed and punching versatility and power

3) Cardiovascular endurance

4) Really understanding bagwork in a way I didn't before

Here are the larger scale things it clarified for me:

1) If you do a type of training, it is only worth it if you understand precisely what it is for..sounds obvious, but isn't always

2) A small number of techniques can have devastating capabilities

3) Good fundamentals are more important to functional skills than every other factor. They aren't all that's needed for the complete picture, but they are the one thing that is completely indispensable.

4) The effects of conditioning are very pervasive to quality of work, and shouldn't be overlooked, even if one is not training for competition.

5) You can progress personally a lot more than you think without a partner, even if a partner is indispensable for many things, which they are.

*I should mention, I was never able to spar at my gym. The closest we got was a drill where someone holds and moves around the bag while they try to hit you. I think it was a combination of not wanting to put an older guy in with a bunch of competitive 18-20 year olds (the coach said I could spar a friend my age if brought him in, lol), and the fact that we were in Covid, so sparring was hardly happening anyway. So, I did not get that experience. I don't think my gym did much progressive or developmental sparring, kind of "all in" in boxing terms. What I did get was a lot of excellent instruction on boxing fundamentals and explanations of how to properly train, which was invaluable.

Frazatto
Frazatto's picture

wow....I thought I could just read one or two comments in this thread and skip most of it, but nop! Every comment have information I didn't know I needed!! Took some time to go over it all.....

Crazy thing, I don't see karate on young George Foreman at all, I see TaiChi all over. Anyway, in the end he had to give up the "long guard" because it was too slow against more streamlined athletes with more adaptable stiles. You can check it out here if you find it interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPTuEEqmEpc

I started boxing this year, but between the open and close of everything I had very little opportunity to actually develop anything. My instructor is very good, he is happy to accommodate my cross training perspectives but clearly thinks I'm crazy hahahaha

So let me make you a couple of questions.

Did you found a karate equivalent for the (lead left) slight left side step (right kept in place), lowering hips wile twisting to get a cros to the solar plexus? I try to find a video to illustrate but couldn't find one, there doesn't seam to be a name to it.

And do you think you lose something when specializing one lead for the other? I find very hard to accept this specialization and after a few months I can already see it making me confuse wile the right is leading.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Frazatto wrote:

wow....I thought I could just read one or two comments in this thread and skip most of it, but nop! Every comment have information I didn't know I needed!! Took some time to go over it all.....

Crazy thing, I don't see karate on young George Foreman at all, I see TaiChi all over. Anyway, in the end he had to give up the "long guard" because it was too slow against more streamlined athletes with more adaptable stiles. You can check it out here if you find it interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPTuEEqmEpc

Interesting, where do you see the Tai Ch there? Along those lines, Boxing taught me more than I ever learned in Tai Chi about not "double weighting", and about where the center of balance is.

As a general tactic I think the long gaurd and the cross arm are solid (they exist outside of boxing too of course), they have just slowly dissapeared from boxing due to the sport changing and involving less and less active defense other than the high and tight guard, slipping, bobbing, weaving. I am not convinced that is only about overall effectiveness, personally. Sports change as they do, what's "better" depends on one's purposes I think. One always has to keep in mind that a part of Boxing is also spectacle, ugly, unexciting tactics are not as popular, and perhaps less likely to be adopted over time. Anyway, they interest me mainly because I think they are applicable in some ways to self-protection moreso than the 'standard' boxing defense of today - embodied I guess by someone like Mayweather.

This is the same in Judo. I remember one of my Judo teachers getting one someone case for focusing too much on the head and arm throw because it was "sloppy" Judo - i.e. it's a tactic that works well even for people of low skill level. This actually makes it a good technique to know for self protection, just not for competitive Judo - from this teacher's perspective. Not trying to draw a direct comparison neccessarily, but it gets sketchy figuring out relative quality of different tactics when we are talking sport-specific stuff, because sports are changing all the time for different reasons.

e wrote:

I started boxing this year, but between the open and close of everything I had very little opportunity to actually develop anything. My instructor is very good, he is happy to accommodate my cross training perspectives but clearly thinks I'm crazy hahahaha

My coach used to say "is that mess Karate" when I did something he hadn't taught, and then roll his eyes or shake his head, lol. He was complimentary a few times and that made my day, he did not hand them out often, that's for sure! Man I miss him.

e wrote:
So let me make you a couple of questions.

Did you found a karate equivalent for the (lead left) slight left side step (right kept in place), lowering hips wile twisting to get a cros to the solar plexus? I try to find a video to illustrate but couldn't find one, there doesn't seam to be a name to it.

And do you think you lose something when specializing one lead for the other? I find very hard to accept this specialization and after a few months I can already see it making me confuse wile the right is leading.

The way I learned these fundamentals is that you would side step/jab, and the the cross/right is timed to line up right as the right foot returns to the basic stance. So, if you did with just a jab it would be step/jab, then right foot and cross land at the same time. If you did it with the 1-2 it would be jab-step, right-step. My coach taught it that way for all four directions, on a basic level...but what you are saying is the cross happens before the right step returns?

Anyway, I have actually learned a Wado Ryu kihon (as a guest once, I don't do Wado) that is basicly the heel-up boxing stance with exactly this kind of punch, so I don't see it as so foreign, there is alot of stuff in Karate that is half-forgotten. I should also say, my first Karate teacher had been a boxer, so some of this was already vaguely familiar, though I haven't seen it too often. I mean, few Karate other than applied-Karate types even practice really close range stuff, so we can see why it's neglected.

On the ambidexterity bit, I personally think it's wise to train both sides if one wants to have a self-protection type paradigm, based on various people who have written books on Boxing for self defense, and just a general idea of how types of training differ. For boxing I absolutely buy the standard advice to develop one side, then develop the ability to "switch hit", the logic there makes sense to me. What I have found since returning to training and working against my own students is that I am definitely favoring the orthodox stance more than I used to, for sure - when are at a distance doing "exchange" type stuff.

I feel like I could never be as effective in the southpaw stance, and I remember from my sport style Karate days this: If I was in a defensive mode southpaw worked very well, but if I was trying to land stuff, then left foot forward was where it was at.

When I did Judo and Jujutsu for a few years, one thing I found is that I have to kind put some things in the " this can be relevant to my Karate" box, and others were just outside of it, I can appreciate them for what they are, but they are outside the Karate box. Part of that is based on the difference purpose of the training, part is based on my own limitations - age, physical issues, etc. I am old enough now that I can't do the exact same stuff I once could, and that is part of the equation, sadly. Father time has a unbeaten record, as I've heard it said.

Frazatto
Frazatto's picture

Seeing connections between very different stiles is very subjective, we can both watch the same thing and one of us will find helpful sometimes even enlightening and the other will just call bs!

If you watch that first video on the thread (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LMhK-Hb-gw):

- the three moves at 0:46

- every time he slips the opponent to the side holding the inside of the elbow and behind the shoulder

- the shoulder push at almost 3:00, that is everywhere in taichi in the manner he applies it

Well, this is getting exceedingly off topic, send me a message if you would like to keep the conversation.

Regarding the ambidexterity, as you called, of course we will normally give preference to one side over the other. It's just the obligation of keeping one stance and one stance only is detrimental to my personal stile overall, although it also forces me to think differently and use different approach, so I try my best to follow up.

Have you heard about a guy called Willie Pep??? https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=willie+pep

Dude is magic! He was a south paw, but you can see many many times where he changes stances between bobbins and even cross step punch as if boxing had oi-zuki.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Frazatto wrote:

Seeing connections between very different stiles is very subjective, we can both watch the same thing and one of us will find helpful sometimes even enlightening and the other will just call bs!

If you watch that first video on the thread (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LMhK-Hb-gw):

- the three moves at 0:46

- every time he slips the opponent to the side holding the inside of the elbow and behind the shoulder

- the shoulder push at almost 3:00, that is everywhere in taichi in the manner he applies it

Well, this is getting exceedingly off topic, send me a message if you would like to keep the conversation.

I don't think it's off topic, I'm really enjoying the conversation, as long as it's ok with Iain i'd love to continue.

Anyway yeah I see what you are saying, I actually think of those as Karate techniques, the one at 0:59-1:02 is one of the textbook uses of mawashi-uke, and the head manipulation is one of the things I do for the "downblock" after the elbow/backfist in Gekisai. However, they can just as easily be Tai Chi, so I get exactly where you are coming from. Especially the push move. It's interesting because he had to do these moves such that they didn't violate the rules - i.e. he couldn't hold on, but has to let after the manipulations.

On that subject, one thing I have read and heard different places, but do not know to be true (as I am no boxing superfan or expert) is that rules like "Any rough tactics other than clean punches" found in some boxing organizations are more heavily enforced today. Meaning that plenty of refs today wouldn't even allow what Foreman is doing in this match. Do you know if this is so?

e wrote:

Regarding the ambidexterity, as you called, of course we will normally give preference to one side over the other. It's just the obligation of keeping one stance and one stance only is detrimental to my personal stile overall, although it also forces me to think differently and use different approach, so I try my best to follow up.

If I was boxing competively (can't imagine that world, but maybe if I were 20 years younger) I would stick to my coaches advice of just picking the one side. However, as my goals are more wide ranging I agree that sticking to only one side is too limiting.

e wrote:

Have you heard about a guy called Willie Pep??? https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=willie+pep

Dude is magic! He was a south paw, but you can see many many times where he changes stances between bobbins and even cross step punch as if boxing had oi-zuki.

Yeah I've heard Teddy Atlas and some oldschool trainer types mention him, but I don't remember the context, pretty cool!

Frazatto
Frazatto's picture

Zach Zinn wrote:
Anyway yeah I see what you are saying, I actually think of those as Karate techniques, the one at 0:59-1:02 is one of the textbook uses of mawashi-uke, and the head manipulation is one of the things I do for the "downblock" after the elbow/backfist in Gekisai. However, they can just as easily be Tai Chi, so I get exactly where you are coming from. Especially the push move. It's interesting because he had to do these moves such that they didn't violate the rules - i.e. he couldn't hold on, but has to let after the manipulations.

I don't remember how it's called right now, but the body only have a few ways of moving and if you are trying to active a specific objective, different stiles will find similar solutions and everything will look kind of the same.

The thing is, you can't separate a fighting system from the culture it evolved from, there are aesthetic characteristics intrinsic to each one of them. So these moves we are arguing about, will exist on many different stiles, but the way he is using....it seams almost gentle!

Zach Zinn wrote:
On that subject, one thing I have read and heard different places, but do not know to be true (as I am no boxing superfan or expert) is that rules like "Any rough tactics other than clean punches" found in some boxing organizations are more heavily enforced today. Meaning that plenty of refs today wouldn't even allow what Foreman is doing in this match. Do you know if this is so?

Nop, I have no idea, but I'm sure someone in the forum will know.

Zach Zinn wrote:
Yeah I've heard Teddy Atlas and some oldschool trainer types mention him, but I don't remember the context, pretty cool!

The two things from him I wish I could practice is closing distance in zigzag (only met two people ever who could do this in combat tempo) and bobbing to one side but slipping to the other (not useful in karate, but very effective when needed).

Frazatto
Frazatto's picture

I completely forgot to ask you, have you found ways to use shiko dachi shakaku + low hook before pivoting????

I can always find the timing but the punch is kind of bleh.....can't rotate my hips properly......

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Frazatto wrote:

I don't remember how it's called right now, but the body only have a few ways of moving and if you are trying to active a specific objective, different stiles will find similar solutions and everything will look kind of the same.

The thing is, you can't separate a fighting system from the culture it evolved from, there are aesthetic characteristics intrinsic to each one of them. So these moves we are arguing about, will exist on many different stiles

Agreed 100%.

e wrote:
but the way he is using....it seams almost gentle!

Yes, for sure. I'm gonna guess that's partially about the rules though, if he got rougher with them he would be breaking the rules. Like I said, I've been told that today's refs often don't allow this kind of stuff at all. If you look at most modern boxing (outside of sparring, where they seem to do more questionable stuff regarding rules) professional and amatuer boxers hardly seem to do any limb/body manipulation like this at all. I'll bet it is more challenging in this form though, where he has to let go right away, and to be gentle-as you say- which makes it an interesting skill set in boxing for sure.

I remember reading that Foreman learned this stuff under Archie Moore.

e wrote:

The two things from him I wish I could practice is closing distance in zigzag (only met two people ever who could do this in combat tempo) and bobbing to one side but slipping to the other (not useful in karate, but very effective when needed).

Like Peekabo style footwork stuff?

Frazatto wrote:

I completely forgot to ask you, have you found ways to use shiko dachi shakaku + low hook before pivoting????

I can always find the timing but the punch is kind of bleh.....can't rotate my hips properly......

Trying to visualize what you are talking about, what is shakaku? It's not a term I am familiar with.

Frazatto
Frazatto's picture

Zach Zinn wrote:
Like Peekabo style footwork stuff?

I understood Tyson was influenced by, but not really the same thing, watch this, in the first half he explains both patterns I commented.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngeD1INP5vI

Zach Zinn wrote:
Trying to visualize what you are talking about, what is shakaku? It's not a term I am familiar with.

Yea...I need a way to record myself for these conversations......hum.....let me see what I find online.

Go to ~3:05 and pause on 3:10:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9jDbJ-DjNE

If you don't go for the groin, you can do that in boxing. It works from either side and it's a little faster than pivoting. You wouldn't just stand there afterwards of course, just finish the turn and go high with a cross as one would normally do in this situation.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Frazatto wrote:

I understood Tyson was influenced by, but not really the same thing, watch this, in the first half he explains both patterns I commented.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngeD1INP5vI

Interesting, definietly some interesting escaping/elusive stuff. I think have occasionally seen Lomachenko use similar, but less "extreme" types of footwork.

Zach Zinn wrote:
Trying to visualize what you are talking about, what is shakaku? It's not a term I am familiar with.

Yea...I need a way to record myself for these conversations......hum.....let me see what I find online.

Go to ~3:05 and pause on 3:10:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9jDbJ-DjNE

If you don't go for the groin, you can do that in boxing. It works from either side and it's a little faster than pivoting. You wouldn't just stand there afterwards of course, just finish the turn and go high with a cross as one would normally do in this situation.

[/quote]

Ok I get it I think. Well keep in mind I have never done boxing sparring, so with that I have just watched others. I think comparitive tactics in boxing are 1) bobbing into a shiko-like position with a body jab, or 2) you can watch Lomachenko and few others do what they are calling a "drop step" (different from the Jack Dempsey one) where he drops into pretty much a textbook shiko momentarily to get below someone's attack. I'll see if I can find the video that details it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAU4nPC2dGw

Here's one where he actually does some of the foreman redirect/grappling type stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFqejojiPgQ

Here we do, from Precision Striking, a YT channel which is great.

Anyway, anecdotally I will say that in the live Karate work I do, both of my main training partners/students are taller than me. I've found that if someone's shoulders are higher than mine, I use Shiko Dachi all the time both to avoid punches and to crowd the space, usually in conjunction with some kind of agressive covering motion, a strike that also acts to block or cover, etc. If you take the type of jab or cross in boxing where you over-rotate your fist, and drop into shiko, I find myself in positions similar to that quite a bit - if we are isolating striking skills. In that context though, clean shots tend to be less common if we allow for grappling and clinching, limbs moving around, shoving etc. Still, I think it is employing a similar tactic.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Thought i'd put this video out there:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCclPlZynEw

This is the sort of nuance I learned from bagwork at the boxing gym that I never much thought about in Karate. It turns bagwork into something that has a lot more direct impact on your skilset, even when you are working outside a boxing context, because you are working with the bag realistically.

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Hi Zach,

Zach Zinn wrote:
I figured I would do my post-mortem on Boxing training here, as it's been a few months since I've been back to the Boxing gym (my own Karate class is going again), and it might be useful to organize my thoughts regarding some of the things I learned from being there …

This has been a fantastic and very useful thread and I’d just like to thank you for sharing this with us all! Some very useful observations!

All the best,

Iain

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Since it was brought up earlier in the thread, here is an easy way to put two "arms" on a heavy bag.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLQZHEYjXt0

Iain, yeah it's been a good thread for me too, lots to think about.

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